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One Stat Recap: Buffalo Bills’ defense steps up on crucial plays against the Los Angeles Chargers

The defense made key plays against one of the league’s top offenses

Los Angeles Chargers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

In 2019, the Buffalo Bills’ defense was one of the best in the league. However, in 2020, they have slipped to a middle-of-pack unit. The defense has regained some of their 2019 form in recent weeks, and Sunday’s performance against the Los Angeles Chargers may have been their best outing yet.

On Sunday, the Bills held the Chargers to 17 points, which is tied for the second-lowest total against the Bills this season (and is the lowest if you take out the two New York Jets games). They also held the Chargers, who were the third-best offense in the NFL in yards per game, to 367 yards—33 yards below their season average going into Sunday.

The defense’s biggest success came on some of the biggest downs of the game. They held the Chargers to an 18.80 percent conversion rate on third down—the Bills’ best and the Chargers’ worst performances this season. The Chargers did go 4-of-5 on fourth down, but that still only brought their total conversion rate to 33.33 percent—the second lowest rate the Bills have held an opponent to this season and the lowest conversion rate the Chargers have recorded this season.

In short, the Bills’ defenders stepped it up during the most crucial plays of the game.