With the 2018 NFL season in the books, we look back at the season and our beloved Buffalo Bills. Every week is a story, and we bring this to you through the lens of key plays that defined the game. Your Week 2 match-up:
Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Chargers
The home opener was looking extra special with Josh Allen making his first starting appearance for the Buffalo Bills. A butt kicking the week before at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens wasn’t terribly comforting, but hey, it was just one game, right?
Coming to town were the Los Angeles Chargers. The last time the two teams had met, the Bills started a rookie quarterback. Turnovers and an early run on points by the Chargers sunk the team then, but surely this time would be different. It’s not like the Bills were starting a rookie quarterback against them for the second straight year or anything.
Corey Bojorquez punt (Q1, 11:03)
The Buffalo Bills had forced an early three-and-out from the Chargers, but unfortunately returned the favor. Backed up in their own end, the not-too-shabby punt from Corey Bojorquez traveled 44 yards. A ten-yard return and a ten-yard penalty set up the Chargers with less than half a field to go. They took advantage with their first touchdown of the game.
Chargers convert third-and-long (Q1, 5:07)
Aside from that first three-and-out and a drive killed by the end of the half, the Chargers scored a touchdown on each of their first half possessions. Even when the Bills had a stop, they didn’t have a stop. A third-and-12 conversion and down by one score would usually be a great chance to get back into the game. This happened instead. Even though there was 20 minutes left in the half at this point, the Bills would only force one more third down before the break. The Chargers converted that one with a touchdown. Down 28-6 at the break, another rout was underway.
Phillip Rivers short pass (Q3, 11:06)
This play doesn’t look significant at first. During halftime, Sean McDermott took over calling the defensive plays from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The Chargers went three-and-out this series, as well as their next two. In the entire second half L.A. only managed three points. Against the Frazier play-calls the Chargers had moved the ball 279 yards. Against McDermott, a scant 61. As a result of the coaching decision the Bills exited the week with questions surrounding the relationships in the building. In addition to getting stomped on two weeks in a row.
Josh Allen’s second interception (Q4, 7:11)
Just like the year before, rookie turnovers were a large part of the narrative against the Chargers. Unlike the year before, the turnovers occurred in the second half of the game when the score was pretty well out of hand. This underthrow by Josh Allen isn’t an inspiring pass, but far less foreboding than it could be. The Allen-led offense moved the ball a bit in the first half but sputtered when it came time to earn points. The second half of the game put more points on the board, but turnovers from the rookie quarterback killed any hopes of a comeback.
Josh Allen touchdown pass (Q4, 0:42)
With a hopeless situation to close a game in the second straight week, Sean McDermott allowed an aggressive finish to give the new franchise guy a chance to gain some experience. The result was Josh Allen’s first touchdown throw of his young NFL career. Fans that stuck with it to the end got a small silver lining. This laser to the back of the end zone was a glimpse at the potential Allen has to offer.
A send off for the ages (Q2, 2:00)
It might not seem like much, but this is the final snap of beloved Bills legend Vontae Davis. After this snap he walked into the sunset among throngs of cheering fans in what became the second-most dramatic retirement of the season. Playing for a full half of football (29 snaps) in a Bills uniform, he amassed 1 solo tackle and 0 assists. While that doesn’t quite get him to the top ten, fans will always fondly remember the time he tackled Melvin Gordon. And who could forget the time he tackled Melvin Gordon.
Which play best defines the Bills home opener vs. The Chargers?
This poll is closed
Corey Bojorquez punt and special teams gaffes
Chargers convert third and long
Sean McDermott takes the reigns on defense
Josh Allen’s second interception of the day
Josh Allen first touchdown pass
Vontae Davis retires