Bills drop home opener to Chargers, 31-20

September 16, 2018

It was not the home opener that many had hoped for, especially for rookie quarterback Josh Allen.

The Buffalo Bills fell to 0-2 on the season after their 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at New Era Field on Sunday. The Bills defense was shredded once again as Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers went 23-of-27 passing (15-of-16 in the first half) for 256 yards and three touchdowns to spoil Allen's first career start. Allen finished the contest throwing 18-of-33 for 245 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Perhaps the most bizarre headline of this game surrounded cornerback Vontae Davis, who pulled himself out of the game after the first half and reportedly retired. 

McDermott on Vontae Davis: "He pulled himself out of the game. He told us he was done."

— WGR 550 (@WGR550) September 16, 2018

Following the game, Davis released a statement via Instagram confirming his retirement from football.

Official statement from CB @vontaedavis.

— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2018

Along with the top-notch performance from Rivers, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had a day on offense. The 25-year-old contributed with three touchdowns of his own on Sunday, scoring once on the run and twice in the passing game. He ended up with 28 yards on the ground on nine carries, while adding another 38 yards in the air on six receptions.

The Chargers put up most of their scoring in the first half, putting up 28 points on the Bills by halftime. Los Angeles' other touchdown came on the team's second drive of the game as Rivers found second-year wide receiver Mike Williams for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Allen and the Bills offense struggled out of the gate, but managed to put up six points in the first half with a pair of Stephen Hauschka field goals.

The Bills finally scored their first touchdown of the season on the first drive of the second half. Chris Ivory capped off the seven-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 15.

Overall, the team woke up a bit in the second half as Buffalo managed to out-score the Chargers 14-3, but the last-ditch efforts were not enough on the day.

Allen capped off the day with one more scoring drive, resulting in his first career touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin to make the score 31-20.

Up next for the Bills is a matchup with the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with John Murphy, Mark Kelso and Sal Capaccio on the call along the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.


First Quarter: 

  • 7-0 CHARGERS - Chargers touchdown - Philip Rivers 10-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams, extra-point attempt was good
    • Drive info: 3 plays, 38 yards, 1:27
  • 14-0 CHARGERS - Chargers touchdown - Melvin Gordon 20-yard touchdown run, extra-point attempt was good
    • Drive info: 6 plays, 61 yards, 3:24

Second Quarter: 

  • 14-3 CHARGERS - Bills field goal - Stephen Hauschka 43-yard field goal 
    • Drive info: 12 plays, 51 yards, 5:40
  • 21-3 CHARGERS - Chargers touchdown - Philip Rivers 9-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon, extra-point attempt was good
    • Drive info: 5 plays, 75 yards, 2:55
  • 28-3 CHARGERS - Chargers touchdown - Philip Rivers 2-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon, extra-point attempt was good
    • Drive info: 12 plays, 81 yards in 6:46
  • 28-6 CHARGERS - Bills field goal - 40-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka 
    • Drive info: 6 plays, 52 yards in 1:08

Third Quarter: 

  • 28-13 CHARGERS - Bills touchdown - Chris Ivory 1-yard touchdown run, extra-point attempt was good 
    • Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yards in 3:54
  • 28-13 CHARGERS - Bills interception - Josh Allen is picked off by Chargers safety Adrian Phillips at the Los Angeles 25-yard line.

Fourth Quarter: 

  • 28-13 CHARGERS - Bills interception - Josh Allen is picked off by Chargers linebacker Kyzir White and the Buffalo 25-yard line, returned to the 19-yard line
  • 31-13 CHARGERS - Chargers field goal - 24-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 11 yards in 3:10 
  • 31-20 CHARGERS - Bills touchdown - Josh Allen 3-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin, extra-point attempt was good
    • Drive info: 12 plays, 75 yards in 3:12



Buffalo Bills:

Josh Allen: 18-of-33, 245 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Los Angeles Chargers: 

Philip Rivers: 23-of-27, 256 yards, 3 TD



Buffalo Bills:

LeSean McCoy: 9 carries, 39 yards  

Josh Allen: 3 carries, 28 yards 

Marcus Murphy: 3 carries, 6 yards 

Chris Ivory: 2 carries, 7 yards, 1 TD

Los Angeles Chargers: 

Austin Ekeler: 11 carries, 77 yards 

Melvin Gordon: 9 carries, 28 yards, 1 TD 

Philip Rivers: 3 carries, 5 yards 

Detrez Newsome: 1 carry, 0 yards

J.J. Jones: 1 carry, 0 yards



Buffalo Bills:

LeSean McCoy: 4 receptions, 29 yards

Zay Jones: 2 receptions, 63 yards 

Charles Clay: 2 receptions, 29 yards 

Kelvin Benjamin: 2 receptions, 19 yards, 1 TD 

Jason Croom: 2 receptions, 7 yards

Chris Ivory: 1 reception, 30 yards 

Pat DiMarco: 1 reception, 24 yards 

Andre Holmes: 1 reception, 19 yards 

Robert Foster: 1 reception, 11 yards

Marcus Murphy: 1 reception, 7 yards 

Logan Thomas: 1 reception, 7 yards 

Los Angeles Chargers: 

Keenan Allen: 6 receptions, 67 yards

Melvin Gordon: 6 receptions, 38 yards, 2 TD 

Virgil Green: 3 receptions, 55 yards 

Tyrell Williams: 3 receptions, 48 yards 

Austin Ekeler: 3 receptions, 21 yards 

Mike Williams: 2 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD 



Buffalo Bills:

Tremaine Edmunds: 7 tackles 

Jordan Poyer: 7 tackles, 1 forced fumble 

Lorenzo Alexander: 7 tackles, 1 sack 

Jerry Hughes: 6 tackles, 1 sack 

Matt Milano: 5 tackles 

Los Angeles Chargers:

Derwin James: 8 tackles, 1 sack 

Kyzir White: 4 tackles, 1 INT 

Melvin Ingram, 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks 

Adrian Phillips: 2 tackles, 1 INT 

Jatavis Brown: 2 tackles, 1 sack 


Total Yards:

Bills: 293
Chargers: 349

Passing Yards:

Bills: 209
Chargers: 240

Rushing Yards:

Bills: 84
Chargers: 109

First Downs:

Bills: 17
Chargers: 21


Bills: 6 for 31 yards
Chargers: 6 for 45 yards

Time of Possession:

Bills: 26:08
Chargers: 33:02