The Bills bye week seemed to come at the perfect time, with the players and coaches getting some needed rest before this post-Thanksgiving push to the playoffs. With the Los Angeles Chargers coming to town on Sunday, the Bills are getting ready to face off against an offense led by rookie Justin Herbert and a defense led by two premier pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Jerry Hughes explained what stood out to him the most about this Chargers offense on film, and how the Bills defense can try to make Herbert uncomfortable throughout the game.
"Offensive line play, even though one of their top running backs, [Austin] Ekeler, went down," Hughes explained. "They're still getting it done in the run game, their running backs are still finding holes and getting positive yards. A rookie quarterback throwing for over 300 yards a game, how comfortable he is in the pocket and he's getting the ball out to his key targets Keenan Allen and [Hunter Henry]. It's really unprecedented to see a young quarterback who played in a spread offense come out there and command an NFL offense so well. So, I think that's one of the things that really stands out is how comfortable he is, like I said he's throwing for about 300 yards a game. You can tell he feels comfortable in that scheme, without having an offseason and things like that. So, we understand that we got to get after them up front, make him a lot more uncomfortable as well with their offensive line playing some good ball."
As the Bills defense is coming up with a plan for Herbert, the Chargers defensive side of the ball is also doing the same for Josh Allen. With talented players on every level of their defense, Allen knows that the Bills offense will have to be ready for whatever the Chargers throw at them. Allen talked about what stands out to him the most about the Chargers defense.
"They got Bosa and they've got Ingram to name two guys that just are relentless in getting after the quarterback," Allen said. "They do a really, really good job of that so, we have prepared upfront to handle whatever they throw at us. They get to the quarterback very quickly so whether it be throwing some quick stuff early and trying to wear them out and I think that's what everybody tries to do when they're playing them. It doesn't really seem to matter with them, their high-energy effort guys and their defense as a whole is very sound. They know what they're doing, and they're coached by a really great coach in Anthony Lynn."
The Bills and Chargers are coming into this game ranked top five in average passing yards per game. With both teams having exceptional receiving corps led by Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen, who each has over 800 receiving yards, the defenses will have to be on their game if they plan to slow them down. Diggs also touched on what he has seen from the Chargers on film and is excited for the challenge they present.
"They're impressive in the backend, they got two guys on the end that can rush the passer extremely well," Diggs stated. "As a receiver that something that you jot down just because you'll know what kind of day you'll have as far as getting to your depth and getting to where you need to be on time and helping out your quarterback. So great pass rush, and good guys on the back end. This will be another challenge for us offensively and something that I always say I look forward to. I like challenges, and I've been preparing all week and I'll continue to prepare."
The Bills look to get their eighth win on Sunday, and so far in his tenure as Bills head coach Sean McDermott is 3-0 after the team's bye week. He is just one of four active head coaches to be undefeated following a bye in their career. With today being Thanksgiving, McDermott explained what he is thankful for this holiday season.
"Health number one, I know not everybody can say that so health," McDermott said. "Thankful for a job, I know there are many people out there that have lost jobs over the course of the pandemic here and thankful for my family and my Bills family also. So, as they say, my cup overfloweth, I got everything a man could ask for and extremely grateful and blessed."
This is the second time Josh Allen will face off against the Chargers, the first time being his first career NFL start back in 2018. He said he was thankful to be the quarterback of the Bills, and thankful for the community as they raised almost $690,000 for Oishei Children's Hospital in honor of his late grandmother Patricia Allen.
"Family, health, friends," Allen added. "And I'm thankful for the community of Buffalo obviously with what has all happened the last couple weeks in terms of donations to Oishei. It's been unbelievable and I'm extremely humbled and thankful for a lot of different things in my life. It's always good to reflect and look back and be thankful for so much."