Heading into the season there was a lot of excitement surrounding these two teams. The Chargers were finally seen as a true Super Bowl contender following their near-cinderella run to the playoffs last season. And although the Bills aren’t seen as the most fearsome of playoff contenders, they’re bringing rookie QB, Josh Allen, who they hope will become their next franchise quarterback. Something Bills fans haven’t experienced in a while. However, following week one losses, both these teams will be entering the game with something to prove. So, here’s what you should really be watching during this matchup.
1. Chargers Special Teams
It’s hard to believe that what kept the Chargers out of the playoffs last season, was simply not being able to find someone who can successfully kick the ball into the posts a few times a game. And through week one of this season, special teams play once again plagued them. Just two minutes into the game, the Chargers allowed Tyreek Hill to run back a 91-yard punt return, for a touchdown. Then, late in the fourth quarter (when the Chargers finally gained some momentum), JJ Jones muffed a punt return giving Kansas City the ball on the Chargers two-yard line. And last but not least, when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Caleb Sturgis misses a 48-yard field goal, which would have made it a one-possession game. Mistake after mistake after mistake. At the end of the day, if the Chargers special teams can simply not give the game away, Los Angeles has a good chance of winning.
2. Mike Williams
Another thing the Chargers failed to properly execute on Sunday, was catching the ball. A combination of Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin cost the Chargers at least three touchdowns due to dropped passes. However, the receivers that were able to catch the ball were Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams. Williams, who saw limited reps in Sunday’s action, ended with five receptions for 81 yards on just six targets. An efficient stat line, Williams workload can be expected to pick up in week two as Travis Benjamin is expected to miss Sunday’s action with an apparent foot injury. I expect a 100+ yard game from Williams, including his first career touchdown.
Note to all fantasy owners: Start Mike Williams.
3. Josh Allen
Taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Bills selected Allen with the intentions of him starting out as a backup and eventually morphing into their franchise quarterback. However, following a disastrous season opener by Nathan Peterman, Allen will be thrown into the line of duty much earlier than expected. Known for his size and a strong arm, Allen (much like Mahomes) is a big-play quarterback. However, with that big-play boldness comes the potential for A LOT of turnovers. And facing an elite Chargers secondary, Allen’s first start has the potential to end disastrously, or he makes two or three big throws that shape the outcome of the game.
– Travis Baker is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @SportsFollower0