Bills maintain sole possession of first place with win over Chargers
The Buffalo Bills scored a touchdown on the opening possession of each half and remained alone in first place atop the AFC East by holding off the Los Angeles Chargers in a 27-17 victory Sunday at Orchard Park, N.Y.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 157 yards and one touchdown and ran for another score as the Bills improved to 8-3 in the chase for their first division title since 1995.
Devin Singletary rushed for 82 yards for the Bills and Stefon Diggs caught seven passes for 39 yards.
Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was 31-of-52 passing for 316 yards and one touchdown, but Los Angeles (3-7) lost for the fourth time in its last five games.
Chargers running back Austin Ecker, who played for the first time since Week 4 because of a hamstring injury, had 11 catches for 85 yards and ran for a team-leading 44 yards.
The Bills took their opening drive 63 yards on four plays, helped by a pass-interference penalty by the Chargers. Allen threw a 2-yard TD pass to Dawson Knox for a 7-0 lead
The Chargers answered with a 5-yard Herbert TD pass to Keenan Allen, but kicker Michael Badgley missed the extra point.
Buffalo owned the second quarter, using a trick play to score a touchdown when wide receiver Cole Beasley took a backward pass in the backfield and threw 20 yards to Gabriel Davis in the end zone. The Bills added a 45-yard field goal from Tyler Bass to take a 17-6 lead into halftime.
The Bills opened the second half with a 12-play, 57-yard drive, ending it on a 3-yard TD run from Allen as Buffalo took a 24-6 lead. It was Allen’s team-leading sixth rushing touchdown.
As the Bills’ offense stalled, the Chargers worked their way back into the game. Joshua Kelley scored on a 1-yard TD run with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter. Allen caught a 2-point conversion pass from Herbert as the Chargers pulled within 24-14.
But Los Angles turned the ball over on downs at the Bills 25-yard line to open the fourth quarter. The Chargers got the ball back after Singletary fumbled but could only manage a 27-yard field goal from Badgley to cut the deficit to 24-17 with 10:16 to play.
The Bills turned the ball over three times in the second half, including an Allen interception with 6:13 to play, but Herbert gave the ball right back on a Tre’Davious White interception with 5:17 remaining. The Chargers scored just three points off the three Bills’ second-half turnovers.
Bass put the Bills up 27-17 on a 43-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining. The game ended with the Chargers at the Bills’ 3-yard line.
–Field Level Media