Bills/Rams Week One Game Preview

September 5, 2022

The Bills season opener is just around the corner, only days away. It’s a season Bills Mafia has been looking forward to since the loss to the Chiefs in last season’s divisional round game. Bills Mafia is ready to put that game in the rearview mirror, set up the tailgate parties, and get the tables out for 2022.

The Buffalo Bills lead the all-time series against the Rams with an 8 – 5 record, which includes wins in the last two meetings. The most recent coming in 2020, when the Bills won 35 – 32 and was the beginning of Josh Allen’s ascension to NFL stardom.

Fast forward two years and the Rams are the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the Bills are this year’s Super Bowl champions favorites. Many are calling the league’s season opener between the Rams and Bills a possible Super Bowl preview and I tend to agree.


Bills Edge Rusher – Von Miller Returns To LA

The last time Von Miller took the field was for the Rams in the Super Bowl a season ago. Now he will be wearing the red, white, and blue of the Buffalo Bills and doing what he does best, chasing down quarterbacks. The Rams allowed only 30 sacks last season, which was seventh best in the league; however, they will have a new look offensive line, with Andrew Whitworth’s retirement, the Rams selected Logan Bruss with their first selection.

According to PFF, the Rams’ offensive line is ranked 11th in the NFL, coming into the 2022 season. This may change though, as the Rams’ first selection in the draft, Bruss suffered a season-ending injury. With his injury and the relative unknown Joe Noteboom taking over at left tackle for Whitworth, it’s possible Miller and the new look defensive line of the Bills, could wreak havoc.

There has also been a lot of talk around the elbow of Matthew Stafford. The latest being he’s fine and has no limitations but he also has played or practiced much due to the elbow. We’ll see how that plays out as the game begins.

Questions Surrounding The Bills Heading Into 2022

Buffalo is not without changes or injuries of their own heading into this matchup. The offense line of the Bills is probably the biggest concern, with Roger Saffold coming in via free agency and Spencer Brown’s lingering injury, we aren’t sure what to expect out of this unit when they go up against one of, if not the best, defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald.

David Quessenberry will fill in for Brown and Saffold will step into the lineup at one of the guard spots, the other being manned by Ryan Bates. Dion Dawkins and Mitch Morse return to their typical positions at tackle and center, respectively. Quessenberry has played well throughout training camp and the preseason, but with two new faces on the line, chemistry could be an issue early.

Buffalo also has some questions at the wide receiver spot, even though this position group might be the deepest on this roster. Gone from a season ago are Cole Beasley and Emanuel Sanders and taking their spots are Isaiah McKenzie and Gave Davis. We’ve seen these two make plays in the past and a lot of them but neither have been in full-time roles until now.

The biggest question mark and likely the most important will be at the cornerback spot. We already know that Tre’davious White will be out, and Dane Jackson will be one of the two starting corners. What we don’t know is who the other corner will be. The answer to that question could be first-round pick, Kaiir Elam but Buffalo’s sixth-round pick, Christian Benford, has come out strong and certainly made a case to get the nod. I know Elam was a first-round pick, but he didn’t separate himself from Benford.

That’s not to say Elam has performed poorly but more to say Benford showed up and played just as well. It’s also a possibility both these guys get time on the field. Fortunately, Taron Johnson will be there and most likely will draw the assignment of covering Cooper Kupp, given that Kupp plays primarily from the slot position. Of course, the Bills will have Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer out there and that will certainly help either rookie corner.

My Prediction For The Bills

Buffalo is favored in this game, but this one can go either way and maybe the toughest matchup the Bills face this season. I think Buffalo’s new defensive line will play a massive role in this game and will be able to shut down the Rams’ rushing attack with Cam Akers, which will force Stafford to throw more than the team would probably like to see.

I do have some concerns with the Bills’ offensive line and their ability to protect Allen in this one but few quarterbacks in the NFL are as good, or dangerous, as Allen when pressured. Stafford on the other hand, while being one of the better pure passers in the game, is not a mobile quarterback and can sometimes force passes.

At the end of the day, I believe the Bills’ defense will force Stafford into a mistake or two, resulting in a couple of turnovers. Josh Allen and company will take advantage of those and come away with a win in LA, 31 – 23.

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