Quarterback Josh Allen has been one of the most-dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL this year with the help of first-year Bills wideout, Stefon Diggs. At 7-3, they’ll be one of the Chargers’ toughest tests yet.
Like every, go ahead and learn yourself something about this week’s opponent!
1.) I think it’s safe to say that Josh Allen has exceeded many people’s expectations for him, at least this early in his career. How has Allen been able to become such a dominant quarterback in his first three seasons?
Development and hunger to keep it short and sweet. Allen had the desire to want to improve to be one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He has put in a lot of time with Jordan Palmer in the off season to improve his craft and it is showing on the field. Allen has gone from a run first quarterback to a guy that progresses through all of his reads before taking off and running. His accuracy has taken a huge jump in that 10-15 yard range down the field. Although he still struggles on those deep passes that travel over 15+ yards in the field, he is hitting his receivers in stride more to ensure the possibility of yards after the catch. Allen is also showing in crunch time that he can lead his team down the field when it counts and we cannot wait to see him develop even further.
2.) The trade for Stefon Diggs this offseason looks to have paid off big time. What has he brought to the offense that has allowed that unit to become one of the top-scoring groups in the NFL?
He has brought that number one receiver that the team has been missing in years past. Buffalo needed a guy that you can trust to get open in a blink of an eye but can also make those tough contested catches. Diggs has shown to be that guy as he is currently leading the league in receiving yards. Buffalo is also moving him around in the formation as well, whether it be lining up outside or in the slot to create favorable matchups. Something that also goes unnoticed is that Diggs is also bringing an intensity in practice that the team has not had in years past.
3.) The Bills allow almost the same amount of points on defense as they score on offense (26.5 to 27.2) but they also rank 6th in the NFL with 16 total takeaways. Has this unit’s ability to take the ball away paid big dividends in keeping this team in the win column despite having a lower-ranked defense?
After a slow start, the defense is starting to turn into the defense that we saw at times last season. Especially in their last two games the defense has forced six turnovers. Against Seattle, those turnovers were huge as they enabled the offense to build a lead and stay in control of the game. It was also similar in the Arizona game where an unfortunate hail mary ruined a pretty good showing against a high powered Cardinals offense. The defense has been starting off hot in the first half letting the offense take an early lead but we have seen them falter in the second half, especially in the third quarter to let teams back into the game.
4.) If you were the offensive and defensive coordinator for the Chargers, how would you go about attacking both sides of the ball against the Bills?
On offense you have to see if you can get the running game going against the Bills defense. I know the Chargers have been struggling with the running game since Austin Ekeler has been out but you have to see if you can get it going, especially when Buffalo has been having struggles stopping the run this year. If you can get that going then it will open up the passing and play action game for Herbert to hit Keenan Allen and Mike Williams down the field.
On defense you have to try to make Josh Allen uncomfortable. Make him think pre-snap by having a lot of guys crowd the line of scrimmage to get him guessing on who is coming and who is dropping back into coverage. When Allen gets uncomfortable is where you see him make some bad decisions. Also, when he runs go for the football. He has had some fumbling issues his whole career when running so you may be able to force a huge turnover for your team. For the secondary, assume that the first read is going to be to Diggs but do not lose track of Cole Beasley who is quietly having a career year during his second season in Buffalo.
5.) Go ahead and give us a short summary of how you think the game will play out and top it off with a final score prediction.
This is a tough game to predict because despite their record, the Chargers are a very good football team who are a couple plays away from having a much better record. A potential X-factor in the game will be returner Andre Roberts. The Chargers have been having some special teams issues the past couple weeks and Roberts has been close on a number of occasions bringing back a return for a touchdown. This may be the game where he finally breaks through. The potential for a shootout is there and I am expecting it to be one until late in the fourth quarter until Buffalo eventually pulls away with a ten point victory.