Bills Beat Rams In NFL Kickoff Game

By Terrance Turner

Sept. 8, 2022

Tonight the NFL season kicked off, with the long-awaited matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills. The NFL’s season premiere game was held in SoFi Stadium, where the Rams won the Super Bowl in February. Now the defending champions went up against the Bills, who are reportedly Super Bowl favorites.

They proved why tonight. The Bills defense now includes linebacker Von Miller, who left the Rams over the offseason to go to Buffalo. With Miller in the mix, Buffalo’s defense shined – disrupting passes and making tackles on play after play. With the Bills’ suffocating defense, the Rams were unable to make any headway on offense. What at first looked like a competitive match turned quickly into a blowout.

Dwayne Johnson opened the proceedings with an intro reminiscent of the one he gave during the Super Bowl.

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The Bills marched down the field in short succession, scoring a touchdown within the first 5 minutes of the game. Capping a nine-play, 75-yard drive, quarterback Josh Allen threw a pass to Gabe Davis for the touchdown.

The Rams took over. But they couldn’t score any points; the offense was disrupted by an aggressive Buffalo defense. The Rams were forced to punt.

Buffalo’s next drive was charged by a 15-yard penalty: Rams’ Jeremy Hollins got flagged for a horse-collar tackle. The drive looked promising. But just two plays later, a Josh Allen pass intended for Bills receiver Isaiah McKenzie got intercepted by Lewis.

But the Rams couldn’t capitalize. Their offense once again got smothered by Buffalo’s defense, and LA punted after just three plays. But the Rams got the ball right back after Jones fumbled; the ball was recovered by Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd. But within a minute of getting possession, the Rams lost it again. Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s pass intended for tight end Tyler Higbee got intercepted by Jackson.

Unlike Los Angeles, Buffalo was able to convert its turnover into points. Allen threw to Stefon Diggs for 21 yards during a eight-play, 45-yard drive that put the Bills in field goal range. Kicker Tyler Bass drilled a field goal from 41 yards to give Buffalo a 10-0 lead.

The Rams’ offense finally came to life near the end of the second quarter. One chief reason for that was wide receiver Cooper Kupp. On one play it appeared as if the Bills defense had stopped Kupp from getting to the first down. But a Rams lineman started pushing Kupp forward, and the resulting pile made him fall forward – for the first down.

Rams running back Darrell Henderson set up first and goal. Then Stafford launched a high-flying throw to Kupp, who made the catch in the end zone (and got his feet down) for the touchdown.

It was 10-7 with 3:40 left in the half. After Allen’s pass to Jamison Crowder got intercepted, the Rams had a chance to tie the game before halftime. Though they struggled to get the ball past midfield, that didn’t stop them from scoring points. Kicker Matt Gay nailed a 57-yard field goal to tie the game at 10.

That was as close as the Rams would get in the game. As the second half began, they again struggled offensively. About midway through the third quarter, Allen found receiver Isaiah McKenzie for a touchdown. The Bills went up 17-10.

Their lead would only expand as time went on. After going into halftime tied at 10, the Bills — the Super Bowl favorite per Caesars Sportsbook — went full steam ahead in the second half, scoring touchdowns on three straight possessions, while forcing two punts and intercepting quarterback Matthew Stafford twice in the second half alone

Buffalo’s defense sabotaged L.A.’s offense throughout the night; Stafford was sacked seven times. And the Bills’ offense came up big in the second half. Buffalo outscored LA 21-0 in the second half of tonight’s game, winning 31-10. 

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