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Bills look to short circuit the Chargers

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/buffalo-bills-preview181105.php" target="_blank">RealFootball365.com</a>

    By Connor Byrne

    On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills will travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers in a key AFC battle. Buffalo comes in flying high off a key 14-3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week. As for San Diego, they had an extra week to prepare for the Bills as they come off their bye week. The Bills enter this game with a 4-5 record (0-4 on the road), while the Chargers come in at 5-4 (2-2 at home).

    Offensively, quarterback J.P. Losman will make his first start since week four. Losman came in last week to relieve Kelly Holcomb and ended up throwing a pair of touchdowns and lighting the fuse for the Buffalo Bills' offense. Undoubtedly, he'll look to his main receiver, Lee Evans all day against San Diego's 30th ranked pass defense. Bills' receivers Eric Moulds, Josh Reed, and Roscoe Parrish also need to get themselves involved in the action. It also wouldn't hurt the Bills if tight end Mark Campbell could duplicate last week's four catch, 42-yard effort. Losman's newfound confidence, combined with San Diego's woes defending the pass could lead to a career-day for the young quarterback.

    As for Buffalo's running game, Willis McGahee comes in as the fourth-leading rusher in the NFL. So far this season, McGahee has rushed for 856 yards and 4 touchdowns. Last week, he rushed for just 66 yards and did way too much dancing, and not enough hitting the holes on the line. McGahee could be in for another poor showing since the Chargers boast the top-ranked run defense in the NFL. Their front seven, led by defensive tackle Jamal Williams, and linebackers Donnie Edwards, Randall Godfrey, Steve Foley, and Shawne Merriman, has stymied just about every runner that has come up against them this year. In his young career, McGahee has struggled against elite run defenses. This week, he can take his game to the next level. Is it likely? Probably not.

    As for San Diego's offense, Drew Brees comes in as one of the steadiest quarterbacks in the game. Through nine games, he has thrown for 14 touchdowns, 2,099 yards, and has a quarterback rating of 93.9. Much of his success can be attributed to the play of the best tight end in the league, Antonio Gates. Thus far, Gates has caught 51 passes for 707 yards, and 6 touchdowns. The onus will be on the Bills' linebacking corps of London Fletcher, Angelo Crowell, and Jeff Posey to stop Gates. San Diego's most productive wide receiver this season has been savvy veteran Keenan McCardell. He has pulled in 33 passes for 469 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Bills' cornerback Nate Clements will likely put the clamps down on McCardell; he does to everyone else.

    San Diego's running game is tremendous. If LaDainian Tomlinson isn't the best back that the game has to offer, then he's certainly second or third. This season, Tomlinson has rushed for 835 yards, good for sixth in the NFL. The special thing about LT is his ability to find the end zone. His 15 total touchdowns are good for first in the AFC. Luckily for Tomlinson, he will go up against the 31st ranked run defense in the NFL. Buffalo needs to hope that defensive tackle Sam Adams returns from injury this week. If not, the defensive tackle trio of Justin Bannan, Tim Andersen, and Jason Jefferson need to at least contain Tomlinson. The defensive ends, Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay, need to do everything they can to halt LT at the line. If the Bills can hold him to under 150 yards rushing, they might be in good shape. Anything above that and the Chargers will be really difficult to beat.

    One of the keys to this game will certainly be the special teams matchup. Bills' kick-returner Terrence McGee leads the league with a 31.1 yard return average. However, he hasn't made a real impact in the past few weeks and is yet to score a touchdown this year. If he finds a way to score this week, Buffalo's chances increase dramatically. San Diego comes in with the seventh-ranked kick-return man. Rookie Darren Sproles has averaged 25.7 yards per return but hasn't scored. A key, yet unnoticed battle this week will be between the two punters. Bills' punter Brian Moorman comes in with a 46.0 yard average, while Chargers' punter Mike Scifres is currently at 45.8. These two rank fifth and sixth in the NFL, respectively. Whichever punter does a better job may play a big role in this game. As for the kicking matchup, Bills' kicker Rian Lindell has done a solid job this year, converting 17 of 21 attempts. Chargers' phenom Nate Kaeding has nailed 12 of 13 kicks. Overall, the special teams for these two teams are fairly comparable. Both are great units and the one that out-duels the other will certainly have a major hand in their team's victory.

    Let's not fool around here, this game means a heck of a lot to both teams. The Chargers will come out in their throwback, powder blue home jerseys. Buffalo can take solace in that since San Diego is just 2-5 overall when they wear those. I have a sneaky suspicion that J.P. Losman will have a huge day this week as he returns home to Southern California. The Buffalo defense will build on last week's monumental effort and stun LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers' offense this week. If the Bills do make good on this prediction, they will probably start a similar run to the one they in the second half of last season. A loss would probably crush their playoff hopes. If San Diego wins, they will keep their small hopes for an AFC West division title afloat, while keeping pace with the wild card playoff spots.

    Mark it down... The Buffalo Bills stun the San Diego Chargers 24-17.

    San Diego Chargers Injury Report:

    RB Andrew Pinnock, OG Mike Goff, OT Roman Oben, C Nick Hardwick, S Terrence Kiel, WR Vincent Jackson, LB's Steve Foley, Ben Leber, Shawne Merriman, and Randall Godfrey are al questionable with various injuries.

    Buffalo Bills Injury Report:

    DT Sam Adams, CB/KR Terrence McGee, S Troy Vincent, QB Kelly Holcomb, and OT Greg Jerman are all questionable with injuries.

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