The Buffalo Bills left the San Diego Chargers in the dark Sunday, both figuratively and literally; as Ralph Wilson Stadium was without power for much of the game, and Buffalo found a way to win, 23-14.
The Bills defense regrouped after a poor showing in the Arizona desert two weeks ago, creating three Philip Rivers turnovers and holding LaDainian Tomlinson to 41 yards on 14 carries. Meanwhile, fans were reminded why everyone was concerned about QB Trent Edwards' ability to play Sunday. He was more than efficient, completing 25 of 30 passes for 261 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown lob to Lee Evans. Marshawn Lynch again did not surpass 100 yards, but his critics will have little to complain about, as he did scamper for a 9 yard touchdown to take the lead in the 3rd quarter, and the Bills didn't look back.
The Bills controlled the clock and the field position battle for most of the game, while fans at home wouldn't have known it; the power outage, reportedly caused by balloons being caught up in nearby power lines, prevented CBS from broadcasting much of the action. The power was restored in the second half, just in time for the fans to witness the Bills' usual magic in the final periods.
By not turning the ball over and punting only twice, the Bills forced San Diego to work on a long field all day. Both Charger touchdowns, passes from Rivers to Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson, respectively, came on long drives of 78 and 80 yards. While the Chargers were again driving to take the lead in the 4th Quarter, Rivers threw a ball into the end zone and the waiting arms of LB Kawika Mitchell. The interception set up a scoring drive for the Bills, and a 44-yard Rian Lindell field goal gave the Bills a nearly insurmountable 9-point lead, which would end up being the final difference.
CB Terrence McGee and DE Aaron Schobel were declared inactive before the game. FS Ko Simpson and CB Ashton Youboty did not see the field on defense due to mild pre-existing injuries, while Duke Preston started in place of banged-up C Melvin Fowler. RG Brad Butler was knocked out of the game momentarily, but returned later. LB John DiGiorgio will be out indefinitely with a knee injury sustained on special teams in the second quarter.