The Buffalo Bills are fresh off their Week 11 bye and looking to erase the sour taste they were forced to enter the break with after falling to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 thanks to a Hail Mary touchdown catch by DeAndre Hopkins. Not only are they looking to get back in the win column, but they're looking to further maintain their lead in the AFC East and put themselves in the position to win the division for the first time since 1995. They'll look to accomplish all of that when they play host to rookie phenom Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers at Bills Stadium.
Despite the 3-7 record, the Chargers have been competitive under Herbert this season. The rookie has five games this season of three or more passing touchdowns, which is the most by a first-year player in the Super Bowl era. He's also on pace to break a number of rookie records, including passing yards, passing touchdowns, and completions if he keeps this tremendous start to his NFL career up.
Before we dive deeper into this game, here's a look at how you can catch all the action unfold on CBS.
How to watch
On top of the quarterback battle, this game features two of the game's best receivers in Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen. Allen currently leads the NFL in receptions (81) while Diggs is right behind him in second place with 73 catches on the year. While each of these receivers continue to pile up the receptions, they are doing it in different ways. Diggs does most of his damage on first-down where he currently leads the league with 34 catches. Allen, on the other hand, cleans up on third down with his league-leading 25 catches at that critical juncture. While each of these pass catches will play a role throughout the game, it will be a point of emphasis for each defensive unit to key on Diggs on first down and Allen on third.
While we touched a little bit on Herbert in the intro, let's take a look at Josh Allen. The Bills QB does seem to have an issue staying hot as the game rolls on. In the first half of his games this season, Allen has been stellar throwing 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while moving the chains consistently with 75 first down passes. Coming out of halftime, however, Allen gets a bit cold as he owns an 8-5 TD-INT ratio and just 62 first down passes. Part of that could be issues surrounding protection as Allen has been sacked 14 times in the second half of games compared to just six in the first half.
Both the Bills and Chargers' defenses have been poor at times this season. While Los Angeles comes into this game allowing an average of 344 yards of total offense per game (which is just outside the top-ten of fewest yards allowed in the league), this unit has struggled at stopping teams from scoring. The 27.3 points allowed per game entering Week 12 is the ninth-most in the NFL. As for the Bills, they've statistically been a better defensive unit than L.A. but not by much. They've allowed 26.5 points and 373.7 total yards per game.
Given that each offense has the ability to put up points and both defenses have shown an ability to hand out touchdowns like Halloween candy, it's no wonder to see the NFL odds over at William Hill Sportsbook pointing to a high-scoring game with the total currently set at 53. The Bills are the home favorite in this matchup, surrendering five points to the Chargers. Buffalo is too talented to not get the win here, but I do think it'll be close enough to take the points with the Chargers. That appears to be the general thought process by most as all but one CBS Sports expert has chosen to take the Chargers and the points in this matchup.
Score: Buffalo 24, L.A. Chargers 20