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Chargers keep hope alive against Buffalo

Buffalo Bills v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

After breaking out to a 16-0 lead in the first half of their game with the Bills, the Chargers found themselves pushed back on their heels by 10 straight Buffalo points in the third quarter.

Facing a fourth-and-two from their own 30, the Chargers lined up to punt the ball, and whatever momentum they had left in the game, away. Except they didn’t punt. Eric Weddle took the snap, converted the first down and the Chargers went on to score a touchdown. The game turned into a rout from there — the Chargers wound up winning 37-10 — and we’re left with only one question.

What got into Norv Turner?

The same coach who played not to lose in overtime of a loss to Denver two weeks ago was doing whatever he could to win a game in the third quarter this week. The new look paid off for him and for the Chargers, who won their second straight to improve to 6-7 and keep flickering hopes of stealing the division alive.

Turner’s new gambling philosophy wasn’t the only difference with the Chargers from two weeks ago. Philip Rivers is also back to playing like Philip Rivers. After throwing 17 interceptions in the first 10 games of the season, Rivers has thrown none in the last three weeks and San Diego has won two of those games to keep their season meaningful. He threw three touchdowns on Sunday and carved up the Bills defense all day en route to the win.

San Diego’s schedule isn’t easy — vs. Baltimore, at Detroit, at Oakland — but they have a chance to factor into the divisional reckoning in the final three weeks of the season. That’s pretty good for a team that looked dead and buried after their sixth straight loss two weeks ago.

Speaking of dead and buried, the Bills certainly qualify. Ryan Fitzpatrick was abysmal Sunday — 13-of-34, 176 yards, two interceptions — and the fire has completely gone out of the team after their hot start to the season. Injuries to stars like Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams make that understandable, but the Bills have gone from being a good team to being barely competitive. That’s a steep drop in such a short amount of time. If it continues, Chan Gailey will probably be faced with some questions he didn’t think he’d have to answer back in October.

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20 Responses to “Chargers keep hope alive against Buffalo”
  1. trbowman says: Dec 11, 2011 7:38 PM

    Fitz sucks. Might as well take my jersey outside and burn it.

    Spiller is terrible too. Busted one big run to boost his YPC average, but terrible otherwise.

    Things were falling apart long before Jackson and Williams got hurt.

    Defense is a joke. Can’t wait for JP Losman to come back to Buffalo and toss three TDs. Oh, and Reggie Bush will light ‘em up too.

    Same ole Bills.

  2. zonedogz says: Dec 11, 2011 7:43 PM

    Colts could beat Bills. Too bad they’re not on their schedule.

  3. jcdavey2011 says: Dec 11, 2011 8:21 PM

    it’s not a new look for norv, he’s always trying trick punts , and trick plays

    (the win vs orton and denver in sd last season…was started by a fake punt)

    it’s just norv usually doesn’t go balls out till there’s a sense of urgency

    that’s how this team has played for far too long, coasting till they need to put a late season streak together

    they can’t do it consistently early in the season, or in the playoffs….sadly that’s their downfall…lack of consistency , haven’t had it in the entire superbowl era……

  4. jcdavey2011 says: Dec 11, 2011 8:23 PM

    oh and i forgot….with the 6th qin this season, norv just equalled marty’s win loss record if he finishes 6-10

    same number of marty wins so far, in the same number of years

    that’s pretty weird!

  5. tfbuckfutter says: Dec 11, 2011 9:02 PM

    Tell me I’m not the only one who won’t be surprised when the Chargers overtake the (typically) fading Raiders and Broncos (when the magic wears off).

  6. wwwmattcom says: Dec 11, 2011 9:03 PM

    Time to shave that damn beard.

  7. mrgroovesd says: Dec 11, 2011 9:19 PM

    It maybe a feel good but those 6 weeks of losing still sticks pretty hard and I’m still with the Fire Norv, Fire AJ car. Where was all this after the first loss of those 6 weeks, better yet where was this the first week? I still think change is needed. Norv and AJ has made this team regress and they need to go. That’s my angry fan even though the team won rant.

  8. jjbadd says: Dec 11, 2011 9:27 PM

    Although Im a Broncos fan, thats irrelevant, when I say the Broncos have some magic going on. I’m only slightly religious, but there’s something divine happening, and that’s no joke. What they pulled off today was near impossible!

