1 - Buffalo's history of playing in Los Angeles
The Buffalo Bills are playing the Chargers in Los Angeles for the second time in franchise history. The last matchup dates back to Nov. 20, 1960, and the result was a 32-3 Bills victory.
It may be over 50 years since the Bills and Chargers played in LA, but Buffalo is no stranger to making the West Coast trip. The Bills beat the Rams in LA 30-19 in 2016. Tyrod Taylor threw two touchdowns and LeSean McCoy rushed for 150 yards. Prior to last season, the last time the Bills played in LA was 1992 against the Raiders.
Head coach, Sean McDermott, will be making his first West Coast trip with the Bills this weekend. He elected to keep the team's same practice schedule this week, despite the game starting three hours later.
"We've put a lot of time into, research into the science behind the two-day trip, the one-day trip, the practices," McDermott said. "This goes all the way back to summer really, of trying to get ahead of it and doing the proper research to put our players in the position to play and perform."
2 - Chargers QB situation behind Rivers
Buffalo's opponent this week, the Los Angeles Chargers, have some uncertainty at the quarterback position. Their starting QB, Philip Rivers, is currently in the concussion protocol.
If Rivers is a no-go on Sunday it will surely shake things up. He's started 185 straight games, the second-longest active consecutive games started streak. Rivers hasn't missed a game since becoming the Chargers starter in 2006.
The six-time Pro Bowl selection is 3-1 against the Bills in his career. Rivers most recently played Buffalo during Week Three of 2014. He came to Orchard Park and left with a 22-10 win. His final stat line was 18-25 passing, 256 yards, and two touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Assuming Rivers doesn't suit up Sunday, Kellen Clemens would be the next man up for the Chargers. In his career he has thrown 16 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and has a passer rating of 69.4.
Clemens is a 12-year veteran in the NFL. He's had stints with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and now the Los Angeles Chargers. The 34-year-old has made four appearances against the Bills in his career, all while with the Jets. In those scarce outings, Clemens completed 7-16 passes for 87 yards. He never threw a touchdown against Buffalo, but he did toss two interceptions.
The differences between Clemens and Rivers are evident. We should know later in the week how Rivers' progressing in the concussion protocol. Buffalo returns to practice today to prepare for the unclear QB situation in LA.
3 - Bounce back game for Taylor?
Since joining the Bills, quarterback Tyrod Taylor has only three games with a passer rating under 60. Last week against the New Orleans Saints was one of those games. Taylor has bounced back well after each one of his subpar performances. He'll look to continue that trend on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Flashback to Sept. 25, 2016, against the Arizona Cardinals. Taylor posted a passer rating of 51.9, but still managed a 33-18 victory. He notched nine carries for 76 yards and a touchdown to make up for his low-rated passing performance.
The next week on Oct. 2, Taylor rebounded. He completed 27-39 passes for 246 yards and threw one touchdown and zero interceptions. His passer rating was 94.6, good enough for a 16-0 win over the New England Patriots.
Another rare substandard showing came on Dec. 4, 2016, against the Oakland Raiders. Taylor recorded a passer rating of 55.8 in the game. He overcame that imperfect performance with notable numbers the next week. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 11, he had a passer rating of 100.1. Taylor completed 15-25 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
Taylor's most recent performance came last Sunday against the Saints. He posted a passer rating of 33.6, his lowest while in Buffalo. If history repeats itself, expect the Bills signal-caller to bounce back in Week 11 against the Chargers.
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