Chargers
Bills
14 - 23 Final
  for this game

Mitchell, Edwards provide the electricty as Bills top Chargers

Oct 19, 2008 - 10:04 PM ORCHARD PARK, New York (Ticker) -- Not even a power outage could stop the Buffalo Bills.

Trent Edwards returned from a concussion and led a stellar offensive effort as the Bills defeated the San Diego Chargers, 23-14, in a bizarre AFC contest on Sunday.

The game was delayed for 15 minutes after three helium balloons got entangled across the street from Ralph Wilson Stadium, causing a power outage. The power was off and on for much of the game, but none of it phased the Bills as they improved to 5-1 and remained in the driver's seat in the AFC East.

"It lived up to its billing, I'll say that," Bills coach Dick Jauron said. "It really was a hard-played game; both sides ran hard, made plays ... (I'm) clearly happy with the performance of our squad."

Edwards, who was knocked out early in the Bills' 41-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago, made a triumphant return against the Chargers (3-4). He completed 25-of-30 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown.

"We could have gone out there and laid an egg but we didn't," Edwards said. "We stepped up, we made plays when we needed to. We're not up here talking about how the electricity lost us a football game."

With such a crucial victory, the Bills are lucky this wasn't a night game. The stadium's recurring power problems forced everyone to improvise. Plays often had to be signaled from the sidelines in the old-fashioned way, time was kept by the officials on the field for a portion of the game and the second half began without any power at all - good thing it was a clear, sunny afternoon.

"I would say it (was) hectic on the sideline, very hectic," Jauron said. "I certainly wouldn't say panicky, but a lot of noise, a lot of people around trying to find out with the official how much time was left, the game clock, the back judge is flashing to the quarterbacks his hands."

As the Bills looked to establish themselves as a premier contender and the Chargers hoped to recover from their sluggish early season start, Sunday's showdown was a back-and-forth affair that featured five lead changes. Unfortunately for the Chargers, it also featured three pivotal possession changes - all in one direction.

With San Diego driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Bills linebacker Kawika Mitchell got a jump on an errant Philip Rivers pass, intercepting it at the goal line and returning it 32 yards to put an end to the threat.

"(Brandon Manumaleuna), the tight end, ran a crossing route and I knew to look for (Antonio Gates), the No. 1 receiver," Mitchell said. "It was a play we worked on. They didn't run it all game and we finally got it and I was the guy that was supposed to make the play on it, so I did."

"I just didn't see (Mitchell)," Rivers said. "If we ran the play 10 more times, I'd throw 10 more interceptions. He was the backside linebacker and usually you don't have to worry about him but he flew over there and made the play."

Rian Lindell drilled a 44-yard field goal minutes later to make it a two-possession game at 23-14.

It took the Bills just 11 more seconds to effectively put away the game for good. Once again, it was Mitchell - whom the Bills signed as a low-key free agent this offseason - who provided the big play. The sixth-year linebacker exploded off the line on an outside blitz and sacked Rivers, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Buffalo defensive end Copeland Bryan.

"They made a good call on the sack/forced fumble," Mitchell said. "Chris Kelsay made the guard chase him, the back left, and I was wide open so I just did what I supposed to do."

The Bills ran out the last three minutes of the game to put the victory on ice.

Rivers, who entered the game as the league's top-rated passer with a 109.4 quarterback rating, completed 22-of-29 passes for 208 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, but turned the ball over three times as well. His late fourth-quarter fumble was his second of the game.

The 26-year-old veteran twice brought the Chargers from behind. He found Malcom Floyd for a 14-yard touchdown to make it 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, then erased a 13-7 deficit with a 12-yard scoring strike to Vincent Jackson in the third.

But after Marshawn Lynch's 9-yard touchdown scamper put the Bills up, 20-14, with 33 seconds left in the quarter, Rivers couldn't bring his club back a third time. The Chargers, coming off one of their most decisive performances of the year in last week's 30-10 triumph over the New England Patriots, put up just 263 yards of total offense against the stout Buffalo defense.

