Good news for Bolts: Bills not road warriors


Oct 14, 2005

November 16, 2005

Chargers' next opponent Buffalo Bills (4-5)

1:15 p.m. Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium

On paper, anyway, the Bills are in better shape for the playoffs than the Chargers, if only because they trail the Patriots by just one game in the AFC East. But, in reality, it's difficult to see the Bills making a run at the postseason considering they still have the Chargers, Carolina, Denver and Cincinnati remaining on their schedule. Not to mention the fact Buffalo is 0-4 on the road.

Offensively, Buffalo could start either journeyman Kelly Holcomb or second-year player JP Losman at quarterback. Holcomb was knocked out of last week's game against Kansas City, but Losman came off the bench to throw two TD passes. However, the Bills had only nine first downs and 209 total yards.

Three players to watch

Terrence McGee – Like McGahee, McGee is a product of the Bills' 2003 draft, but he's positioned better to take advantage of a Chargers weakness. McGee leads the league with a kickoff return average of 31.1 yards. Also a starting cornerback, he has three interceptions, all in the last five games.

Aaron Schobel – A college teammate of Tomlinson's, Buffalo's right defensive end likely will pose a challenge for either Roman Oben or Leander Jordan. Schobel leads the Bills and ranks third in the AFC with seven sacks, including five in the last three games.

Willis McGahee – The Chargers' league-leading run defense has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season; in fact, no back has gained more than 72 yards since the season opener. But in 19 career starts, Buffalo's McGahee has reached the 100-yard mark 11 times (the Bills are 9-2 in those games). He ranks fourth in the NFL with 856 yards, 21 more than LaDainian Tomlinson.

Familiar face

Reserve offensive lineman Duke Preston is the son of Ray Preston, a Chargers linebacker from 1976-84. Preston, who played at Mt. Carmel High, was Buffalo's fourth-round draft pick this season.

Injury report

In addition to Kelly Holcomb, the Bills also are concerned about free safety Troy Vincent, who injured his left shoulder Sunday. MRI results are expected today. Defensive tackle Sam Adams (knee) is expected to return. Cornerback and return specialist Terrence McGee aggravated a sore hamstring against the Chiefs but no doubt will feel better when he checks out film of the Chargers' kickoff coverage unit.

Last meeting

In Marty Schottenheimer's first season here, the Chargers dropped a 20-13 decision on Dec. 15, 2002, at Buffalo, part of San Diego's four-game season-ending losing streak. Travis Henry scored the winning touchdown with 52 seconds left. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 110 yards but needed 28 carries.

Series history

The teams played three close games from 2000-02, two in Buffalo (2000, '02) and one at Qualcomm, and the home team won each time. The Chargers lead the overall series 19-11-2, including a 12-6-1 advantage in San Diego.

Did you know?

On the day after Christmas in 1964, Buffalo won its first AFL championship with a 20-7 victory over the visiting Chargers. Exactly one year later, the Bills beat the Chargers again for the AFL title, this time 23-0 at Balboa Stadium.

Did you hear?

"Obviously any injury to the head, neck or back you've got to be very cautious with, and that's what we're going to do with Kelly (Holcomb). He took a real good shot. We'll have to wait and see how he progresses each day."

– Bills coach Mike Mularkey

Key stat

Bills opponents have rushed for 13 touchdowns, an average of 5.0 yards per carry and 150.7 yards per game. The first two numbers are the highest in the league; the latter number is the second-highest.



Aug 17, 2005
I am unable to remember the last time we won on the road. Possibly at Seattle last season?

We played a good game in Foxboro, it's just that a game lasts 60 minutes and not 58. We had our chances and let games get away from us. Oh well.

I hope Sunday's game will be entertaining and injury free for both of us.