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Bills humbled in loss to Chargers

Posted Nov 19, 2017

A recap of Buffalo's Week 11 game against AFC opponent the Los Angeles Chargers.

Location: Stub Hub Center, Carson, California

Regular season records: Buffalo (5-5), Los Angeles (4-6)

In a nutshell:
It was a bold decision by head coach Sean McDermott to start rookie Nate Peterman against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Peterman and Buffalo’s offensive line however, were not ready for the Chargers’ second-ranked pass rush as they helped force five first-half interceptions by Peterman. It led to 24 points for L.A., who had a 37-7 lead at halftime and never looked back in a humbling 54-24 defeat for the Bills.

Peterman, who was eventually replaced by Tyrod Taylor for the second half, went 6-14 passing for 66 yards and was under duress even on short drops and quick releases.

Chargers DE Joey Bosa had one sack and four quarterback hits in the game. His lone sack forced Tyrod Taylor to fumble in the second half that led to L.A.’s second defensive touchdown of the game on a fumble return by Melvin Ingram.

Taylor in relief went 15-28 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown after the game was already decided.

Buffalo’s defense again struggled mightily. Though they were handed some short fields on the turnovers they were unable to force the Chargers to punt until the 4:40 mark of the third quarter. It was the first punt forced by the Bills since the 13-minute mark of the fourth quarter against the Jets in Week 9.

The 135 points allowed by the Bills over the last three games is a franchise high over a three-game span.

How it went down:
-The Chargers got on the board first after a Nate Peterman pass intended for Pat DiMarco went off the fullback’s hands. Denzel Perryman intercepted it and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown for an early 7-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.

-Buffalo answered back just two minutes later when LeSean McCoy ripped off a 27-yard touchdown run, as he accounted for 64 yards on the two-play scoring drive to tie the score at seven midway through the first quarter (7-7).

-Los Angeles regained the lead when Nick Novak put a 33-yard attempt up and through. Buffalo’s defensive backs forced the field goal with an open field tackle on first down, followed by a pair of pass breakups in the end zone after the Chargers reached the red zone.

-The Chargers capitalized on Nate Peterman’s third interception of the first quarter when Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen along the right sideline for a 21-yard touchdown to push their lead to 17-7 early in the second quarter.

-Allen and Rivers would hook up for their second touchdown of the day when the Chargers QB found the receiver for a two-yard touchdown catch to cap a four-play 15-yard drive after Peterman’s fourth interception of the game (24-7) with 10:36 to play in the first half.

-L.A. would add a field goal drive on their next possession as Nick Novak put a 28-yard attempt up and through to make it 27-7 with five minutes left in the second quarter.

-Rivers and the Chargers offense would make it a runaway when they put together a quick-strike five-play 57-yard drive culminating with a 10-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon to push L.A’s lead to 34-7 with just over a minute left in the first half.

-Los Angeles would tack on another field goal before the half was over on Nate Peterman’s fifth interception of the half. Nick Novak was good from 39 yards out for a 37-7 halftime lead.

-Novak would hit from 28 yards away for his fourth field goal of the game to make it a 40-7 Chargers lead early in the third quarter.

-Buffalo would put a field goal on the board midway through the third quarter as Stephen Hauschka hit from 50 yards out to make it a 37-10 score.

-The Chargers would get their second defensive touchdown of the game when Tyrod Taylor was stripped of the ball on a sack by Joey Bosa. Melvin Ingram recovered the fumble and returned it 18 yards for the touchdown to make it 47-10 late in the third quarter.

-LeSean McCoy would score his second touchdown of the day when Tyrod Taylor hit him on a 12-yard pass on fourth down early in the fourth quarter to make the score 47-17.

-The Chargers would push their point total to over 50 when Austin Ekeler darted through a hole for a 21-yard touchdown run to make it a 54-17 game midway through the fourth quarter.

-Tyrod Taylor reached the end zone on a two-yard run to make it 54-24 with five minutes remaining to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive.

Subplots:
-Nate Peterman didn’t get much in the way of pass protection, but had a disastrous first start of his NFL career. Peterman went 6-14 passing for 66 yards with five interceptions and a passer rating of 17.9.

-LeSean McCoy was one of the few bright spots in the game as he rushed for over 100 yards on the day. The Bills feature back had 113 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown rushing and receiving.

-Tyrod Taylor came on in relief of Peterman in the second half and went 15-25 passing for 125 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for a TD too.

-Buffalo has given up a total 135 points in their last three games, a franchise high over a three-game span.

-In his first NFL start Nate Peterman was saddled with five interceptions in just a half of work. The turnovers resulted in 24 points for Los Angeles in the first half. Tyrod Taylor was also sacked and fumbled that led to a TD, giving the Chargers 31 points off turnovers in the game.

-Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison called plays from up in the coach’s booth for the first itme this season. Quarterbacks coach David Culley was down on the sideline relaying plays into Nate Peterman.

-Kelvin Benjamin suffered a right leg injury on the first offensive possession and was helped off the field. He did not return to the game.

-Inactive for Buffalo on Sunday were Shareece Wright, Mike Tolbert, Conor McDermott, John Miller, Cordy Glenn, Logan Thomas and Jordan Matthews.

Up next:
The Bills travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium for a 1 pm kickoff on Nov. 26th.