Bills vs. Chargers final score, results: Buffalo survives scare, takes step toward playoffs with narrow win

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The Bengals’ loss earlier Saturday made the objective clear for the Bills: winning out means a return to the playoffs. It didn’t come easily, but Buffalo took a step toward that goal on Saturday night.

The Bills narrowly survived a scare from the Chargers, falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter and later falling behind again deep into the fourth quarter. 

Once again, turnovers nearly derailed Sean McDermott’s team. The Chargers scored 13 points off of turnovers, scoring their only touchdown after Deonte Harty coughed up a punt return and turning both a Josh Allen interception and pivotal James Cook fumble into field goals in the second half.

The Chargers took a 22-21 lead with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, putting pressure on the Bills’ offense to show signs of life. The unit delivered. Allen had the Bills into field goal range within less than three minutes of game time, and Buffalo was able to run the clock all the way down to 28 seconds when Tyler Bass sent a 29-yard field goal through the uprights for the lead.

MORE: How James Cook’s late-season run has helped save Bills’ season

Easton Stick was hoping to put together a signature drive and get the Chargers into Cameron Dicker’s expansive range in the final seconds, but without timeouts, a sack by Ed Oliver quickly blew up the drive.

The game mirrored the Bills’ Week 10 loss to the Broncos, with turnovers coming back to haunt Buffalo, but this time, they prevailed. That’s all that matters at this stage of the season, and the victory means the Bills (9-6) are very much alive in the AFC East while controlling their fate in the AFC wild-card race.

The Chargers (5-10) were formally eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, but their competitiveness under interim coach Giff Smith was markedly better than it was in last week’s 63-21 loss to the Raiders. As an offseason of change approaches, competitiveness is all Los Angeles can ask for over the next two weeks.

MORE: 8 potential replacements for fired Chargers coach Brandon Staley

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Saturday night’s Week 16 game between the Bills and Chargers. Check out all of the key moments you might have missed.

Bills vs. Chargers final score

  1 2 3 4 F
Bills 0 14 7 3 24
Chargers 3 7 3 6 22

Bills vs. Chargers results, highlights from Saturday night game

(All times Eastern)

Final: Bills 24, Chargers 22

11:00 p.m. — That’ll do it! The Bills narrowly survive a scare from the Chargers, who are formally eliminated with the loss. Buffalo, meanwhile, jumps into a playoff spot and can get into the playoffs by winning its final two games.

10:58 p.m. — Stick gets sacked again! That will just about end it, as the whole sequence took 20 seconds off the clock and the Chargers wasted another seven on a downfield incompletion.

Bills 24, Chargers 22

10:55 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Bass puts the Bills back in front! Stick will have 28 seconds and no timeouts to be a hero and work the Chargers into Dicker’s range.

10:53 p.m. — The Bills will snap on third down with 1:15 remaining and run the clock down to about 30 seconds before bringing out Bass. It would be stunning if he missed, so the Chargers will have to be prepared to run some quick plays to get themselves into Dicker’s range.

10:50 p.m. — Shakir is ruled to be down by contact, so it’s not a touchdown, but the Bills can run the clock a bit more in exchange for those points. They’re well within Tyler Bass’ range, and it’s now a matter of getting the clock as low as it can go.

10:47 p.m. — So what happens here? Khalil Shakir hauls in a wide-open pass from Allen, goes down, and then gets back up to run it in for the touchdown. But was he down? The Chargers might be wishing for a touchdown just so they can get the ball back. 

10:44 p.m. — Diggs hasn’t been very involved tonight, but he hauls in a tight-window pass from Allen to get the massive first down. 

10:43 p.m. — The Bills are facing a huge 3rd & 8 outside of field goal range…

10:41 p.m. — Allen finds Dawson Knox for a quick 17 yards to get the drive started.

Chargers 22, Bills 21

10:39 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Give Cameron Dicker the game ball. He drills it from 53 yards out, and the Chargers have the lead after all of that. Can the Bills’ offense finally put something together?

10:38 p.m. — There’s Stick’s inexperience on display, as he does the only thing he can’t do and takes a sack. Cameron Dicker will try a 53-yard field goal….

10:35 p.m. FUMBLE — Disaster for the Bills! James Cook loses the football, and it was Gilman, who had the interception earlier, with the strip. The Chargers are instantly in field goal range. That’s the Bills’ third turnover of the night.

Bills 21, Chargers 19

10:31 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Dicker trims the Chargers’ deficit to two. It will be mighty interesting to see whether the Bills can put together a long drive and swing some momentum back their way in the coming minutes.

10:30 p.m. — The Chargers are moving in the wrong direction after a penalty and a sack. They might end up settling for a field goal here with plenty of time still left.

10:27 p.m. — Stick finds Alex Erickson for a big 23-yard gain. Christian Benford took two hits to the head on that play and appears shaken up.

