Report card: Bills lose 54-24 to the Chargers

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(Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen — USA Today photo)

CARSON, Calif. – Thanks to some early season victories, the Buffalo Bills are still “in the hunt” for their first postseason bid in 17 years, but the feeling around Western New York are much, much different.

The Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) kept their playoff hopes alive with a whopping 54-24 win over the Bills (5-5). Unfortunately for rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, the contest will be remembered for quite some time because of his five interceptions in the first half.

But the problems for the Bills went a lot deeper. With that, here are Week 11 grades for the Bills:

Quarterbacks: D-

Like last week’s report card, not a good start when the section header ends with the letter ‘S’, indicating that more than one QB played. Nathan Peterman went 6-for-14 for 66 passing yards. Five interceptions got Peterman pulled after the first half. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo’s former starter, came in and posted decent numbers, going 15-for-25 with 158 passing yards and a touchdown. Taylor also scrambled for one and extended plays with his legs. But there’s no way Taylor was raising this grade from the grave.

Running backs: B +

For everything the quarterbacking didn’t do, LeSean McCoy actually did do. Due to the storm that ensued shortly after the opening kick, McCoy wasn’t used much on the ground. Buffalo’s workhorse only had 13 carries for 114 yards, averaging 8.8 yards-per-carry. McCoy had two scores, including one in the passing game on a nice touch pass from Taylor. Without Mike Tolbert, Travaris Cadet only had three carries for 17 yards. Fullback Pat DiMarco also should not have dropped Peterman’s first interception.

Tight end/ wide receivers: B –

Can’t really blame these guys. When the opportunities were there, they made a couple of plays. On one of Peterman’s picks, the QB and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (3-36) were on the wrong page. Who knows which is at fault? Other than that, rookie Zay Jones (4-68) led the team in receiving. One knock? Charles Clay (3-27) had a couple of drops in the end zone late.

Offensive line: C –

If it’s not all on Peterman, the offensive line carries the rest of the blame. On the first three Peterman picks, the Bills offensive line allowed pressure in his face. Yes, even on the DiMarco interception. McCoy busted off chunks mainly on his own skill. Heck, even Tyrod was running for his life in the second half.

Defensive line: D

I mean, Phillip Rivers was sacked once by Shaq Lawson at least? Ever since Thursday Night Football against the Jets, the Bills have not stopped anyone on the ground, and for even longer, Buffalo hasn’t taken down opposing QBs. Looks like adding Deandre Coleman this week didn’t work. 4.2 yards-per-carry for LA isn’t great.

Linebackers: C-

Again, missed tackles. Ramon Humber got in on the fun again, as did many of his teammates, and there was no pass rush to speak of here either. However, a letter bump for tight ends and running backs being held in check, mostly, in the passing game. Still not a grade to be happy about.

Secondary: D

Tre’Davious White is likely out of rookie of the year consideration. Last week, Michael Thomas quietly had nine grabs for 117 yards. Quiet because the Saints’ offense exploded via the run game. This week the secondary looked awful. Jordan Poyer had a couple of pass breakups, but Keenan Allen led the Chargers with 12 grabs for 129 yards and two scores. Mike Williams had another five for 38 yards.

Special teams: B
Shout out to Steven Hauschka who set the NFL record for longest streak of field goals from 50-plus yards. Knocked one in from exactly 50 out to set that record at 13. Not ever great when Colton Schmidt knocks a 29-yard punt though.
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