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(Sunday, December 11th)
Final Score: San Diego 37, Buffalo 10
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw two of his three touchdown passes to Antonio Gates, as the San Diego Chargers rolled to a 37-10 victory over the struggling Buffalo Bills.
Rivers completed 24-of-33 passes for 240 yards for the Chargers (6-7), who have won two in a row and sit two games behind Denver in the AFC West. The Broncos beat the Bears in overtime on Sunday.
"It was good to win a game," Rivers said. "Win two in a row and try to keep it rolling next week against Baltimore."
Ryan Mathews carried the ball 20 times for 114 yards for San Diego, which improved to 17-2 in December under head coach Norv Turner. Mathews, who has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games, also caught six passes for 34 yards.
Gates caught seven passes for 68 yards and Patrick Crayton hauled in three passes for 37 yards and a score.
Ryan Fitzpatrick connected on 13-of-34 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions for the Bills (5-8), who have lost six straight and have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Steve Johnson caught four passes for 116 yards in defeat.
"We're not very good right now," said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. "It's my responsibility to find the answer, but I don't have it today."
The Chargers got the game going with a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Gates caught a 17-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. Mathews then got the ball three straight times before Gates caught a 12-yard pass. On 3rd-and-4 from the Buffalo 32, Crayton caught a five-yard pass. Gates finished the march with a nine-yard TD catch on 2nd-and-goal.
San Diego got the ball back after Eric Weddle picked off Fitzpatrick. Weddle returned the ball 26 yards to the 45. Mathews touched the ball five times on a 10-play drive. Mike Tolbert capped the march with a one-yard TD run, but the extra point was blocked with 14:16 left until half.
The Bills moved the ball to the 35 of the Chargers, but C.J. Spiller lost eight yards. A two-yard pass and incomplete pass followed to set up a punt.
Mathews continued his solid first half with a 28-yard catch and 37-yard run. Nick Novak made a 47-yard field goal to make it 16-0 with 6:41 remaining.
Buffalo got into San Diego territory again, but Dave Rayner missed a 53-yard field goal.
The Bills finally got on the board early in the second half. Johnson caught a 53-yard pass to put the ball at the 21. Faced with a 3rd-and-goal from the nine, Fitzpatrick was sacked for a loss of 10 yards. Rayner made a 37-yard field goal to make it 16-3.
Buffalo then came up with a defensive touchdown to make it a six-point game. On 3rd-and-7 from the 16, Rivers lost control of the football as he backpedaled. Bryan Scott recovered the ball in the end zone for the Bills to make it 16-10 with 10:11 left.
But San Diego bounced back with an 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive. The Chargers used a fake punt on 4th-and-2 from their own 30 to keep the march going. Weddle took the snap and ran to the left for 10 yards. Vincent Jackson caught passes of 16, 17 and 13 yards to move the ball to the nine. Following an offensive holding penalty, Randy McMichael caught a 17-yard pass in the middle of the field. Rivers found Gates in the left side of the end zone on 3rd-and-goal.
On the first play of the ensuing Buffalo drive, Steve Gregory picked off Fitzpatrick and went 26 yards the other way for a touchdown. Gregory's first career score made it 30-10 with 4:02 to go in the third.
Crayton's 26-yard TD catch with 9:01 to play made it a 37-10 contest.
San Diego has a 21-10-2 lead in its all-time series with Buffalo during the regular season...The Chargers stopped a three-game home losing streak..Tolbert carried the ball six times for 21 yards.
12/11 22:52:16 ET
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