Rams vs. Bills Recap

Week 1: A Dream or a Dud?

Jack Christie, Staff Writer

It has been an exciting, yet painfully long time since the LA Rams vanquished Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. Since then, we had the class of 2022 brought into the NFL through the college draft, big-time trades, training camp, and multiple injuries, but we have finally reached the kickoff to a new NFL season. And what a way to start it off, as Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills defeated Aaron Donald and the defending Super Bowl champion LA Rams.

These are arguably the two best teams in the entire league, both led by high-powered passing attacks, and lockdown defenses. The Bills are headlined by Josh Allen, a 5th year QB coming off multiple monster seasons. Struggling early on in his career, the dual-threat signal caller truly broke out in his 2020 campaign and has since dominated the field through the air and on the ground. Buffalo’s franchise starting quarterback posted a 60.7 QBR, 4,407 passing yards, and 36 touchdowns, all of which were Top 10 among QBs. This paired with his canon arm, raw brute strength, and jaw-dropping rushing ability, make him one of the top talents in the league. This elite playmaker paired with all-pro WR, Stefon Diggs poses a scary threat to the rest of the league.

On the other side of the ball, the Bills are no joke either. In their secondary, they have one of if not the best safety duos, with all-pro Jordan Poyer and pro-bowler Micah Hyde. The cornerback position takes a hit these first few weeks, as all-pro Tre White will miss the first 4 games on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. With that said, the Bills selected cornerback Kaiir Elam out of Florida in the draft, one of the top corners in the nation last year with all the potential in the world. Tremaine Edmunds, while getting older, is still a solid leader of the team’s linebacker core.

Things are really interesting regarding outside linebacker Von Miller. Miller did not resign with the LA Rams after winning his second Super Bowl. Instead, he became a free-agent and signed with the Bills.  

As for the Los Angeles Rams, they are led by Cooper Kupp, coming off of the greatest receiving season of all time. Kupp won the triple crown, leading receivers in receptions (145), yards (1,947), and receiving touchdowns (16). Following this historic regular season, Kupp was deemed Super Bowl MVP, having 8 catches for 92 yards, and 2 touchdowns to lead the Rams to their second Super Bowl trophy in franchise history.

Alongside the stud receiver in the Rams offense is QB Matthew Stafford, coming off a year where he finished Top 3 in passing yards (4,886) and passing Touchdowns (41). He also led the Rams to four different game-winning drives this past season. Stafford was the first overall draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 2009, and because the Lions have seldom found success in the last decade, neither has Matthew Stafford. However, that all changed when the Rams traded for the veteran QB the previous off-season, immediately resulting in a championship win. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams look to be a dominant unit once more. Of course, the defense is well-known because of arguably the best player in all of football, Aaron Donald, who continues to dominate the league despite double (and even triple) teams. The loss of Von Miller will certainly hurt the pass rush a bit, but with #99 up front, the Rams are almost guaranteed to pressure QBs inside the pocket. LA added legendary LB Bobby Wagner to the roster, who is still a valuable asset to the defensive core despite his age. The Rams also have the top corner in the league in lockdown CB Jalen Ramsey. Overall, this looks to be a top defensive unit once again thanks to the high-powered names across the depth chart.

This was set to be a clash for the ages, as the defending champs took on the seemingly unanimous title favorites this year. The Bills were favored -2.5 heading into the LA showdown, but they covered the spread and then some, winning impresssively 31-10. On the field, the season-opener was anti-climactic and disappointing, but seeing Josh Allen finish with a completion percentage of 84% was electric.