COSTA MESA, Calif. -- After recording five interceptions against Nathan Peterman last year, you could understand why the Los Angeles Chargers' defense looked forward to another opportunity to face the University of Pittsburgh product, right?
Wrong, according to Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman.
"It doesn't matter who they've got back there," Perryman said of the Buffalo Bills. "It's another week, another team. I get to redeem myself from last week and try to go 1-0 this week."
Instead, the Chargers have to contain an athletic quarterback with mobility in rookie first-round draft pick Josh Allen, who is making his first NFL start. Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced this week that Allen will get the nod over Peterman.
"He can move," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said about Allen. "He can run RPOs. He can run the zone read. If you watched the game last week when he came in, they went straight down the field. Two of those were designed quarterback runs. So he can move."
Allen replaced an ineffective Peterman at quarterback in the third quarter of last week's 47-3 Buffalo loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Peterman struggled against the Ravens, completing just 5-of-18 passes for 24 yards and two interceptions. That continued a trend that began last season, when he threw five interceptions during the first half of his first career start -- a 54-24 loss to the Chargers.
"We got a lot of pressure in that game," said Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward, who hauled in two of Peterman's five interceptions at the StubHub Center. "Our front did a good job; Joey [Bosa] was causing havoc all game. That definitely helps when you get some pass rush and he has to throw the ball out early, you get tipped balls and those type of things."
Subbing in for Peterman against the Ravens last week, Allen completed 6-of-15 passes for 74 passing yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked three times.
However, Allen also rushed for 26 yards. The Chargers could also see some designed quarterback runs from Allen, who measures in at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds.
"He has the ability to run, extend plays and get yardage," Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. "And he'll do it any time. He'll do it first and second down. They have a run play designed for him, they have two-minute [drill], and he'll take off and run. So he's just a big, strong guy that when you see him step up in the pocket, you see a quarterback that's got really good poise."
"He's got a big, strong arm and really has a passion for the game -- I could just tell that in the short time I was around him," Rivers said.
Like Rivers, Allen wears the No. 17.
"I don't know the background in that," Rivers said, when asked if Allen wears No. 17 because of the veteran quarterback. "That's when you know you've been in [the NFL] a while when your young guys just might have a reason to play a part in that."
The Chargers will look to limit Allen's effectiveness as a runner. Last season, the Chargers allowed 5.1 yards per carry to quarterbacks, ninth worst in the NFL.
Patrick Mahomes ran five times for 21 yards against the Chargers last week, moving the chains by converting three first downs with his feet.
The Chargers have one player who faced Allen in college in cornerback Michael Davis. Allen led Wyoming against Brigham Young in the Poinsettia Bowl two years ago, losing 24-21. Allen completed 17-of-32 passes for 207 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 38 yards.
Allen finished with 767 rushing yards during his college career. The Wyoming product's arm strength caught Davis' attention during the game.
"Everyone knows a mobile quarterback is always dangerous for you," Davis said. "Because if you come off your receiver he can get it to them."
A Buffalo squad that was embarrassed in its season opener and will now start a rookie quarterback in Allen has odds makers slotting the Chargers as 7.5-point favorites on the road. However, Hayward is not taking the Bills lightly.
"I've played in Buffalo before and got whooped up on in Buffalo," Hayward said. "It's a tough place to play. It's going to be their first home game, so the crowd is going to be rowdy and we've got to come ready to play."