Bay Area

First half takeaways from Rams-Bills NFL season opener

Bay Area
NFL
The Rams and Bills are tied 10-10 at the half.
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Two potential Super Bowl candidates are going at it in Thursday’s NFL season opener.

The Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills are tied 10-10 at the end of the first half, with the Rams evening the score on a 57-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. 

With quarters three and four still to play, let’s take a look at five takeaways from an entertaining first half:

Running back play slow out of the gate

Aside from Darrell Henderson’s 18-yard run that led to Los Angeles’ first touchdown, the running department has not been a category of strength for either side. Henderson started the game with four carries for eight yards, though his timely run buffed his numbers to seven carries for 33 yards. Cam Akers didn’t get a carry in the opening quarter, and his first two earned no yards.

For Buffalo, Devin Singletary collected 18 yards on four carries, with rookie James Cook fumbling on his first carry. Zack Moss’ two runs went for just four yards. Let’s see if the ground game is refined in the second half.

 

Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford plagued by interceptions

As expected, both starting quarterbacks are slinging the ball early on with the run game struggling. Allen began the game completing his first 10 passes until Terrell Lewis intercepted the 11th. The Bills quarterback bounced back, but threw a costly pick over the middle just before the first half ended to make it two in one half. 

Stafford started the game completing his first six passes, but the seventh resulted in a pick by Dane Jackson. This contest could’ve had more points on the board, but that hasn’t been the reality just yet. 

Bobby Wagner’s debut off to a promising start

Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner moved south this offseason to join the Rams. Through one half, the 10-year veteran has been stout in the middle, leading all players in tackles with six (four solo) to go with one sack, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. If he can keep it up, the Bills will have a tough time getting past the middle of Los Angeles’ defense.

Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp in enthralling battle

In the battle of the two No. 1 receivers, Rams’ 2021 triple crown winner Cooper Kupp is on top. Kupp has eight catches on nine targets for 56 yards and a toe-tap touchdown. Stefon Diggs started the game strong but waned as the Bills’ offense became turnover prone. The 28-year-old Diggs has six catches for 62 yards through one half.

Von Miller gets early revenge in return

Von Miller’s return to Los Angeles started off positive. He got a sack on Stafford in the early portion of the first since leaving for Buffalo in the offseason. Miller added two tackles for a loss in his stat sheet as well, so he’ll look to stay hungry to keep the Bills in it in the second.