Buffalo Bills send warning, humble defending champion Rams on opening night

Buffalo Bills, Stefon Diggs (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills, Stefon Diggs (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills are on a mission in 2022 and made an excellent first impression against the defending champions. This isn’t last year.

A simple yet resounding message sent by the Buffalo Bills to the defending champions on opening night.

The visitors left Tinsletown with a 31-10 victory, giving Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay a spot in a place he’s never been before in his young and glorious coaching career. A loss in Week One of an NFL Season.

Week 1 or not, it’s for real. This isn’t the preseason, and LA found out quickly. Despite the pregame hype speech by The Rock, and forcing three turnovers in the first half, the preseason Super Bowl pick by the pundits was just too much for Matthew Stafford and friends.

Following the opening festivities, including a banner drop and a cameo by former Rams wide receiver OBJ (where did he come from?) and Andrew Whitworth, Buffalo picked up right where they left off in Arrowhead. This time, 13 seconds wasn’t an issue.

Josh Allen proved that he should be in consideration for league MVP this season, going 26/31 for 297 yards and three touchdowns through the air to go along with one on the ground. However, Allen did have two uncharacteristic interceptions, both of which have a legit case of not being his fault. The glaring stat of the night? Allen outrushed the entire Rams offense by himself. 57 yards alone by Allen to 50 by the Rams.

The Buffalo Bills sent a strong message to the rest of the NFL on opening night with a resounding win over the defending champions.

In contrast, Matthew Stafford, the reigning champion signal-caller, was abysmal. 29-41 for 240 yards and a touchdown to Cooper Kupp, coincidentally in the same endzone where Kupp won the Super Bowl for LA over Cincinnati back in February. However, Stafford threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times, all of which proved to be costly.

Kupp, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, finished with 13 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. He’s fine, but he needs help. Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis also had strong performances. The former recorded 122 yards and a touchdown on eight catches, while the latter, a hero in last year’s playoff loss, finished with 88 yards and a touchdown on four catches.

It didn’t seem like, at least in the first half, that the game would be blown so wide open. Both teams entered intermission tied at 10. However, given how Buffalo was so methodical on their opening drive, capping it off with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Davis, you just got the feeling that the Bills had something special.

In contrast, when Kupp had his memorable touchdown catch, the feeling was that this was about to be another opening night classic. Instead, it was just a party for the visitors, and the hosts had to clean up what was supposed to be their chance at a celebration, how things change by season.

There is no time to mope. The games count now, and Los Angeles welcomes Atlanta next week, and the Falcons aren’t exactly pushovers. Meanwhile, Buffalo will be back in the primetime spotlight, but this time on Monday Night when they welcome last year’s top playoff seed Tennesee into Orchard Park.