Written by Bobby Greco
The Buffalo Bills came off the bye week rested and generally healthy and claimed their eighth win of the season. They did however have to put WR John Brown and OL Cody Ford on the IR, with the hope that they will be able to return after the three-week minimum (Though Ford will probably miss more time). The last time the Bills were on the field, they suffered that heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals. I said in my recap about that game that I thought Buffalo was still in a very good position, but it was going to be important for them to come back strong after the week off and I think they definitely did. The offense had its ups and downs, but overall they played well and it was nice to see them run the ball. Defensively I think Buffalo had their best game, they gave Herbert a lot of trouble and for the first time this year bailed out the offense from late-game turnovers. Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll has really come into his own and it has really made the offense, especially Josh Allen flourish. One player who has become a real quality pro is rookie kicker Tyler Bass. He had some early-season struggles, but I think there was a lot of pressure on him when Steven Hauschka was cut and now he is comfortable and is really showing off his leg.
After forcing a three and out on the opening drive, Buffalo’s came out on a mission and marched down the field for a touchdown. It was a weird game for the offense, I think they played well, but statistically did not have their best game. Allen completed 75% of his passes, but only had 157 yards and two total TDs(1pass,1run). Besides an ugly fumble, this was Devin Singletary's best game of the year and Moss had a strong performance too. It was nice to see Buffalo stick with the run game, they were able to establish the run and find things that seemed to work for them. They are not a finished product when it comes to the run game, but it was nice to see them have success. I know I have been harping on this point, but a fullback in this offense would really be a big help. The one unit that I have to give the most props though, the offensive line. They had a really strong showing against one of the best defensive lines with the Chargers, besides Joey Bosa no other lineman really made an impact. I also think Buffalo owned the line of scrimmage rushing the ball, it seemed like they pushed back LA’s D-Line two yards on every play. The only TFLs the Chargers had were made by the linebacker, not a lineman. I’m not sure what happened in the 4th quarter when Buffalo decided to turnover the ball three times, but they need to clean that up. A better team would have taken advantage and the game could easily have gotten away from them, but thankfully they were able to hang on and get the win.
Buffalo came into this game with their defense finally trending in the right direction but was hoping to take that next step and I think they definitely did. Justin Herbert has been hot of late and the Chargers offense was clicking, but Buffalo was up for the challenge. They stifled Herbert and made him look very uncomfortable all game. The D-Line got a lot of pressure and finished with three sacks. Ed Oliver had a fantastic game in the middle, minus one drive where he had back to back penalties. Now I have to give credit where credit is due because the MVP of this game was surprisingly A.J. Klein. I have been harsh on him previously, but he really was a difference-maker in this game. He finished with 14 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and 1 pass deflection. Though he still had some trouble in coverage, he was all over the field and made a couple of Buffalo’s biggest plays defensively. Though this is already known Buffalo has the best secondary in the league and it showed against LA. They shut down the high-flying Chargers pass attack and Tre’davious White had a massive 4th quarter INT. That being said, they do need to practice Hail Mary defense, because I can’t watch another one caught in triple coverage! The most important piece of the game is the fact the defense found themselves in the 4th quarter. After three consecutive turnovers by the offense, it was the defense who decided flex and won that game. They held the Chargers to 3 points off the turnovers, which is astounding in today’s NFL. There are a few things they still need to work on, but I really liked what I saw out of them and hope it will continue.
The Bills next game is Monday Night Football against the 49ers but will be played in Arizona. San Fran is banged up and has been up and down this year, but they are an extremely tough team. It will be a test for Buffalo because the 49ers are a run-first team However I am hoping what I saw vs LA, means the whole team is finding their stride and will continue to put on a show on national TV.