The 2022 Buffalo Bills showed confirmed what many believed leading into this season: they are serious Super Bowl contenders. Buffalo knocked off the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10 in the opening game of the 2022 NFL season.
Buffalo executed a strong offensive game plan. Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey had an impressive debut as the Bills play caller. The Bills neutralized the Rams defensive front by quick passing attack throughout the evening. Josh Allen was stellar, making swift and accurate decisions all game long. Allen ended the game 26 of 31 for 297 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Allen led Buffalo with 57 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
When Allen was forced to extend the play, he did so with ease. Allen, one of the top MVP candidates entering the season, helped put a stranglehold on Buffalo’s lead in the fourth quarter, finding Stefon Diggs running free behind Jalen Ramsey to give Buffalo a three-score lead early in the fourth quarter.
Diggs, whose 122 receiving yards led the Bills in the game, was just one of several offensive players who had a strong opening game. Gabriel Davis showed that he is completely comfortable starting opposite Diggs, as he caught four passes for 88 receiving yards and a touchdown reception. Davis caught a 47-yard bomb from Allen, crushing the Rams defense.
Running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss got into the action in multiple ways. Singletary rushed eight times for 48 yards and added two receptions for 14 yards. Moss stepped in after James Cook’s fumble. Moss caught six passes for 21 receiving yards. Moss rumbled six times for 15 yards on the ground.
The Bills defense was just as impressive, allowing only 243 total yards. The Bills forced three turnovers, thwarting any meaningful progress by the Los Angeles offense. Jordan Poyer, Dane Jackson, and Boogie Basham all recorded interceptions at the hands of Matt Stafford.
The money Buffalo poured into their defensive line paid dividends, as the unit had Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford on his heels all evening. Von Miller recorded his first two sacks in a Buffalo uniform. Meanwhile, Jordan Phillips and AJ Epeense each added a sack-and-a-half, Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham each added a sack. The seven total sacks was impressive for an opening outing for the Bills defense. The Buffalo defense was credited with 15 total quarterback hits.
The opening drive of the game dictated that the Bills offense would have the upper hand on the Rams defense, as Buffalo moved easily down the field on a nine-play drive culminating with a Gabriel Davis touchdown reception.
Gabriel Davis szn is here. pic.twitter.com/wwoRpSLCJb
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 9, 2022
The Bills could have made this game a ridiculous blowout, but mistakes cost Buffalo an opportunity at putting more points on the board. James Cook and Zack Moss each fumbled during the game, while Allen ended up with two interceptions. However, neither was blatantly Allen’s fault, as the defender wrestled the ball away Buffalo’s receivers.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had a big numbers game, but the All-Pro could only find the end zone once on the night. Kupp had 13 catches for 128 receiving yards and the aforementioned touchdown. It was far from a dominant performance, though. The remainder of the Los Angeles offense was held under wraps by the Bills defense.
Impressively, the Bills defense put on this performance with No. 1 cornerback Tre’Davious White inactive. Rookies Christan Benford and Kaiir Elam held their own. Benford earned the starting nod for the game, showing an impressive ascent as a sixth-round draft pick.
The game reinforced Buffalo’s Super Bowl ambition. The Bills dominated the Super Bowl champions and blew out the Rams by three scores in a game that wasn’t a perfect performance. It’s scary to think what an ideal performance will look like for this team this year.
Buffalo returns to action on Monday, September 19 against the Tennesee Titans at Highmark Stadium.