The Buffalo Bills beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-17 on Sunday in a victory that felt odd throughout the whole game. It never felt like the Bills were doing enough to pull away, even as they built an 18-point lead in the second half. At the same time, it never felt like a game the Bills would lose.
Buffalo was able to hold the Chargers’ third-ranked offense in check while doing something they hadn’t done all year: run the football effectively. Our players to watch performed pretty well on Sunday.
QB Josh Allen
It certainly wasn’t his best effort of the season, as Allen posted his third sub-200 yard passing game of the season. He completed 75 percent of his passes, however, throwing a touchdown to Dawson Knox to begin the scoring and adding nine rushes for 32 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Allen could be credited with an assist in hockey for Cole Beasley’s touchdown pass, as he hit Beasley in stride to give the wideout enough space to find Gabriel Davis for a touchdown pass of his own. However, Allen also threw an ugly interception in the fourth quarter to go with a few other questionable passes that hit Los Angeles defenders square in the hands. Allen hurt his right knee when he twisted awkwardly underneath Joey Bosa, causing him to miss one play before returning.
RB Devin Singletary
This was Singletary’s best effort of the season, as the Motor finally ran smoothly. With tight end Lee Smith active, it seemed to help the run game gain traction all afternoon. Singletary played 25 snaps, carrying the ball 11 times for 82 yards and making three catches for 20 more yards. He fumbled in the fourth quarter, continuing a troubling trend of iffy ball security. He was outsnapped by rookie Zack Moss, who ran nine times for 59 yards and caught two passes for nine yards. Singletary is a dynamic playmaker when he can find space, and the Bills finally gave him some room to move on Sunday.
C Mitch Morse
Buffalo’s highest paid offensive lineman rejoined the starting lineup, and while that wouldn’t normally be a headline, it is now given his seemingly healthy scratch two weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals. Morse did miss a block on a quarterback run that was eerily reminiscent of the one where Allen was blown up in the Wild Card game against the Houston Texans last season but, overall, he did a nice job pulling to clear space in the running game. Morse took the blame for two brutal plays, as well—Matt Barkley’s one play where he was crushed by an unblocked Joey Bosa and the fumbled snap that Josh Allen tried to pick up and run with rather than just falling on it. Those are mistakes that you don’t want to see out of any center, but out of your $44 million center, it raises some concerns. The line is clearly better with Morse a part of it right now, but there is room for the 28-year old to improve.
DE Mario Addison
The veteran logged another solid game, causing issues even when it wasn’t him making the tackle. Number 97 is constantly in the backfield or drawing attention to free up linemates like Jerry Hughes, who had half a sack and two quarterback hits on Sunday, and Ed Oliver, who notched a sack and a forced fumble. Addison batted a ball at the line of scrimmage for his only statistical entry this week, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t play well.
S Micah Hyde
Hyde broke up one pass and made four tackles, but he did a great job alternating between playing the deep-third of the field and sitting in the intermediate middle against a Chargers offense full of intermediate stud targets. Tight end Hunter Henry and wide receiver Keenan Allen are a difficult mark for anyone, but Hyde did a nice job helping to bracket those players, along with fellow safety Jordan Poyer (ten tackles), middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (11 tackles and a pass breakup), and slot corner Taron Johnson (six tackles, two QB hits, two pass breakups). All of those players performing at a high level have allowed defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier to use veteran A.J. Klein in the Lorenzo Alexander role, and the former Carolina Panthers player is flourishing. He had a monster game on Sunday, notching 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup, and two quarterback hits. Players like Hyde, who can come in the box and play a deep centerfield on any given play, make the rest of a defense work so much more efficiently. He was great again on Sunday.