The San Diego Chargers playoff hopes are still alive as quarterback Phillip Rivers played up to expectations helping his team overcome a 6-game losing streak. The (5-7) Bolts host the (5-7) Buffalo Bills in a week 14 clash. The Bills come in on a 5-game losing streak after starting the season 4-1 like the Chargers. Here are my keys to the game in order for San Diego to get a W.
Protect Philip Rivers
Was last week the initial sign of Rivers beginning to turn his season around? I believe so. Despite a depleted offensive line, Rivers had a plethora of time to stand in the pocket and make his progressions in the win over Jacksonville. The Buffalo Bills pass defense is 19th in the NFL compared to Jacksonville’s 4th rated unit. Therefore, Rivers should continue to succeed against a much softer pass defense. The Bills have only had 2 sacks in their last five games which leads me to believe San Diego will be able to give Rivers the time he needs to dissect the Bills mediocre secondary.
Double Stevie Johnson
Stevie Johnson is one of the leagues most talented wide receivers. However, Johnson is the epitome of a loose cannon. The Bills lack talent at the wide receiver position opposite Johnson therefore it’s vital for San Diego to cover Johnson tightly. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be flustered if Johnson is covered well leading to him turning the ball over. Expect wilily old veteran Quentin Jammer to mark Johnson and receive safety help out over the top. If Johnson eclipses 100 yards and one touchdown, San Diego may lose this game.
Build on Momentum
The Chargers are finally back on the right track as the Bills continue to slide down the standings of the AFC east. San Diego is renowned for their excellent play in the month of December and hope to continue the trend. The Bolts must be focused on the task at hand yet continue to build on what they were able to accomplish against Jacksonville.
Prediction: Chargers over Bills 31-17