The Los Angeles Chargers improved to 4-6 on the season after a 54-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Offense: Keenan Allen – Allen hadn't scored since Week 1 but made up for lost time in Sunday's game with two touchdowns. Both scores came in the second quarter and off of interceptions by Bolts' defense. Along with the two scores, Allen finished with 12 receptions for 159 yards.
Defense: Casey Hayward – Picks were aplenty in Sunday's win as Casey Hayward had a pair on the day. Both came in the first half. He jumped the route perfectly on his second INT of the day by flying past Deonte Thompson. In the locker room, Hayward said he knew what was coming having seen a similar play the week before. Ultimately, that second interception led to a touchdown drive by the offense to go up 24-7 on Buffalo. Hayward also had a key tackle for loss and another pass defensed.
Unsung Hero: Joey Bosa – It's almost weird to put Bosa in this category, but despite his notable sack-strip-forced fumble in the third quarter, he was wreaking havoc all game that didn't necessarily show up on the stat sheet. Bosa had numerous pressures, and even though they don't get credited as sacks, they led to picks. The Tre Boston interception in the second quarter was evidence of this. Bosa blew past Jordan Mills to force pressure on Nathan Peterman. Feeling the heat, Peterman released the ball and it fell into the arms of Boston. Bosa was credited with four QB hits on the day.
Stat of the Game:
The 37 points scored in the first half was the most in Chargers history.
Play of the Game:
Despite having a 40-10 lead over the Bills in the third quarter, the Chargers defense kept their foot on the gas. Facing a 4th-and-4, Tyrod Taylor stepped back and looked to throw. Joey Bosa beat Jordan Mills to sack and strip the QB. Melvin Ingram picked up the fumbled ball, running it back 39 yards for the Bolts' second defensive touchdown of the day.
The Bills' offense took to the field down 17-7 after a Chargers touchdown. On first down, Nathan Peterman stepped back and tossed a short pass intended for Deonte Thompson. As it happened, Casey Hayward read the play, jumped the route, and bypassed the receiver to pick the ball off. Hayward's second pick of the day led to Keenan Allen's second TD for a 24-7 lead, putting the game out of hand.
It Was Over When:
The Chargers got the ball back up 27-7 with 3:46 to go in the first half. After driving down to the Buffalo 10 thanks to completions of 17 and 29 yards, Philip Rivers handed off to Melvin Gordon on first down. Gordon turned the corner and rushed off right end to get in the end zone for a 34-7 lead. The lead was large enough to essentially put the game away.
"It's not hard at all (to stay focused with a big lead). It's the National Football League. You are going to keep your foot on the pedal. That's when you really see the identity of a team; when you're up, and you keep playing like you're down." – DE Melvin Ingram
"It's what we're trying to do, trying to get the ball and score as many points as we can. We had two touchdowns. If we don't need the offense, or don't need to use them, then it's awesome to see both phases clicking like they did today." – DE Joey Bosa
"When the ball is in the air, you've got to get it. A lot of times you don't get those balls but today, they bounced right in our hands. Casey (Hayward) played big in the first half. We got a lot of turnovers…. Whenever you get up like that and catch the organization in the situation they were in with the whole quarterback situation, I think that could be tough on them but it was great for us." – DT Damion Square
Odds and Ends
The Chargers outgained the Bills 429-393 in total yardage. While the Bills had a 173-146 edge on the ground, the Bolts had a 283-220 advantage through the air.
Keenan Allen led the Chargers receiving corps with 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Melvin Gordon entered 10th place in Chargers history in career rushing yards with 2,271.
Adrian Phillips paced the defense with six total tackles. The unit had one sack courtesy of Joey Bosa and 10 passes defensed.
Joey Bosa tied his career-high for sacks in a season (10.5).
The five interceptions in the first half were the most Chargers' history. They are also the most in the NFL this season.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn named Melvin Gordon today's honorary captain.
Inactives for the Chargers included WR Geremy Davis, RB Branden Oliver, DE Chris McCain, LB James Onwualu, LB Hayes Pullard, RT Joe Barksdale and TE Sean Culkin.
The Chargers take on the Buffalo Bills for the annual Salute to Service game.