Five to Watch: Chargers vs. Bills

The Chargers take on the Buffalo Bills with plans on moving north of .500 for the first time this season. Samantha Fillerup profiles five players who have produced outstanding performances of late and will be expected to do so again.

1. Malcom Floyd saw his first real action against the New England Patriots and the offense didn't miss a beat. His three catches netted him more than just 75 yards and a touchdown -- they may have secured for him the No. 3 receiver spot behind Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson.

This week, Floyd will face a Bills defense that ranks No. 8 in pass defense, having allowed only 184.8 yards per game. Floyd feels he is up to the task.

"I had big shoes to fill with Chris (Chambers) and Buster (Davis) out," said Floyd of his strong performance last week. "I knew I had to step it up. That's one of the biggest strengths of our team, having depth at every position."


LB Tim Dobbins
Doug Pensinger/Getty

2. Tim Dobbins was upgraded to the starting lineup for the first time against the Patriots, but responded with one of his quietest games of the year. He recorded just one tackle against New England after averaging more than four tackles per game over the previous three weeks. The man Dobbins replaced, Matt Wilhelm, responded to his demotion with six tackles, including one on Sammy Morris at the 1-yard line that saved a touchdown.

Dobbins will be charged with shutting down electric running back Marshawn Lynch, who has 91 carries for 319 yards (3.5 ypc) and four touchdowns. Lynch leads the Bills' in rushing by a large margin and will require Dobbins to bring his best game.

3. Jamal Williams finally looked healthy as he handily shut down the Patriots' run offense last week. He was an integral part of the goal line stand as the Patriots desperately tried to cut the second-half lead to seven points. Williams recorded two tackles and one pass deflection, but his impact reached far beyond the box score.

Williams' task will be to repeat his performance against the Bills -- shut down the run and render Buffalo one-dimensional. If Williams excels on early downs, it will allow the Chargers to unleash their pass rush and generate sacks and turnovers.


LB Shaun Phillips
Donald Miralle/Getty

4. Shaun Phillips has been an outstanding defensive force this season and has three sacks in the last four games. He did not net a takedown against Patriots QB Matt Cassel -- although four other defenders did -- but he still provided plenty of pressure.

Bills' QB Trent Edwards is coming off a concussion and could be easily rattled, especially in the face of the Bolts' defensive pressure. The Bills offensive line has struggled some in pass protection, as Edwards has been sacked 11 times this season. Phillips looks to use his quick first step and speed off the edge to get the better of OT Langston Walker.

5. Kassim Osgood has provided excellent kick coverage this season, but the challenge will be especially stiff this week. Osgood has six special-teams tackles so far despite constant double teams and could be on his way to a third Pro Bowl in February.

Osgood will be running down an elite pair of kick return specialists, KR Terrence McGee and PR Roscoe Parrish. McGee, who as been battling a knee sprain, has three kickoff returns this season, averaging 20.7 yards per return. Parrish has 11 punt returns for a 15.2-yard average, ranking him second in the NFL amongst players with at least 10 returns.

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