  9. hodog16 says: Dec 11, 2011 10:25 PM

    Might be too little too late. SD has a tough schedule, and beyond playing the Patriots next week, Denver plays a couple of gimmies (Buffalo, KC).

    I haven’t looked at tie-breakers, but unless Buffalo or KC can best Tebow then I believe Norval and AJ will be on the first flight out of town hopefully.

  10. rabidbillsfan says: Dec 11, 2011 10:46 PM

    @trbowman

    Then you aren’t even a fan in general if thats the way you feel. Fitz had a bad day, but wasn’t helped by poor protection, and more drops by his wideouts, I’ll take him over Gabbert, T-Jax, Ponder, McCoy, and even Alex Smith. Spiller is in no way a bust. The game was out of hand so early that he couldn’t even get enough carries to get into a rythem. Personally, the only guys I like from this years draft class this year are Dareus, Williams, and Rodgers is good too. Shep just gets pushed around way to much, we need help at all the LB spots next year. If the Bills let Stevie walk, like media pundits think they will, it will be a big mistake. George Edwards should be fired tomorrow, not at the end of the season, he doesn’t deserve that long.

  11. rexachss says: Dec 11, 2011 11:39 PM

    I’m a life long Bills fan and hate to throw salt but I agree with the post about Rodgers & Sheppard. I thought I was delusional watching Sheppard get gutted today. I have asked multiple times for the.Bills.to trade the draft for Manning or Luck but can’t.seem to get that kind of momentum going!!!!

  12. failcopter says: Dec 11, 2011 11:57 PM

    Although Im a Broncos fan, thats irrelevant, when I say the Broncos have some magic going on. I’m only slightly religious, but there’s something divine happening, and that’s no joke. What they pulled off today was near impossible!

    ——————————————————

    1. Tebow does not condone magic aka witchcraft.

    2. No, you had a butterfingers named Marion Barber hand it to you.

  13. jonbeezy says: Dec 12, 2011 12:05 AM

    You guys are crazy we are back……………………… for six days until we gotta play Ravens Sunday

  14. trbowman says: Dec 12, 2011 12:10 AM

    I like Fitz, I posted that comment after the game before I really gathered my thoughts.

    “Spiller is in no way a bust.’

    Hahaha!

    He’s terrible.

  15. catquick says: Dec 12, 2011 12:44 AM

    In the Bilz defense, they lost the no.1 RB in the NFL, their starting slot reciever, kicker, LT, Center, NT, both ILB’s, Both corners, and a safety for a couple games. second teamers went down in a heap also, and they lost their no.2 WR(Easley) before the season even started. They also lost Aaron Williams and Eddins. Thats a lot for a young team to overcome. Healthy changes everything.

  16. johnschatzan says: Dec 12, 2011 1:08 AM

    I am a bills fan. And spiller the player isn’t a bust. The coaches don’t know how to use him and it’s was basically a wasted pick given we had lynch and Fred Jackson on the roster. Also Kyle Williams and Fred Jackson were just the cherrys on top. Gailey smoke and mirrors were figured out and the offense was exposed after the second half of the eagles bills game. From then on they were figured out. Fitz got big money cause he fits gaileys scheme. So when the scheme fails he doesn’t have the arm to overcome. We need to clean house even more so than the chargers.

  17. gmen1987 says: Dec 12, 2011 9:07 AM

    Wow, Bills fans sure a delusional and in denial.

  18. gmen1987 says: Dec 12, 2011 9:11 AM

    Buffalo Bills fans rather have a good tailgate party than a good team.

  19. rabidbillsfan says: Dec 12, 2011 1:11 PM

    Everybody is so quick to jump on the Bills for taking Spiller, but they don’t go back to that point in time and think “Who else should have been taken”. Anybody in the World can look back today and say, well the Bills should of taken “so-and-so”, look how good he is! The reason for the pick was because the Bills lacked Explosiveness. Lynch was a grinder, at the time, Jackson was really only a glorified 3rd down back, and our best offensive weapon was Lee Evans, who avaregaed about 40 grabs a season. Poor defensive play kills the running game, and thats waht happened yesterday. The D dug a hole sooo deep for the offense that Fitz had no choice but to throw every down. Spiller ended up with 12 carries, 8 in the first half, thats no way to get a guy going.

  20. detroitlionsnfl says: May 18, 2012 8:12 PM

    The Chargers have a lot of work to do this season.

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