Main menu


Rams 'trying to run back' in first game see Bills knock them to the ground

ENGLEWOOD, Calif. — At the end of the champagne-soaked, confetti-sprinkled Super Bowl parade in February 2018, the Los Angeles Rams began to peer into the future and ponder possibilities.

Head coach Sean McVay asked the Star’s defensive lineman Aaron Donald if he would like to come back to win another title. Then, as McVay chanted “Run away!” Into the microphone, a shirtless Donald spoke to the raucous crowd.

The disgruntled team that showed up at SoFi Stadium on Thursday night didn’t seem capable of delivering on these bold declarations. The Rams lost his 31-10 to Buffalo in the season opener, but it could have been worse if the Bills hadn’t given them his four turnovers.

It’s too early for the Rams to panic after just one loss, especially for this season’s Super Bowl favorites, the Buffalo team, who are 13 seconds away from the AFC championship game last January. Still, this lackluster performance exposed a fundamental crack the Rams must fix if they want to have a chance at becoming the NFL’s first repeat champion in nearly two decades.

“We weren’t ready,” says McVay. “I’m very proud of it and it’s my responsibility. We have to do better. There were a lot of decisions that I felt didn’t put the players in the right place.”

To analyze what went wrong for the Rams on Thursday night, we have to start with an offense that struggled to maintain its drive. McVay turned conservative on the early downs for most of the night, running the ball with only modest success, consistently leaving the Rams second or third and long.

The revamped Bills defensive line teed off in these situations, sacking Matthew Stafford seven times despite rushing only four men consistently. The All-Pro defensive that the Bills pulled away from the Rams this spring. The times was beaten at the last minute and had the two biggest sacks.

“They really didn’t rush the 5 Jeez Tonight,” said McVay. “It’s a real credit to them that they were able to do that.”

It wasn’t a fun night for Matthew Stafford (right) and the Rams’ offense against the Bills. Stafford has been sacked seven times, which is the most he’s suffered since he was down 10 times when he was quarterbacking the Lions against Minnesota in 2018 against the Vikings in Detroit. is. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

McVay and several Rams players acknowledged the noise of the home stadium crowd played a role in their struggles. It was so noisy.

“You don’t want to go on a silent count,” said wide receiver and incumbent Super Bowl MVP Cooper Cup, who had 13 catches on 15 targets for 128 yards and the Rams’ only touchdown. “When you go into the silent count, you lose advantage offensively and can’t steal the ball.”

Even when Stafford had time to pocket it, he had only sporadic success against a series of Bills zone defenses designed to cover Kupp’s path and take away deep balls. Stafford went 29-for-41 in his 240 yards, showing no obvious signs of pain from the elbow injury that plagued him during the offseason, but he also made his three interceptions. I had a hard time throwing and connecting with receivers other than kupps.

Allen Robinson, a valuable free agent receiver acquisition for the Rams, stole one target for just 12 yards and received only two targets. With Robinson uninvolved, Van Jefferson injured, and wide receivers with little depth behind them, Stafford targeted tight end Tyler Higby 11 times to minimize yardage.

“At the end of the day, we made too many mistakes,” said Kuppu. “They forced us to be consistent and to stay motivated. Offensively speaking, I think we didn’t do enough.”

One final source of concern for the Rams’ offense was the disappearance of Kam Akers in a run game. A year and a half after the Achilles tear that cost him most of last season, Akers came off the bench behind Daryl Henderson and ran the ball just three times without gaining a yard.

When asked about Akers’ lack of involvement, McVay changed the subject without mentioning him.

“I want Allen to be more involved,” McVay said. “I want more people to be involved.”

The Rams’ offensive struggle gave the Buffaloes a chance to deliver an early knockout blow, but three turnovers prevented the Bills from extending their lead. The result was a 10-10 halftime score, much closer than it should have been.

The Rams’ defense’s failure to come down the field on third down was ultimately bonkers. With a third and a long play, Bills quarterback Josh Allen delivered a ferocious right-handed stiff arm to defensive back Nick Scott and scrambled for a first down. In another, Allen found time to throw and hit Gabe Davis 47 yards on the post pattern.

Both of these drives resulted in touchdowns for Buffalo. The bill then added another with a third down conversion. The discovery of Allen A 53-yard TD to Stefon Diggs after star receiver fell well behind Jalen Ramsey.

Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner said, “We didn’t do enough work on third down. Third down killed us. We couldn’t get off the field.”

The Rams’ 21-point loss margin was the second-largest season-opening loss by a reigning Super Bowl champion. Only Baltimore his Ravens in 2013, Peyton suffered an even worse loss at Denver where Manning threw his 7 touchdowns with him hitting 22 points at the hands of the Broncos.

If there was a silver lining for the Rams, it was their reaction to the post-game loss. McVay blamed himself for not leading his players to success. Stafford said he wanted to release the ball sooner with some sacks. Wagner said he shouldn’t point the finger at the offense when the defense doesn’t get the job done.

Hollywood sequels rarely match the original, but The Rams are determined to keep trying.

“We’ll fix this,” McVay said. “It was a very humble night. But you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I have to be better within the framework of my role.'” That’s exactly me. is what we’re trying to do, that’s what our coaches are trying to do, that’s what our players are trying to do. “