1:00 p.m. ET
79 degrees / Clear
Key Coaching Decision #1: (LAC ball, leading 21-3 / first-and-10 BUF 37 / 6:38 Q2)
• Philip Rivers completes a pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams who then fumbles the ball but recovers his own fumble. The Bills challenge the call, but the ruling on the field is upheld.
• We don’t have the viewpoint that Bills head coach Sean McDermott has from the field, but challenging who recovered the fumble does not seem to be a prudent use of a challenge. It would take a lot to determine that someone other than the person the referees deemed as the possessor of the football actually recovered the football. The camera angles used don’t make this a wise challenge. The only way this might be a wise challenge is if the ball itself had a camera on it and it could demonstrate who had possession of it.
• This game was never in doubt. It had all the appearances of a rout from the beginning of the game. And it was just that. The score was 28-6 at halftime.
• This was Bills QB Josh Allen’s first NFL start. This is the second time in back-to-back seasons where the Chargers faced a Bills quarterback making his NFL starting debut (Nathan Peterman last year).
• The Chargers running backs (Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon) carry a big load. They were targeted 10 times on passes and combined for 20 carries. That is 30 targets or touches in 55 snaps.
• The Chargers offense used a lot of pre-snap motion, sweeps and the like to confuse the Bills linebackers and secondary. They also made a number of plays down the middle of the field. Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt did an excellent job with the variety of formations, and personnel groups.
• The Bills defense tightened up in the second half, but it was a case of “too little, too late.”
• In the second half, head coach Sean McDermott called the defensive plays. The Bills gave up three touchdowns on three red-zone attempts in the first half and made the change. (Before McDermott took over the play calling on defense, Bills opponents had scored nine red-zone touchdowns in nine trips). It will be interesting to see if McDermott calls the defense going forward.
• The Bills were a playoff team at 9-7 a season ago and re-energized a fan base. This season, they almost certainly won’t make the playoffs. Right now, they aren’t competitive. One of their players (Vontae’ Davis) retired at halftime. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was traded after the season. They seem to have all their eggs in the Josh Allen basket.
• The Chargers coasted in the second half. They probably would not be able to do this against a team with better talent.
• For the second straight week, the Bills dressed only four cornerbacks. There are some roster issues there as Week 1 starting wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was cut during the week as well.
• Derwin James is a future star in the league. They line him up all over the field and he makes plays all over the field. He led the Chargers in tackles, had a sack, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit and a pass defended.