The Buffalo Bills are riding a hot streak at the right time.
After impressive wins in Kansas City and then against Dallas, they found themselves in a dogfight on Saturday night against a rather lowly Los Angeles Chargers team.
L.A. had some motivation with it being their first game since firing Brandon Staley following their 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, and they were mere minutes from what many believed would’ve been an improbable victory.
But Josh Allen is still Josh Allen, and the Bills came away with a 24-22 victory.
The Chargers struck first, beginning the scoring with a field goal, but they made it a 10-0 game after quarterback Easton Stick, who is starting in place of the injured Justin Herbert, rushed for a touchdown. The Bills answered back with vengeance, as Allen found Gabe Davis for a 57-yard touchdown, and then Allen himself ran in for a score with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. This gave Buffalo a 14-10 lead at the half.
The Chargers kicked a field goal to make it a one-point game midway through the third, but the Bills responded with Allen’s second rushing touchdown of the night to push their lead to 21-13.
Los Angeles settled for two more field goals to trail by two with 7:19 to go in the game. After the Bills’ James Cook fumbled and the Chargers recovered, they were right back in field goal range. Four plays later, kicker Cameron Dicker knocked another one, this one from 53 yards out, to give the Chargers a 22-21 lead with 5:26 to go.
The 5-plus minutes proved fruitful for Allen, who put Buffalo inside game-winning field goal range quickly, and in chip-shot range inside the two-minute warning. As the Chargers had no more timeouts, the Bills wasted tons of clock, and Tyler Bass drilled a 29-yard field goal with 28 seconds left.
Facing against all the odds, Stick and the Chargers had one more chance.
Stick was sacked on first down, his second down pass was deflected, and laterals on a final play didn’t work out, giving Buffalo their fourth win in five games.
Allen completed 15 of his 21 passes for 237 yards, with 130 of those going to Davis. Stick completed a pass to nine different targets and finished 22-for-32.
The Bills moved to 9-6 on the season, thus putting themselves in a playoff spot — currently, the sixth seed. Meanwhile, the Chargers are officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Buffalo now looks likely to make the playoffs, but they first have to host the New England Patriots on New Year’s Eve and then head to Miami in Week 18.
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