10:25 p.m. — After a false start and some standing around, the Bills get off a pretty impressive punt. Derius Davis helps make up the difference, though, with a nice return. The Chargers will start just inside Bills territory as they look for a go-ahead touchdown on this drive.

10:23 p.m. — Eric Kendricks and Tuli Tuipolotu combine to sack Allen on 3rd & 23 and force a punt that will be right out of Buffalo’s end zone.

10:21 p.m. — Back-to-back penalties, including one that erases another big play by Gabe Davis, have this Bills drive on the ropes.

Bills 21, Chargers 16

10:16 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Dicker drills another field goal, this time from 47, and the Chargers have cut Buffalo’s lead to five. They need to keep the Bills out of the end zone on this upcoming drive.

10:15 p.m. — Stick nearly had Palmer on third down, but a big hit by Taron Johnson blows up the play. 

10:13 p.m. — A big-time throw by Stick to get the ball past Taylor Rapp’s hands and into Joshua Palmer’s arm. The Chargers are roughly into field goal range.

10:12 p.m. — The Chargers get another first down on a pass by Stick to Jalen Guyton, moving up to midfield. Stick is 17-of-24 for 148 yards.

End of third quarter: Bills 21, Chargers 13

10:09 p.m. — The Chargers will start the fourth quarter with 2nd & 7 from their own 39-yard line. They trail by a touchdown and a two-point conversion, but there’s more than enough time to settle for a field goal if needed.

Bills 21, Chargers 13

10:02 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — When all else fails, tush push. Allen pushes into the end zone to extend the Bills’ lead to 21-13 after a terrific bounce-back drive.

10:01 p.m. — Fournette gets stuffed on second down, so it’ll be 3rd & Goal as the Chargers try to make a defensive stand here.

10:00 p.m. — Gabe Davis’ big night continues! He hauls in a 36-yard pass from Allen to set up 1st & Goal for the Bills. Davis is up to 130 yards.

9:59 p.m. — Now Khalil Shakir picks up a first down and keeps this drive moving right along.

9:56 p.m. — Diggs picks up positive yardage for the first time tonight, hauling in a short pass from Allen to convert on 3rd & 3. 

Bills 14, Chargers 13

9:52 p.m. FIELD GOAL — The Chargers turn the Allen interception into three points as Dicker drills a 40-yard field goal. It’s a one-point game.

9:51 p.m. — Another Chargers drive is blown up by a sack as Poona Ford comes in and takes Stick down. Cameron Dicker will try a field goal.

9:48 p.m. — An illegal formation erases what would’ve been a 1st & goal set up a nice Quentin Johnston run out of the backfield.

9:47 p.m. — There goes Easton Stick! The quarterback takes off running and picks up 21 yards after a heads-up decision not to hand the ball off to Isaiah Spiller.

9:44 p.m. INTERCEPTION — Allen throws downfield to Stefon Diggs and is picked off! Alohi Gilman snags an underthrown ball by Allen to give the Chargers a much-needed momentum swing. That’s Allen’s 15th interception of the season.

9:39 p.m. — A promising drive ends in disappointment after Stick gets leveled by Rasul Douglas. That will force a Chargers punt.

9:37 p.m. — Two quick first downs for the Chargers, including an explosive one by Ekeler. Gerald Everett, meanwhile, walked off gingerly after a hit by Taron Johnson. 

End of first half: Bills 14, Chargers 10

9:21 p.m. — The Chargers don’t take any chances and will send this game to halftime. They’ll start with the ball, looking to reestablish some momentum after giving up 14 consecutive points.

Bills 14, Chargers 10

9:18 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — The Bills run it in, but it’s not one of their running backs. Josh Allen takes it himself on a designed run to put Buffalo in front for the first time tonight. 38 seconds left in the half.

9:17 p.m. — Back-to-back carries for Leonard Fournette, who has the Bills knocking on the door of the end zone.

9:16 p.m. — There’s a 1,000-yard rushing season for Cook as the Bills continue to lean on their running game. 

9:12 p.m. — How about this night for Gabe Davis? He works past defenders to gain 20 yards, bringing him to 94 on the night. Buffalo can at least tie the game on this drive, barring a turnover.

9:11 p.m. — The Bills are quickly over midfield with the help of a first down run by Cook. He’s three rushing yards away from 1,000.

9:07 p.m. — It will be a punt for the Chargers, though the Bills won’t have such favorable field position this time around.

9:05 p.m. — A holding call on Gerald Everett turns what would’ve been a 4th & 1 into a 3rd & 22 for the Chargers.

9:03 p.m. — The Chargers are committing to their running game, and it’s surprisingly working so far as Ekeler picks up a first down. He has 41 yards on seven carries.

Chargers 10, Bills 7

8:57 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — There’s some life! Allen finds Gabe Davis for a 57-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive, instantly trimming the Chargers’ lead to three.

