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SCOUTING REPORT

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Scouting Report Week 2 - Bills vs. Chargers

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Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Kelvin Benjamin vs. Casey Hayward
Best versus best in this one-on-one. Benjamin’s day was cut short in last year’s meeting with a knee injury. Benjamin will be moved around a good deal. The question is whether the Chargers have Hayward follow him.

2 - Dion Dawkins vs. Melvin Ingram Two of the best athletes on the field for their size, square off in this intriguing matchup. If Bosa is out of the lineup for L.A., the Chargers may line Ingram up on the left side on early downs before flipping him to the right as they did last week. Dawkins and Ingram largely battled to a stalemate in their Week 11 matchup last season, with Ingram tallying just one quarterback hit on the day. How will round two go?

3 – Tre’Davious White vs. Keenan Allen Allen was the catalyst to L.A.’s passing attack in last year’s meeting to the tune of 12 catches for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns. White has to lock down Allen, knowing the Chargers passing attack begins with him.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Punt return
Buffalo didn’t break anything long in Week 1 on punt returns, but the Chargers are searching for answers after giving up a 91-yard return for a touchdown last week to Kansas City. Having something special up their sleeve could be just the curve ball for an L.A. team trying to get back to basics.

Best advantage - Kick return The Bills got an inspired performance in Week 1 from kick returner Marcus Murphy. He had a pair of 30-plus yard returns against the Ravens and averaged 33 yards last Sunday. L.A. ranks 13th in kick coverage.

Bills Number 1 Must

Get takeaways Buffalo’s best tonic in notching victories in 2017 was winning the takeaway battle. That will be a needed element on Sunday if the Bills are to post a win in the home opener. Los Angeles had two turnovers last week in their 10-point loss to Kansas City. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 25 takeaways last season came at New Era Field.

Scouting Eye

Bosa has bum foot Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn called DE Joey Bosa’s foot ailment a week-to-week injury. Reports have the prognosis pegged at two to four weeks. Bosa did miss the opener against the Chiefs for Los Angeles. If he misses Sunday’s game it would be a loss for the Chargers. Bosa had four sacks in L.A.’s meeting with the Bills last season.

Pass rush problem? The Chargers are known for having a potent pass rush, but without Bosa, most of the focus goes to Melvin Ingram. That means second-year DE Isaac Rochell is being counted upon to help fill the void. Rochell’s forte however is setting the edge in the run game and doesn’t have the same pass rush skill set as Bosa. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said his defensive front has to generate more pressure after barely getting to KC QB Pat Mahomes last week.

Yards aplenty Granted, L.A. did not come out victorious last week, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t productive. In fact, no other NFL club had more total net yards of offense than the Chargers had in Week 1 (541). Philip Rivers accounted for 424 of those yards through the air as he went 34-51 passing with three touchdowns against one INT. The L.A. offense also averaged a gaudy 5.6 yards per rush last week.

Double trouble Melvin Gordon has always been a major threat as a rusher, but he’s got a running mate in fellow RB Austin Ekeler. The two serve as dual threats in L.A.’s high-powered offense. Combined they racked up 292 all-purpose yards last week.

Coming into the season, Gordon was forecast to become a major underneath threat in the passing game and that’s just what happened in Week 1.

Gordon was L.A.’s most targeted receiver and had nine receptions for 102 yards, 38 more yards than his rushing total last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ekeler had five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. His 39 yards rushing gave him 126 total from scrimmage.

Ball security L.A. punt returner J.J. Jones had a rough outing last weekend. He had a pair of fumbles for the Chargers, with one proving costly. It was recovered by the Chiefs at the Chargers two-yard line and helped Kansas City put the game away. Jones recovered his other fumble. Whether he’ll be the punt returner going forward remains to be seen.

The Chargers also had four dropped passes in last week’s game, prompting Rivers to say he felt they could have amassed 600 yards of offense had those passes been brought in cleanly.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
“Obviously I’m super excited and thankful for the chance to be the starter of this team. This is something I’m dreamed about for a long time. Now that it’s here, come Sunday I’m just trying to do my job. I’m trusting those around me and trying to be the quarterback this team needs me to be.”
--QB Josh Allen

Stat of the week In each of his last two games against the Chargers, LeSean McCoy has had more than 125 total yards from scrimmage.

Milestones in reach Charles Clay needs one touchdown for 25 in his career.

Tremaine Edmunds, with a sack, can become the first rookie in team history to post a sack in each of his first two games.

LeSean McCoy needs eight points for 500 in his career. Among active position players McCoy trails only Antonio Gates (684), Larry Fitzgerald (664), Frank Gore (572), Marshawn Lynch (544), and Brandon Marshall (496).

Final note Charles Clay has a touchdown catch in two of his last three games against the Chargers.

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