What will be required of the Bills in order to take down the Los Angeles Rams? Is it the running game, maybe a defensive key or two? Better yet, maybe Josh Allen just needs to be Josh Allen.
Week one is here, the wait is over. The Bills take on the LA Rams Thursday night and the expectations are high. The Bills are the odds-on favorite to make it to the Super Bowl this year and it all starts this week. After all the off-season hype Bills fans will be watching with bated breath to see how the offense and defense play.
We all hope for a Buffalo blowout victory and have endless anxiety over a Bills blowout defeat, likely the outcome will be somewhere in the middle. One thing we know for sure is if they want to be taken seriously and still viewed as Super Bowl contenders, they must bring the Rams back down to earth. Here are the three keys Buffalo needs to accomplish to beat the Rams.
Bills Running Game
I know with Josh Allen, it’s tempting to just have him throw it 60-70 times a game. However, to save Allen’s arm the Bills must have a solid running game. And as entertaining as it would be to watch Allen be the number one passer and rusher on the team, the reality is he would get injured that much faster. All jokes aside that was almost the case last year as Allen with 763 yards was second on the team in rushing to Devin Singletary.
This year if Buffalo wants to take home the Lombardi, they must focus a little more on their running game and take some of the heat off of Josh Allen. To that end, the Bills drafted James Cook and kept Zack Moss and if the Bills want to beat the Rams, they’re going to have to utilize all three running backs. I expect we’ll see more screen passes and end arounds as Dorsey and the Bills offense look to confuse Aaron Donald and the Rams.
Bills Need To Bring Pressure
Mathew Stafford is old (for a quarterback) and while he had an amazing season last year throwing 41 touchdowns, he also led the league with 17 interceptions. If Buffalo wants to take down the Rams, they will have to get in the face of Stafford and force him to throw early and under pressure. The Rams had one of the better offensive lines last year but that might be different this year with the retirement of Pro Bowl Tackle Andrew Whitworth. The Bills will need to take advantage of the weakness in the rams’ O-line if they want to win.
Enter Von Miller. Miller is fully aware of the Rams’ offensive and defensive capabilities as he was on their team last year. The addition of Miller to the defense takes their pass rush capabilities to the next level. Expect to see Miller go after Stafford and get double covered, then expect to see Greg Rosseau, Ed Oliver, and Boogie Basham put Stafford into the dirt.
Bills Clock management
There are less than two minutes on the clock. Ask yourself, would you rather Buffalo be the ones coming back from behind and needing to score to win, or do you want to see them in the lead having to stop the Rams from scoring? Where you fall on the answer to this question likely shows what you think about the coaching staff’s clock management abilities.
Expect this game to be a shootout. Between crafty Josh Allen and the weakened Bills secondary, there will be no shortage of touchdown receptions. In the end, the winner will likely be determined by who has the ball in their hands in the final minute of the game. For the Bills to win they will have to pay attention to the clock more so than they’ve done in previous years and make sure they don’t give them enough time to respond.
It’s rare for the opening game matchup to also likely be the super bowl matchup but that’s what we could be looking at. All the hype is on Buffalo’s side, and they’ll need every bit of positive energy and determination if they want to take down the Super Bowl champs. Assuming they follow these three things and keep focused they will likely win and start this championship season with a bang.
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