The Los Angeles Chargers defense forced three fourth-quarter takeaways but their offense could only convert them into three points in a 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday in Orchard Park, New York.
The only points the Chargers scored off the turnovers came on Michael Badgley’s 27-yard field goal with 10 minutes, 16 second to play that cut the deficit to 24-17. The field goal came seven plays after linebacker Nick Vigil forced running back Devin Singletary to fumble. Safety Nasir Adderley recovered for the Chargers at the Bills’ 47-yard line and returned the ball 1 yard.
The next turnover came two plays into Buffalo’s ensuing drive when quarterback Josh Allen’s fumbled snap was recovered by Joey Bosa on the Chargers’ 22-yard line. The Chargers couldn’t capitalize, punting the ball after three plays.
Allen’s long pass under duress on the fourth play of the Bills’ next drive was intercepted by Michael Davis on the Chargers’ 44-yard line. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert had a pass intercepted by Tre’Davious White three plays later at Buffalo’s 35-yard line.
Tyler Bass kicked a 43-yard field goal six plays after White’s interception to increase the Bills’ lead to 27-17 with 3:26 left.
The Chargers got off to bad starts on both offense and defense.
Herbert threw three consecutive incomplete passes on the game’s first possession, forcing a punt. The Chargers’ defense allowed a touchdown on Buffalo’s first possession on Allen’s 2-yard pass to tight end Dawson Knox, two plays after a 47-yard pass interference penalty against Rayshawn Jenkins gave the Bills a first down on the Chargers’ 5-yard line.
The Chargers responded with their best drive of the game, driving 79 yards on 13 plays, culminated with Herbert’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen for their only points on their six first-half possessions.
Badgley missed the extra point kick wide left, his third miss of a conversion this season in 29 attempts. He missed one conversion in 47 attempts in his first two seasons with the Chargers.
Buffalo built a 24-6 lead on a 20-yard pass from Cole Beasley to fellow receiver Gabriel Davis and Bass’ 45-yard field goal in the second quarter and Josh Allen’s 3-yard run on a 12-play, 57-yard drive to open the second half.
Chargers rookie Joshua Kelley ran 1 yard for a touchdown on the next possession, four plays after he ran for 33 yards, the longest run of his 11-game NFL career. Herbert passed to Allen for a two-point conversion that pulled the Chargers to within 10, 24-14.
Herbert completed 31 of 52 passes for 316 yards and one touchdown with one interception, adding to his statistical milestones in his eighth loss in 10 starts for the Chargers, who share the NFL’s fourth-worst record, 3-8, with the Dallas Cowboys.
Herbert tied the NFL record for most 300-yard performances by a rookie quarterback (six); joined Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs as the only players in NFL history to throw for more than 3,000 yards through their first 10 career starts; and set the record for most touchdown passes by a rookie in November with 11.
Herbert’s 55-yard pass to Tyron Johnson on a fourth-and-27 play with 1:00 left was his seventh completion of at least 50 yards, the most in a season by a rookie quarterback going back at least to 1991.
Josh Allen completed 18 of 24 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown with one interception for the AFC East-leading Bills (8-3).
The Chargers outgained Buffalo, 367-332, and led 24-23 in first downs and 30:04-29:56 in time of possession.
Bosa made a career-high three sacks, giving him 47.5 in his 60-game career, moving him past Pro Football Hall of Famer Junior Seau into fifth place on the Chargers’ career list.
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