Chargers vs. Bills: Who has the edge?

CHARGERS (3-6) vs. BILLS (5-4)

When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. PT
Where: StubHub Center
Line: Chargers by 5.5 points
TV/Radio: Ch. 13, Ch. 11 (joined in progress); 640-AM, 980-AM (Spanish)


Philip Rivers cleared the concussion protocol and will make his 195th consecutive start this Sunday — but his presence hasn’t exactly jolted the Chargers offense through nine games. Will that change in the team’s first home appearance in nearly a month? The Bills rank second in the league with 18 takeaways, but they have forced just one turnover in their last two games — games they lost by 50 combined points. The Chargers have only coughed the ball up 10 times this season. While they might not move the ball downfield consistently, Buffalo’s flagging run defense (492 yards allowed in two games) could allow tailback Melvin Gordon to hit an early rhythm. EDGE: EVEN


Nathan Peterman might be this year’s Dak Prescott. He could more likely be this year’s Kevin Hogan. Day 3-drafted quarterbacks rarely make a significant impact as rookies — which makes Buffalo’s decision to bench third-year starter Tyrod Taylor this week even more puzzling. Drafted at No. 171 overall this past spring, Peterman is largely an unknown quantity as a pro, completing 54.4 percent of his passes in the preseason before performing well in garbage time of a blowout loss to the Saints last weekend. It’s hard to imagine him faring well against a pass-rushing duo like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, not to mention a solid secondary. The Chargers have also improved on the ground as of late, which will be crucial against a dynamic runner like LeSean McCoy. EDGE: CHARGERS


The Chargers’ special teams units are a mess. Kicker Nick Novak has held his own since re-signing in early October, but the team rarely trusts him with any long field goal attempts. Drew Kaser ranks fourth in the NFL with 49.4 yards per punt — but his net average of 41.5 yards is middling. Kick and punt returners are inconsistent at best. Last Sunday, the Chargers even got caught by a fake punt, giving up a 56-yard touchdown. Buffalo’s Steven Hauschka is the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history (87.4 percent), and has yet to miss from 50 yards and out this season. EDGE: BILLS


Before the Chargers hired him, Anthony Lynn spent two seasons in Buffalo, rising from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to interim head coach. The Bills turned over their…

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