The Buffalo Bills return to NFL action this week, after having two weeks to sit and grow off of the infamous “Hail Murray” against the Cardinals. They will play against a rebuilding Los Angeles Chargers squad, that they have struggled against in recent memory. The Chargers look a bit different this year, but have the talent to knock off some of the best teams in the NFL, losing most of their games by a touchdown or less.
Both teams come into the week with something to prove. Let’s take a look at three keys to victory for both teams:
Los Angeles Chargers
1. Air it out, rook
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season. Very few expected him to be as “pro ready” as he is.
His spectacular arm strength and accuracy have helped make him a top-10 passer in yardage with an incredible 22 to 6 touchdown to interception-ratio, and get big leads on some of the best teams across the NFL. In fact, if it weren’t for a lackluster defense, the Chargers would be in the playoff picture.
Herbert will need to be the player that he’s been all year, and toss it efficiently and effectively against this Bills defense. He has the supporting cast on offense to make things happen. Playmakers Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and maybe even a returning Austin Ekeler makes this offense formidable against a team like the Bills.
2. Welcome back, Ekeler
Speaking of him, Ekeler is scheduled to return to action this week against the Bills. After the Chargers phased out Melvin Gordon, Ekeler was paid to be the guy/ With significant performances last year with Gordon’s holdout, Ekeler has the talent. Just hasn’t had the time to shine due to an injury.
Ekeler is hungry. No significant athlete who has missed time, comes back unmotivated. The Bills run defense is poor, something we say every single week. Until proven otherwise, it’s bad. Run with Ekeler. Pass it to Ekeler. Then mix it up with Josh Kelley.
That all depends if the Chargers do activate Ekeler, though. He said this week he’s good to go, but a lot of players do such a thing and then need more time to prep. Ekeler is on the Chargers’ designated to return area of their injured reserve list, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be back immediately.
As any smart football fan knows, the better the run game, the better the passing game. Attack the middle with Ekeler, Kelley and Hunter Henry. Then, take some off the top with Keenan Allen.
3. Bring the Blitz
The Bills offensive line woes continue as Cody Ford is out for the season with a torn meniscus. Mitch Morse is slated to start again after some issues, but this offensive lines quality is in a bit of limbo.
It’s been a little while since Josh Allen has been flustered, and the Chargers have a really good pass rush, led by Joey Bosa. He is one of the highest regarded defensive ends, and defensive players across the NFL. Bosa a disruptor, and the Bills offensive line is ripe for disrupting. If I were the Chargers, send the front seven, within reason, and shut down this backfield.
Allen has been known to lose big yardage when the defensive rush comes fast. This is especially helpful, with John Brown slated to be out, and the offense tends to fall flat in his absence. Bring the heat, and help the secondary.