CHARGERS-BILLS MATCHUP WINNERS
Joey Bosa vs. Jordan Mills
The Chargers' star was too much for the Bills' right tackle. Bosa had four hits on the quarterback, one sack and a forced fumble. He was even a bigger factor than the numbers suggest. Bosa hurried Nathan Peterman on the first interception (although Patrick DiMarco dropped the pass). He bull-rushed Mills and hit Peterman on the second INT. He beat Mills cleanly to hit Peterman on the third INT. He made Mills whiff on an inside move and hit Peterman to help force an underthrow on the fourth INT. His sack of Tyrod Taylor caused the fumble that Melvin Ingram returned for a 39-yard TD in the third quarter.
That's what you call a game-wrecker. Bosa now has 21 sacks in his first 22 NFL games, the most by any player ever at that stage of his career. He has 10.5 sacks on the season.
Keenan Allen vs. Bills DBs
The Chargers' fourth-year receiver caught 12 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. It looked way too easy, and he exploited most of the Bills' defenders and coaches. Allen got his day rolling with 16-yard crossing pattern against a zone defense. He easily ran away from linebacker Ramon Humber over the middle. Then he caught two quick outs against E.J. Gaines. He ran a pivot route against linebacker Preston Brown for a 12-yard gain on a second-and-11 play. Then came the back-shoulder fade for a 21-yard TD on slot corner Leonard Johnson. The Bills blitzed on those latter two catches, to no avail. Allen's next TD was a hard-to-stop receiver-screen from a stack formation, with tight end Hunter Henry running interference. Then the Chargers beat a six-man blitz on a 17-yard crossing route. Allen had five more catches to rub the Bills' noses in the dirt.
Melvin Gordon vs. Bills' front seven
The Chargers entered the game ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing, averaging just 88.7 yards a game. Their 3.8 yards-per-carry average ranked 22nd. The Bills' defense was just what running back Melvin Gordon & Co. needed. Los Angeles finished with 146 yards on 35 carries, a 4.2-yard average. It was not a case of rolling up garbage-time yards in the second half. The Chargers had 82 rushing yards and averaged 4.8 a carry in the first half.
Gordon gained 72 of his 80 yards in the first half. His big runs in the first half came on a 62-yard march to a field goal that put the Chargers ahead, 27-7. Gordon had a 20-yard run up the middle on a draw play. He cut inside linebacker Preston Brown on the play. Two plays later, the Bills were gashed on a power-run for 19 yards.