In case you haven't heard, the Buffalo Bills are coming to town on Sunday to take on the San Diego Chargers in a matchup that you won't see on television unless you live far away from San Diego.
The Buffalo Bills are a team that was nearly built in one offseason. Sure, there were holes on their roster and not much in the way of depth, but players like Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson, Kyle Williams and Ryan Fitzpatrick went from being thought of as backup-caliber players to legitimate stars in the first few weeks of the season. Unfortunately, Williams, Jackson and a handful of other important Bills pieces are now on IR and the team is scuffling along with the guys that were once thought of as backups to backup-caliber players.
Fred Jackson, in particular, was an early MVP candidate with how well he was playing and how needed he was on this Bills team. With him in the game, the Bills rushing offense averaged 135 yards per game. Since his injury, Buffalo is averaging roughly has as many (74) yards on the ground. Losing Jackson has certainly hurt their offense, which was borderline dynamic, as well as their defense.
I've brought up a few times how similar the Bills and Chargers are this season. One way in which they're not similar is that the Buffalo defense, even without its star players, creates turnovers regularly. In fact, Buffalo has force at least 2 turnovers in 8 out of their 12 games this season. This was a bigger deal when the offense revolved around Fred Jackson, who is very good about not coughing the ball up. Lately, Ryan Fitzpatrick and C.J. Spiller have been working together to lose the turnover battle for Buffalo. The Bills haven't won the turnover battle in a game since October 16th.
The Chargers are a bit of an unknown at this point. Will their offense ride the momentum built in their win against the Jacksonville Jaguars? Were they just waiting to get healthy before exploding? Can they simply outscore everyone they play? I guess these questions exist, but so do questions about if that was just a case of the Chargers playing a really terrible Jacksonville team. The Bills are not quite as bad as the Jags, and are occasionally able to put up some points (24 against the Jets two weeks ago). It'll be one more test for the desperate Bolts team.