The Los Angeles Chargers earned their first victory of the season, beating the Bills 31-20.
Offense: Melvin Gordon – Gordon was an absolute beast in the first half with three touchdowns to boot; one rushing and two receiving. It was the second time in his career he had three scores in a game. He finished Sunday’s win with nine rushes for 28 yards along with six receptions for 38 yards.
Defense: Kyzir White – The rookie made an impact in the win over the Bills. White notched the first interception of his career in the middle of the fourth quarter. Seven plays later, the turnover turned into points for the Chargers as Caleb Sturgis kicked a field goal. Along with the pick, White finished the game with four tackles and three passes defensed.
Unsung Hero: Austin Ekeler – The second-year running back had a career day running the football. He finished with 77 yards on the ground (career high) on 11 attempts and 21 receiving yards on three catches.
Stat of the Game:
Melvin Gordon had three touchdowns for the second time in his career. His other came October 23, 2016, against the Atlanta Falcons.
Play of the Game:
The Chargers took over at the Buffalo 38 for their second drive of the game just over five minutes into the first quarter. All it took was three plays to find the end zone, and they did so in dramatic fashion. Looking into the back of the end zone, Philip Rivers threaded a dart to Mike Williams, who came down with the tough catch to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead.
The Chargers already led 14-3 when Rivers again led the Bolts on a quick scoring drive. After getting down to the nine-yard line, number 17 hit Gordon on 2nd-and-5 over the middle for the TD, giving L.A. a commanding 21-3 lead.
It Was Over When:
After a penalty, the Bills faced a 1st-and-10 from their own two-yard line roughly halfway through the fourth quarter. QB Josh Allen stepped back and from his own end zone threw a pass in the direction of their tight end. Kyzir White cut in front of the TE to pick the ball off and ran it back nine yards. Seven plays later, the pick turned into points as Caleb Sturgis kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Bolts a 31-13 lead.
“(I have) the will to just continue to get better. Every day, I feel like I’m taking what my coaches are giving me and just trying to get better.” – S Derwin James
“Whiz (Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt) called a heck of a game. It was a lot of goods today, but I think there was just enough negatives that make us walk out of here just a little bit unsatisfied, which is good because we know we have a heck of a challenge coming next week in L.A.” – QB Philip Rivers
“I thought this week in practice, all three of those guys looked better. They looked faster and they’re just learning our system is what they’re doing. This is about the time you see those rookies come on. They understand the speed of the NFL game right about now. You saw it in practice and it showed up in the game.” – Head Coach Anthony Lynn on defensive rookies
Odds and Ends:
The Chargers outgained the Bills 349 to 293 in total yardage. The Chargers held a 240-209 advantage through the air as well as a 109-84 edge on the ground.
Philip Rivers was 23-of-27 for 256 yards and three touchdowns with a 143.2 QBR.
Mike Williams hauled in the first touchdown of his career.
Rookies Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White recorded the first sack and interception of their careers, respectively.
Derwin James paced the defense with eight total tackles. He also had two tackles for loss, one QB hit, one pass defensed and one sack. This was the second-straight game with a sack for James.
Along with the ones from James and Nwosu, the Bolts had three other sacks on the day: Melvin Ingram (1.5), Jatavis Brown (1) and Damion Square (.5).
Mike Pouncey served as the Bolts’ honorary captain, joining Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Russell Okung, Melvin Ingram and Brandon Mebane.
Inactives for the Chargers included WR Travis Benjamin, LB Emmanuel Ellerbee, C Cole Toner, T Joe Barksdale, G Forrest Lamp, DT T.Y. McGill and DE Joey Bosa.