8:55 p.m. — Buffalo forces a quick three-and-out and should get strong field position out of that stop. If there’s a time for Allen and the offense to show some life, it’s right now.

8:50 p.m. — The Bills get set back by a holding penalty and can’t make up the yardage through the air. They’ll punt again, and the pressure is now back on the defense to keep the Chargers right where they are.

8:47 p.m. — There’s the James Cook we remember. He gets back-to-back carries for a total of 15 yards to kickstart the Bills’ drive.

Chargers 10, Bills 0

8:42 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Stick will take it in himself after three consecutive passes to Everett gets the Chargers down to the goal line! Los Angeles is out to a shocking 10-0 lead. Can the Bills’ offense respond?

End of first quarter: Chargers 3, Bills 0

8:39 p.m. — The Chargers will start the second quarter in the red zone after Gerald Everett picks up 14 yards on a pass from Stick. Stick is 6-of-8 for 86 yards.

8:38 p.m. FUMBLE — Turnovers are hurting the Bills yet again. It’s not Josh Allen this time, though. Deonte Harty can’t hold onto the football on the punt return, and the Chargers recover it to give themselves an instant scoring opportunity.

8:36 p.m. — The Chargers will punt after a drive that lasted quite a while for one that didn’t go anywhere. The Bills should get decent field position.

8:30 p.m. — Christian Benford intercepts Stick, but he’s called for defensive holding to erase the turnover. LB Terrel Bernard is down for the Bills, so we are in an injury timeout as he gets checked out.

8:26 p.m. — James Cook has been held to just a yard on two carries, and the Bills are forced to punt again. The difference between last week and this week has been night-and-day for this Chargers defense.

8:23 p.m. — Gabe Davis gives the Bills some breathing room on this drive with a 17-yard gain.

8:22 p.m. — Leonard Fournette has his first carry as a member of the Bills. He was elevated off the practice squad today.

Chargers 3, Bills 0

8:18 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Giff Smith brings out the field goal unit just a few yards from the end zone. It’s an easy one for Cameron Dicker. No touchdown, but the Chargers lead 3-0.

8:16 p.m. — The Chargers convert on third down again, this time with a pass up the middle to Stone Smartt. They’re into the red zone.

8:15 p.m. — Stick does a nice job of getting the ball to Joshua Palmer for a big first down on 3rd & 7. The Chargers are nearing field goal range.

8:13 p.m. — Quentin Johnston didn’t get involved until late in last week’s blowout loss, but he has a 21-yard grab already to take the Chargers near midfield.

8:12 p.m. — Ekeler has touched the ball on each of the Chargers’ first three offensive snaps and gives Los Angeles a first down to start the drive.

8:10 p.m. — Jaylinn Hawkins breaks up a pass to Gabe Davis on third down, so the Chargers get the Bills off the field quickly. This is a sense of urgency they didn’t seem to have last week.

8:06 p.m. — Khalil Shakir hauls in a pass from Allen for 14 yards and a first down.

8:05 p.m. — Stick will have to wait, as the Bills will start with the ball.

7:55 p.m. — Easton Stick looked respectable in his first NFL start, though much of his work came after the game was out of reach. Whether he can keep the Chargers anywhere close to the Bills tonight will be a major test.

7:40 p.m. — All eyes are on James Cook tonight after he became the focus of the Bills’ offense once Joe Brady took over as offensive coordinator. The second-year RB needs only 32 rushing yards to cross the 1,000 mark.

7:15 p.m. — The Chargers are playing their first game without Brandon Staley on the sideline since the end of the 2020 season. Will it matter? Interim coach Giff Smith is working with limited resources, but just a little more effort from the defense would be a step in the right direction.

6:45 p.m. — As was already announced, the Chargers will be without WR Keenan Allen tonight. Will Grier will be LA’s No. 2 QB, with Max Duggan the emergency No. 3 quarterback.

6:35 p.m. — Bills safety Micah Hyde is inactive for the second consecutive week.

Bills vs. Chargers start time

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 23
  • Start time: 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)

Saturday night’s game between the Bills and Chargers will kick off at 8 p.m. ET from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. 

MORE: Inside the Bills’ game ball controversy after win over Cowboys

What channel is Bills vs. Chargers on today?

  • Game: Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 23
  • TV channel (Buffalo): WGRZ (Channel 2)
  • TV channel (Los Angeles): KNBC (Channel 4)
  • Live stream: Peacock | DAZN (in Canada)

Saturday’s battle between the Bills and Chargers will be broadcast exclusively on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. Mike Tirico (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (color analyst) will be on the call from SoFi Stadium.

Viewers in the Buffalo and Los Angeles markets will be able to watch the game on local channels, but the rest of the country can only find the game on Peacock.

MORE: Why Al Michaels won’t be calling playoff game for NBC this season

Fans in Canada can stream it on DAZN, which carries every NFL game of the season.



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