Buffalo Bills defense showed championship mettle vs. Rams

Buffalo Bills, Von Miller - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills, Von Miller - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Opening night served a fair share of excitement for fans that waited patiently. Offenses struggled to find their groove early – causing defenses to step up late. What did we learn from a Bills Thursday night’s debut?

Consecutive perfect drives from Josh Allen made Rams fans uneasy early in the game clock. An opportunity to display his new level of focus on opening night excited Buffalo’s franchise quarterback. A disappointing post-season exit last season appeared to motivate Allen – showing grit and determination throughout four quarters. Impressive defensive performances sealed the game’s fate late – giving fans at home a thrilling opening performance.

The tie at the end of the first half did not credit the way both teams opened the game. A nine-play touchdown drive helped Buffalo steal the momentum within the first six minutes. Interceptions and fumbles caused a delay in points until the second quarter. A 41-yard Tyler Bass field goal helped the Bills extend their lead. Sean McVay and the Rams responded, relying on Cooper Cupp to put the first points on the board. A toe tap reception in the back of the endzone cut the Rams’ deficit.

Time in the locker room did not help Matthew Stafford’s squad produce points on their opening drive. A punt two minutes into the third quarter gave Josh Allen another chance to take another strike. His seven-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie extended Buffalo’s lead to seven.
Efforts from Von Miller and the defensive line destroyed Los Angeles’s drive to respond. The next Bills drive ended in a Josh Allen rushing touchdown – over veteran Bobby Wagner.

Bills defense ruins Rams championship ring night

Buffalo’s defense continued to man the endzone for the duration of the evening. Pressure from Von Miller shook the spirits on McVay’s offensive line. When the game clock hit zero, Buffalo led Los Angeles a lot to a little. A 31- 10 opening night victory is impressive, but how did the Bills get the job done? Let’s look at the numbers.

4: Leslie Frazier’s defense played relentlessly Thursday night. Their pressure on Matthew Stafford caused disturbances in Sean McVay’s offense. Buffalo forced the rams to punt four times on the opening night. When the Rams weren’t punting, they were turning the ball over. At the end of the night, Buffalo accounted for four takeaways – a great way to start the season.

122: Cooper Kupp’s stat line for Thursday night’s helped fantasy owners gain a lead on their week one foes. His 128 yards on 13 receptions led all receivers in both categories for the night. Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs also had a night of his own. His 122-yard receiving yards and touchdown grab showed fans he’s ready to have an explosive season.

297: Moving the ball efficiently helped Buffalo’s offense take control of the game in the second half. Their 23 first downs kept the offensive tempo alive – presenting Josh Allen with the perfect opportunities to make big plays. His 297 yards of passing accounted for more than half of Buffalo’s 413-yard total. Allen’s three touchdown passes are nice additions to an opening night victory.

The anticipation for Sunday’s slate of games is higher than ever. Thursday’s season opener gave fans football to discuss for the upcoming days. A positive start to the season should help Buffalo find their stride early this season. If Josh Allen experiences similar performances, the Bills will be a team to watch this season.