Chargers v. Buffalo

Posted by on September 22nd, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

The Chargers won the game, but they paid a price for a good team win against a bad Buffalo Bills football team, a (22-10) victory..
The price for the victory, the loss of key running back-wide receiver Danny Woodhead, who went out with what appears to be a fractured leg.  This comes a week after the loss of heavy duty running back Ryan Mathews, gone 5-to-8 weeks with a sprained knee, coupled with the loss of Nick Hardwick and the on going injury issues to Melvin  Ingram.  You can yell next man up, but you start running out of quality players.  
Philip Rivers was typical Phil Rivers, 256-yards passing.  Frank Reich, the play caller, had a typical Mike McCoy type day, spreading the ball to tight ends, wide receivers and running backs.  Eddie Royal caught 2-TDs.  Malcom Floyd had 2-big receptions.
The storyline coming into the game, may still be the storyline going forward.  How do you replace a heavy duty running back like Ryan Mathews.  Donald Brown did yeoman’s work, a surprising 31-carries, but netted just 62-yards, and he had 37-touches in all, without a lot of productivity.  He has to be the guy now with the loss of the top two backs.
The defense exerted tons of pressure with 10-quarterback pressures on Bills young QB-EJ Manuel, plus 3-sacks.  Defensive tackle Kendall Reyes had his best game, nose tackle Sean Lissimore played well, and Eric Weddle and Manti Te’o combined for 20-tackles.  They caused havoc up front all day long.
Luckily for San Diego, it was a bad Bills team they played.  Buffalo committed 11-penalties in all.  The kid quarterback made tons of mistakes, errant passes, missed open receivers, took a grounding penalty, and a safety. Learning on the job is painful, just ask Bills fans.
Buffalo just could not hold up to the heat the Chargers defense brought.  End result were a bucket full of penalties, holding, personal fouls, facemasks, hands to the face, defensive holding, pass interference, and grounding.  Good teams don’t commit 11 for 101; the Bills did, and they looked really bad.
It took the Bills the entire first half to figure out how to slow down the Bolts, and by then, it was apparent EJ Manuel could not win the game for Buffalo.  When it was all but over, the Bills held the Chargers to 14-yards in 15 snaps, but it was too little, too late, and rather meaningless.
It is surprising, in each of their first 3-games, the top wide receiver of the opposing team either disappeared, or was never targeted; first Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona, then Percy Harvin of Seattle, and yesterday, the Bills flashy rookie Sammy Waktins with a couple of meaningless catches late.
So the Bolts come home with a (2-1) record, and just ahead, two games at the Q against the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars, and then the New York Jets.  Beyond that will be the Raiders and the caved-in Kansas City Chiefs.  The next meaningful game will be against Denver, and McCoy’s men should be (6-1), but they then start playing real people.
The NFL said play these guys, and the Bolts did, but they have injuries taking a toll.  Take the win, hope no one else gets hurt, and be glad your East Coast trip was to Buffalo, not New England or Baltimore.
They don’t ask you to give back victories just because you played bad teams or rookie quarterbacks.  The Chargers need to bank these wins, because these injury issues are growing, and now the team will have to live and die with its passing game more than anything else, because it does not appear they have much else. 
But the sun comes up this morning with this team (2-1), tied with the Broncos for lst place in the AFC-West.  Losing key players takes the glow of winning games.  But there are still 13 more of these to be played.
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