Pre-Game Notes

Sunday in Buffalo is the first of two road games for the Chargers, as they'll be in Kansas City the following week. With the Raiders at the "Q" last weekend it may be three weeks in a row that they see themselves on the road.

The last three Chargers-Bills games have been decided by a field goal or less and each of the three has gone down to the wire - one OT and two decided on missed field goals in the closing moments.

John Butler returns to Buffalo for the first time since he departed the organization. Steve Christie also returns for the first time since his release.

Curtis Conway will start on Sunday. Conway has been recovering from various shoulder ailments and the hope is it will respond to the first contact he will absorb in almost three weeks.

Kevin Gilbride returns to San Diego as the offensive coordinator of Buffalo. He coached the Bolts for 22 games going 6-16 during that span. "There was so much there that I loved, but we just couldn't get it done fast enough for the power-that-be."

Should the Chargers win Sunday, it will mark their ninth victory on the season. That would be the most by a Chargers team since 1995, when it went 9-7 and made its last playoff appearance.

Right tackle Vaughn Parker, who played at UCLA and under Mike Riley with the Chargers, is hoping current Saints assistant gets the Bruins' job. "He would be a perfect fit," Parker said. "And UCLA would be lucky to get him."

Quarterback Doug Flutie will not be tried at wide receiver. Chargers Coach Marty Schottenheimer suggested to the media on Monday that he was drawing up some plays for Flutie at wide out. Later in the week he refuted those statements. Flutie has not taken any snaps in that role during any practice this year.

Quarterback Drew Brees said he won't wear gloves this Sunday in windy Buffalo. He tried on a pair of Flutie's, but said it didn't feel comfortable.

Just seven Chargers remain from their last playoff team of '95: Punter Darren Bennett, Safety Rodney Harrison, Running Back Terrell Fletcher, Long Snapper David Binn, Linebacker Junior Seau, Right Tackle Vaughn Parker and Defensive End Raylee Johnson.

The Chargers are dead even in the takeaway/giveaway ratio. The Chargers have totaled 14 interceptions in their first 13 games in 2002, after totaling just 19 interceptions in 16 games in '01.

The Bills have not forced a turnover in eight of 13 contests in '02.

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