There was a reason the Chargers made defensive end Joey Bosa the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. Sunday was proof. He is a game-changer.
The Buffalo Bills lead by quarterback Josh Allen marched straight up the field and scored a touchdown on their opening possession, then the Chargers defense started making plays.
They knew coming in that the Bills offense ran designed plays for Allen. There were five minutes left in the first quarter, Allen started running to his left when number 97 through and was able to stop him for a four-yard loss.
Next Bills drive, Bosa goes up against left tackle Dion Dawkins and with help by right guard Jon Feliciano, but he was able to get the sack on Allen. That was his first full sack since week five against the New Orleans Saints.
"It was fun," said Bosa said about his performance.
Right before halftime, Allen did an RPO but decided to keep it and was met by Bosa right away. He was twisted down by the defensive lineman and seemed to hurt his ankle. He had to come off for a play. Matt Barkley, the former USC Trojan, took his place.
Barkley snapped the ball and was met right away by Bosa, who got his second sack of the game.
"Obviously, I got a free sack on that one, which I don't get too often, but I'll take that," said Bosa.
In the second half, the Bills and Chargers exchanged touchdowns. Next Bills drive, Allen dropped back moved to his left when Bosa came right around and got his hat trick. Three sacks on the day. That sack moved him ahead of the late great Junior Seau for fifth in team history.
"He is a legend. He's probably one of the three greatest Chargers of all time, if not the best. He was also a linebacker, so pretty impressive," said Bosa.
Later in the game, he recovered a fumble as well.
He ended up with eight tackles, six tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, three sacks, and one fumble recovery. He was happy with his performance but mad with the loss.
"It sucks," explained Bosa. "I really wanted to pull that one out. It's hard to feel excited after such a tough game like that."
The defense was able to get three turnovers.
"I thought our defense stepped up big a few times," Bosa said. "We really felt like the game was going to shift after a few of those turnovers, and it was just tough."
So now that the Chargers sit at 3-8, what now?
"We just have to make sure we don't get down we pull together, and we finish this year strong because we have five games and they could belong if guys start shutting down," Bosa said.
Now the Chargers coaches are taking heat because of yet another loss on the season. Bosa was asked about his confidence level in the coaching staff.
"All those calls are above me," explained Bosa. "I have confidence in my coaches."
Bosa has said he has started to become more vocal. Defensive tackle Jerry Tillery had two personal foul penalties. Bosa said he spoke to him to try to calm him down.
It is not pretty right now, but Bosa believes that he has to have a positive attitude to lead his teammates into the last five games of the season.
"It starts with me having a good attitude because right now I could say this all I want when I wake up tomorrow, I'm going to feel like sh**, I'm going to have to come into work, and I'm not going to feel like doing that. I have to get my head together and get ready," Bosa said.
Nuts N’ Bolts
· RT Bryan Bulaga did not play in the game on Sunday. Anthony Lynn said that he had an “upset stomach” and that he doesn’t believe it is COVID related.
· LB Denzel Perryman went out with a back injury and never returned.