Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Philip Rivers threw two touchdown
passes to Eddie Royal and the San Diego Chargers beat the Buffalo Bills 22-10
on Sunday despite being down two running backs.
The Chargers (2-1) were without starter Ryan Mathews due to a sprained knee
and backup Danny Woodhead was carted off the field just minutes into Sunday’s
game with an ankle injury.
Still, the Chargers moved the ball well behind Rivers, who was 18-of-25 for
256 yards. Donald Brown picked up the slack in the backfield, running for 62
yards, but needed 31 carries to get there. He had just 15 carries for seven
yards in the second half. Malcom Floyd had all of his game-high 98 receiving
yards in the first half.
EJ Manuel passed for 238 yards for Buffalo (2-1) but made several key mistakes
down the stretch. Running back Fred Jackson had 34 yards rushing and 78
receiving, including an 11-yard touchdown catch. Sammy Watkins caught just two
passes for 19 yards a week after grabbing 11 for 117 yards and his first NFL
The Bills committed 11 penalties for 110 yards.
“It’s a group effort. Just like the past two weeks when we won. It’s never
just going to be one person,” said Manuel. “We have to come back hungry and
get back into that groove. Winning is a happier mindset. We have to get back
into that mindset.”
The Chargers had a 13-3 lead at halftime. Rivers completed 13 of his 16 passes
for 183 yards, including a 49-yard pass to Floyd on the first drive that set
up a 3-yard touchdown throw to Royal.
Brown worked hard on a 17-play scoring drive that covered 89 yards in 17 plays
but ended with Nick Novak’s 19-yard field goal instead of a touchdown despite
a pass interference penalty that put the Chargers at the 1-yard line.
The Bills also settled for a field goal, a 45-yarder from Dan Carpenter at the
end of a 65-yard drive that covered most of its ground when Manuel slipped a
pair of tacklers for a 37-yard completion to tight end Scott Chandler.
Novak added a 37-yarder before the break and Royal caught his second touchdown
pass, from five yards, to cap an 80-yard drive that opened the second half and
make it 20-3.
The Bills cut the deficit to 10 points on Jackson’s slashing 11-yard touchdown
on a screen pass with 1:16 left in the third quarter.
Manuel was sacked for a loss of 17 yards on a third-down play near midfield
early in the fourth and threw the ball out of bounds from the end zone under
pressure later in the quarter, leading to a safety and a 22-10 San Diego lead.
“A great job by our defense there to stop them and get pressure on the
quarterback,” said Chargers coach Mike McCoy.
The Chargers held slight advantages in first downs (20-18) and yards (336-292)
but Buffalo was penalized 11 times for 101 yards … The Bills, who were
trying to start a season 3-0 for the first time in three years, go back on the
road to play Houston next week … The Chargers are home against Jacksonville