It looks like the Buffalo Bills may have gotten rid of the wrong quarterback. The trade of A.J. McCarron set up a battle between Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen, and they both looked horrible, as did the entire team for that matter, in last week’s thumping by the Ravens. Most experts predicted the Bills would take a tumble after ending a 17-year playoff drought last season, but I doubt many of them expected them to fall this far. They have a chance in Week 2 to redeem themselves, but they have to get past a Los Angeles Chargers team that could be one of the best in the AFC and is hungry after losing its opener.
Watch this Week 2 regular season matchup live on Sunday, September 16, 2018, at 1 p.m. ET at New Era Field.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Los Angeles Chargers -7.5
Buffalo Bills +7.5
The Chargers are getting plenty of early action on the opening line that saw had them as 7.5-point favorites. And it’s hard not to go with the visitors after watching Buffalo crumble in last week’s game. The Bills struggled to generate any offense last week and failed to score a touchdown, so the total came in relatively low at 44.
Joey Bosa – Not that the Chargers would have beaten Kansas City in their opener with Bosa in the lineup, but they couldn’t have done any worse. Bosa missed time during the preseason with a foot injury and it carried over into the opener. Bosa had 12 sacks last season to rank seventh in the NFL and the Bolts could have used him to get after the elusive Patrick Mahomes on Sunday. They managed only one sack in the loss to the Chiefs.
Joe Barksdale – The Bolts also saw their starting right tackle get carted off the field after sustaining a knee injury. One of two returning starters up front, Barksdale was part of a line that allowed just 18 sacks last season. He was replaced by second-year player Sam Tevi.
Matchup to Watch
It was just another sign that the preseason means nothing after Peterman’s awful performance in Buffalo’s opener. The second-year player had nice numbers in the tune-up games and was given the keys to the car. He’s probably wishing he wasn’t after Sunday’s disaster. Peterman was 5 of 18 for 24 yards with two interceptions in the first half, compiling a quarterback rating of 0.0.
There is a controversy brewing, but the issues go way beyond just quarterback play. Allen took over in the second half and at least had a rating, though it wasn’t good. Sean McDermott said he will evaluate everything before making a decision on the starter. That will includes Peterman’s performance last year against the Chargers when he tossed five interceptions in the first half of his maiden NFL start. The Bills were drubbed 54-24 in LA.
While the Bills sift through their quarterback situation, the spot is set on the Bolts and has been for over a decade. Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to Kansas City. It was the most yards for Rivers in a season-opening game, but he would trade that for a victory. His only interception took place deep in Chiefs territory and was turned into seven points, giving KC a 31-12 lead late in the third quarter.
“It’s one of those games that you’re sick that you let it get away,” Rivers said afterwards. “It does nothing but make me excited.” And he should be excited after watching the Ravens take it to the Bills last week. Rivers gutted Buffalo in last year’s 54-24 win, throwing for 251 yards and two touchdowns on 20 of 32 passing.
Free ATS Pick
Buffalo looked like the worst team in the league after last week’s disaster and that could give folks a false sense of their true value. They can’t be as bad as they played in the 47-3 loss to Baltimore, can they? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no, but they have a stiff opponent coming to town on Sunday.
Until the quarterback situation gets worked out, the Bills will continue to struggle. Allen is the guy they want to take over down the road, but he’s not ready. And the Bills don’t want to put him in a losing situation and further delay his development. They are pros and the Bills will play much better, but the Bolts can’t afford a repeat of last season and this is a very winnable game. Look for the Chargers to cover the spread, but there is hope in Buffalo.
NFL Betting Odds: Chargers 27, Bills 17
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