ReFo: Chargers @ Bills, Week 3
The Buffalo Bills had been one of the season’s surprise packages but their hopes and dreams took a hit as they hosted the San Diego Chargers. Despite a lengthy cross country journey it was the Chargers who were sharper, building on their win over the Seattle Seahawks to send out another message that they are a team to watch.
While the most notable difference in the two teams was the play of both quarterbacks, they weren’t the only performances to stick out. Let’s take a look at a few now.
Chargers – Performances of Note
Philip Rivers, QB, +3.9
Breakdown: Rivers threw three passes away, so was accurate on 18 of his 22 ‘aimed’ attempts. He was a master at delivering the ball underneath before pressure arrived, hitting his check down targets in an instant.
Signature Stat: Completed every one of his 13 pass attempts under 10 yards in the air and all but one of those that traveled under 20 yards in the air.
Rich Ohrnberger, C, -4.6
Breakdown: This was perhaps inevitable given the defensive front Buffalo can deploy, and Ohrnberger’s performance wasn’t an outlier on the San Diego O-line, rather an unlucky case study in the broader picture. The Chargers struggled to contain the Bills up front, especially when it came to run blocking.
Signature Stat: Every one of the starting five linemen surrendered at least a hurry, but none conceded a sack, leading us to…
Brandon Flowers, CB, +4.5
Breakdown: Brandon Flowers was an excellent corner a couple of years ago. Between scheme, injury, and just poor form, he hasn’t shown that for a while, but this was him at his best, playing tight to the Bills receivers all game and coming up big when tested.
Signature Stat: Thrown at eight times, Flowers allowed just four catches for 29 yards while breaking one up.
Bills – Performances of Note
Sammy Watkins, WR, -4.0
Breakdown: It isn’t easy to get this poor a grade without dropping a hatful of passes, but Watkins managed to display some incredibly poor play. On more than one occasion he was late looking for the ball on crossing patterns that could have become big plays. About the best thing he did all day was turn defensive back and prevent a pick.
Signature Stat: Was thrown at eight times but came up with just two receptions for 19 yards, the longest of which came deep in the final forlorn drive.
EJ Manuel, QB, -4.4
Breakdown: As we just mentioned at times he wasn’t helped out by his receivers but this was the Manuel Bills fans have been hoping improves for some time now. Skittish in the pocket, inclined to spook and make ugly decisions too soon and flat out inaccurate on passes.
Signature Play: Q4, 3:28. Trailing ten but with the ball late in Q4 Manual felt pressure near the goal line only to step back and then throw the ball away for an intentional grounding penalty and a safety, effectively ending any real chance at a win.
Kyle Williams, DT, +7.8
Breakdown: Before Marcel Dareus arrived Kyle Williams was a regular at this kind of performance. Here he broke out one of his better games, powering through or swimming around the Chargers offensive line like they weren’t there all game long. Was unlucky not to be rewarded with a sack.
Signature Play: Q4, 3:19. On 1st and 5 Kyle Williams knifed inside LG Chad Rinehart for a tackle for loss on the play.
PFF Game Ball
There were several worthy candidates on the San Diego side with Rivers, Flowers and Weddle all having a legitimate case but none quite enough to take this award from Kyle Williams in a losing effort.