Chargers cruise past Buffalo Bills for their first win of the 2018 season

  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, top, is tacked by Los Angeles Chargers’ Jahleel Addae during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

  • Buffalo Bills’ Charles Clay can’t make a catch in the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers , Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

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  • Buffalo Bills’ Jerry Hughes tries to stop Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon (28) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Buffalo Bills’ Jordan Poyer argues with a referee during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen is sacked by Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Ingram, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, center, gets after being sacked during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon, right, scores a touchdown while Buffalo Bills’ Matt Milano defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon, top left, celebrates a touchdown with Dan Feeney during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Virgil Green, center, runs through Buffalo Bills defenders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon, top, celebrates a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon, center celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

  • Los Angeles Chargers’ Uchenna Nwosu, top, sacks Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen during the first half of an NFL game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — This one never felt close.

After dropping their season opener at home, the Chargers bounced back on Sunday in Buffalo, taking control with a big first half and running away with a 31-20 victory at New Era Field.

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By halftime, they had already outgained the Bills by 174 yards and taken a 22-point lead. Melvin Gordon had already scored three touchdowns, tying a career high. Philip Rivers had only thrown one incompletion.

Rivers finished with 256 yards and three touchdowns on 23-of-27 passing. He had a passer rating of 143.2, the seventh-highest single-game mark of his career.

The Chargers (1-1) twice intercepted rookie quarterback Josh Allen, the No. 7 overall selection who was making his first start for Buffalo. Veteran defensive back Adrian Phillips got the first pick in the final three minutes of the third quarter. Rookie linebacker Kyzir White — who played safety at West Virginia — got his hands on the second, sending Bills fans streaming to the exits with seven minutes left in the game.

Allen also took five sacks. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown, and added another 32 yards on the ground.

That said, the Bills (0-2) certainly looked better than they did a week ago — clearing the very low bar set by their 44-point loss to the Ravens. After netting zero offensive yards on their first two possessions, Buffalo got on the scoreboard with 43-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka.

That drive would have fizzled out had it not been for Chargers defensive back Desmond King. Allen overthrew his receiver on third-and-20, but King then taunted Buffalo’s Zay Jones for several seconds — earning himself a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Instead of punting from their own 43-yard line, the Bills moved into Chargers’ territory for the first time all day.

And even after falling into a 28-3 hole, Buffalo didn’t completely fold. Allen found Jones for a 57-yard completion in the final two minutes of the first half — more than doubling the Bills’ offensive output and setting up a second field goal for Hauschka.

Buffalo then opened the second half with 75-yard touchdown drive, one capped by Chris Ivory’s 1-yard run. But that seven-play sequence featured just one pass completion by Allen, which fullback Patrick DiMarco hauled in for a 24-yard gain.

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