It's official, for the 12th straight year the Bills will not be in the playoffs. The 37-10 loss to San Diego officially eliminated the Bills from the AFC playoff picture and gave the Bills their 6th straight loss as the season continues to crumble down around them. Phillip Rivers threw three touchdown passes while Ryan Fitzpatrick had a terrible game throwing two interceptions, one was returned for a touchdown. The Bills lone touchdown was scored when Bryan Scott fell on a Rivers fumble in the end zone to pull the Bills within six early in the third quarter. It was just a momentary reprieve from the rout as the Chargers controlled the game throughout.
The Turning Point:
The fake punt. The Bills had finally taken the momentum after the defensive score. They forced a punt on a 4th and 2 from their own 30. The Chargers faked it and converted for a first down. They then marched down for a touchdown and re-took control of the game.
The Big Drive:
The Chargers went 78 yards in 11 plays to a touchdown that gave them a 23-10 lead. The drive was kept alive by the fake punt. Three pass plays went for 46 yards after the fake. The drive ended on a 2 yard third down pass to Gates.
Stat I Did Like:
When the clock hit 0:00. I was put out of my misery. There was nothing to like in another in a long line of brutal defeats.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Let's go for something easy. The amount of points given up: 37.
- After being non-committal this week, Chan Gailey started Leodis McKelvin for the injured Aaron Williams instead of rookie 7th round pick Justin Rogers.
- The Bills defense never seems ready at the beginning of games. The Chargers won the toss and elected to receive because they probably figured they would get the quick lead and of course they did. They went 80 yards in 12 plays and took more than seven minutes off the clock.
- Injuries have taken a toll on the return teams. With Brad Smith, C.J. Spiller, and Leodis McKelvin moved into the starting lineup, Justin Rogers was returning kicks.
- Chan Gailey gave up on the run when the Bills were trailing by 10 last week so it was no surprise that they gave up on it early in this game. It's a shame though, since they should have been able to have success on the ground against the Chargers defense.
- Tough non call. Fitzpatrick threw a bomb to Derek Hagan who could have had a long score. Pass was underthrown and he had to wait for it and it was knocked away incomplete. It certainly looked like pass interference but after a long discussion the flag that was immediately thrown was picked up with no explanation.
Same old. Same old. If you look back on the season as a whole it is shocking that this is the same team as earlier in the year. How could they have been so good in the first seven games and so bad since? I know injuries are a factor, and this team had very little depth to begin with, but does that make you feel better? Fans know that even if they start developing depth many of them would likely leave for greener pastures because the Bills won't pay them. Why does anyone want to play for a team that just doesn't have a chance to win consistently? I know this is brutally pessimistic but after a dozen years of total ineptness from the entire organization how can I be upbeat?
The Bills head back to Orchard Park to battle the Dolphins. The heated rivalry is long gone as this is a battle of the bottom teams in the AFC East. The one intriguing factor is that they may be facing J.P. Losman after Matt Moore got hurt in their loss to Philadelphia.