Sunday afternoon NFL action and the AFC East will square off with the AFC West as the Buffalo Bills will rumble with the San Diego Chargers at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Bills come in off a very bad 47-10 home loss to the New Orleans Saints, while the Chargers are off a heartbreaking 20-17 loss at Jacksonville. These teams last met back in 2014 and the Chargers won in Buffalo by a score of 22-10.
Bills Get Run Over By The Saints
The New Orleans Saints are known for their passing game but don’t tell that to the Bills as the Saints ran all over them this past week. New Orleans ran for 298 yards in their 47-10 destruction of the Bills. Buffalo just couldn’t stop the tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who has 237 of the 298 yards in the game. Stopping the run is a matter of attitude and the Bills just didn’t have it in this game and they didn’t have in their game before that as they allowed 194 yards rushing to the Jets. This defense seems to have given up and while the Chargers are not a good rushing team, they do have Melvin Gordon, who could have a big game against that defense. The offense also struggled in the loss to the Saints as all they could manage was 198 yards of total offense. They have been one of the better rushing teams in the league but were able to grind out just 69 yards against a very improved Saints defense. Tyrod Taylor hit just 9/18 passes for 56 yards before being taken out in favor of Nate Peterman, who hit 7/10 passes for 79 yards and a TD. Taylor has hit 64.2% of his passes for 1684 yards with 10 TDs and four INTs on the year while posting a 91.4 QBR, which is 16tyh in the league. He will look to bounce back in this one.
The Bills have poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 28th in the league in total offense (292.0 ypg), 30th in passing (180.4 ypg), 14th in rushing (111.6 ypg) and 19th in scoring at 20.4 ppg. On defense, they have been poor as they come in ranked 25th in total yards allowed (359.9 ypg), 21st against the pass (242.9 ypg) and 22nd vs the run (117.0 ypg), while allowing 21.8 ppg, which is 15th in the league.
Another Heartbreaking Loss For The Chargers
Last year, the Chargers had five losses of four points or fewer and this year they already have four losses of three points or fewer. If this team ever learns to win the close games then they will be a handful for most teams on their schedule. They had a shot at taking out the Jags on the road this past weekend as they had a 17-14 lead with under 2:00 to go in the game and they were trying to run out the clock, but then rookie RB Austin Ekeler fumbled and the Jags then kicked a tying FG. The Jags then won the game in OT and it was another tough loss for the Chargers. Elker led the team in rushing with 47, while Melvin Gordon had just 27. The Chargers have really struggled to run the ball this year and they are hoping to get it going against a Buffalo defense that has allowed 492 yards on the ground the last two weeks, including 298 yards rushing to pass-happy New Orleans last week. If the ground game gets going, then Philip Rivers should be able to hit some big plays down the field. He hit 21 of 37 passes for 235 yards with two TDs and an INT against the Jags. For the year, he has hit 60.1q% of his passes for 2263 yards with 15 Tds and seven INTs, while posting an 87.8 QBR, which is 19th in the league. He could have a good showing against a poor Buffalo defense in this one.
The Chargers have been a bit below average on offense so far this year as they come in ranked 17th in the league in total offense (331.6 ypg), 13th in passing (242.9 ypg), 26th in rushing (88.7 ypg) and 23rd in scoring at 18.6 ppg. On defense, they have been below average as well as they come in ranked 19th in total yards allowed (343.8 ypg), 11th against the pass (208.7 ypg) and 32nd vs the run (135.1 ypg), while allowing just 19.1 ppg, which is 9th in the league.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game
- 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games following a double-digit loss at home
Los Angeles is:
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games in November
- The Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings
The Buffalo Bills have been torched on the ground the last two weeks, but can a weak LA run game take advantage of that? The Chargers have been involved in many close games this year, but can they cover the spread in this one? Many questions about this game, especially since the Chargers have played a bit better on the road than at home. Still, Buffalo is reeling and it looks as if their defense has thrown in the towel. I look for Melvin Gordon to have a big game in this one against a Buffalo defense that has allowed 492 yards on the ground the last two weeks. That will then allow Philip Rivers to hit some big plays against the 21st ranked pass defense of the Bills. Look for the Chargers to put together a complete game and win this one by at least seven points.
Pick: San Diego -4.5
Both of these teams have struggled to score this year and that should indicate a low-scoring game. I don’t think it will, though. The Bills have allowed 81 points in their last two games and the Chargers have an offense that can take advantage of that, especially if they get their run game going against a Bills team that has allowed 492 yards on the ground the last two weeks, the Chargers haven’t allowed many points this year, but they have given up plenty of yards and I feel the Bills will be able to put some points on the board against them. This has the feel of a 28-21 Los Angeles win.