"When you come down to it, we scored 14 points, and with our offense we expect to do a lot better than that," Rivers said. "This is a good team we played, we knew it, nobody snuck up on us. The power change, the slow start, none of that was a factor today. We can't use that as an excuse."

LaDainian Tomlinson continued to struggle, rushing for just 41 yards on 14 carries.

Lynch, who is still looking for his first 100-yard game of the season, finished with 70 yards on 19 carries, while Lee Evans hauled in eight passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. His 2-yard score late in the second quarter - which he cradled against his shoulder-pad with one hand - gave the Bills a 10-7 lead.

"It was a little unorthodox, that's not really how you draw it up but it was just a matter of making a play," Evans said of the TD catch. "I was only able to get one hand on it but Trent put it in a good spot, so I just tried to make the best play I could on it."






  • 25
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    Chargers 14, Bills 23  FinalOct 19 5:16 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 0 7 0 14
    BUFFALO 3 10 7 3 23 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUF - FG, RIAN LINDELL 38 YD, 8:14. Drive: 9
    plays, 52 yards in 5:44. Key plays:
    Edwards 20-yard pass to Evans to
    midfield; Edwards 14-yard pass to
    Evans to San Diego 25. BUFFALO 3-0
    SDG - TD

    Oct 19 3:57 PM


  • NFL
    FG BUF
    RIAN LINDELL 44 YD
    SAN DIEGO 14
    BUFFALO 23 3:17 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers 14, Bills 23  4th - 3:17Oct 19 3:43 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 16 roots

    Chargers 14, Bills 23  4th - 3:17Oct 19 3:43 PM
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Chargers 14, Bills 20  4th - 9:15Oct 19 3:34 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 16 roots (Close Finish)

    Chargers 14, Bills 20  4th - 7:28Oct 19 3:34 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 0 7 14
    BUFFALO 3 10 7 20 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUF - FG, RIAN LINDELL 38 YD, 8:14. Drive: 9
    plays, 52 yards in 5:44. Key plays:
    Edwards 20-yard pass to Evans to
    midfield; Edwards 14-yard pass to
    Evans to San Diego 25. BUFFALO 3-0
    S

    Oct 19 3:13 PM


  • NFL
    TD BUF
    MARSHAWN LYNCH 9 YD RUN
    (RIAN LINDELL KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 14
    BUFFALO 20 0:33 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers 14, Bills 20  3rd - 0:33Oct 19 3:07 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    VINCENT JACKSON 10 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 14
    BUFFALO 13 6:28 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers 14, Bills 13  3rd - 6:28Oct 19 2:56 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 0 7
    BUFFALO 3 10 13 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUF - FG, RIAN LINDELL 38 YD, 8:14. Drive: 9
    plays, 52 yards in 5:44. Key plays:
    Edwards 20-yard pass to Evans to
    midfield; Edwards 14-yard pass to
    Evans to San Diego 25. BUFFALO 3-0
    SDG -

    Oct 19 2:28 PM


  • NFL
    FG BUF
    RIAN LINDELL 27 YD
    SAN DIEGO 7
    BUFFALO 13 0:16 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 7, Bills 13  2nd - 0:16Oct 19 2:25 PM


  • NFL
    TD BUF
    LEE EVANS 2 YD PASS FROM TRENT EDWARDS
    (RIAN LINDELL KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    BUFFALO 10 5:20 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 7, Bills 10  2nd - 5:20Oct 19 2:05 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 7
    BUFFALO 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUF - FG, RIAN LINDELL 38 YD, 8:14. Drive: 9
    plays, 52 yards in 5:44. Key plays:
    Edwards 20-yard pass to Evans to
    midfield; Edwards 14-yard pass to
    Evans to San Diego 25. BUFFALO 3-0
    S

    Oct 19 1:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    MALCOM FLOYD 14 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    BUFFALO 3 0:21 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers 7, Bills 3  1st - 0:21Oct 19 1:44 PM


  • NFL
    FG BUF
    RIAN LINDELL 38 YD
    SAN DIEGO 0
    BUFFALO 3 6:46 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers 0, Bills 3  1st - 6:46Oct 19 1:35 PM
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