This game will be fired into your face by the FOX network, so you can blame them for it. Kick off is set for 4:05 p.m. EST.
The Game: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5)
The Chargers and Bills have faced off 37 times since 1960 with Los Angeles/San Diego leading the all time series 23-12-2
They’ve met three times in the playoffs with Buffalo holding a 2-1 advantage. They last played in the postseason on January 3, 1981 with the Chargers winning 20-14.
BUFFALO BILLS (5-4)
That’ll do, Tyrod Taylor. That will do. Taylor’s benching just goes to show you that you can’t judge a quarterback solely by his record. The Buffalo defense helped them put together a 5-2 record, but when the game was on Taylor’s shoulders he didn’t deliver. After going 9-for-18 and throwing an interception in a 47-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints last week, head coach Sean McDermott had seen enough.
Taylor got the hook and the Nathan Peterman era began with a 7-of-10 performance for 79 yards and a touchdown. Now, let’s not pretend this is going to result in a bunch of wins for the Bills. This season, they’d probably get more victories with Taylor staying under center but we’re talking about the difference between a 6-10 and 8-8 finish. Ultimately, McDermott wants to see what he has in Peterman and if he and general manager Brandon Beane need to draft one of these potential first round quarterbacks coming out next April.
He knows what he has in Taylor and it’s what any team would have in him; a quality back up quarterback and spot starter. Taylor can have a long career in the NFL if he gives up the idea of being the main man. He’s not and fighting for that is a one way ticket back to the real world and an actual job.
Peterman will be without offensive tackle Cordy Glenn who is still out with an ankle injury. Guard John Miller and fullback Mike Tolbert are both listed as out as well.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (3-6)
The only significant injury for the Chargers heading into this game is offensive tackle Joe Barksdale. He remains out with a foot injury. Outside linebacker James Onwualu and inside linebacker Hayes Pullard are both listed as doubtful. Pullard is dealing with a neck and Onwualu has a quad. Philip Rivers was cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol and will play.
Los Angeles has dropped two consecutive games heading into this one and will lose plenty more before the season is over. I count at least four more defeats with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders coming up in the second half.
There’s a reason so many people picked the Chargers to compete for the NFC West this season. They have one of the more talented rosters in the division. The reason that I picked them to specifically not contend for jack shit is their head coaching hire of Anthony Lynn. I don’t get why L.A. made that move and now, as it’s obviously been a disaster, they probably wonder the same thing.
Making the move to Peterman is probably smart for Buffalo, but it’s not going to change anything about this season. The Bills have outperformed the talent on their roster. That’s a testament to McDermott’s coaching ability, but there’s only so far they can go. In spite of his opponent being Lynn, this is a long trip and Los Angeles is in just the opposite position. They’ve under-performed their roster thanks to inept coaching. It probably won’t matter this time. This line has ticked down a point and a half and the over-under has dropped a point. I think it’ll be close and low scoring too. Chargers 20, Bills 16
Straight up: 1-0
Against the spread: 0-1
Straight up: 9-5
Against the spread: 6-8
Straight up: 87-59
Against the spread: 75-70
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