Commanders

Winners, losers from Bills-Rams opening night showdown

Commanders
Josh Allen
Josh Allen put on a show in the Bills' season-opening win over the Rams.
USA TODAY Sports

Utter domination. 

That’s how one could describe the Buffalo Bills’ commanding 31-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL season opener on Thursday.

After the game was tied 10-10 at the end of the first half, the Bills cruised to a 21-0 point differential in the final two quarters in a statement win over the defending Super Bowl champions. 

With plenty to discuss from the game, here are some winners and losers for both teams:

Winner: Von Miller

The Bills’ defense dictated this game. Though their offense coughed up the ball four times, the defense’s stout and reliable performance against Matthew Stafford and the Rams was commendable. Former Ram Von Miller was at the heart of it all. He had two of Buffalo’s seven sacks, including three tackles for a loss. That was definitely a quick revenge game for the 33-year-old star.

Loser: Matthew Stafford

After having a solid-but-could-be-better first half, Stafford fell apart in the second. He finished the game with 240 passing yards on 29 of 41 completed passes, which doesn’t seem bad, but he also threw three interceptions and could not move the ball deep down the field. Two of those picks came in the second half, halting the Rams’ momentum when trying to keep pace with Josh Allen and the flying Bills. 

 

Winner: Josh Allen

Two interceptions smeared Allen’s stat line, but there was no doubt he was a force to reckoned with. Whether throwing the ball or carrying it, the Rams struggled to contain the dual-threat quarterback. He finished with 297 passing yards, completing 26 of 31 attempts with three touchdowns and two interceptions. His deep passes were accurate, and he added a touchdown on the ground after running for 56 yards on 10 carries. This is the level Allen needs to be at to guide Buffalo to a Super Bowl.

Loser: Cam Akers

Whether it was lingering injury issues or another reason, Akers was not up to par in Thursday’s loss. After having no carries in the first quarter, he had just three the rest of the way – none of them generated any yards. Darrell Henderson shouldered the running load but mustered just 47 yards on 13 carries, and one of them was an 18-yard rush. Not a good start if the Rams hope to be more dynamic this year.

Winner: Stefon Diggs against Jalen Ramsey

Combining two in one, Stefon Diggs goes down as a winner while his opponent, Jalen Ramsey, drops into the loser category. In a battle between No. 1 receiver and No. 1 cornerback, and arguably the best corner in the league in Ramsey, Diggs came out on top. He had eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 53-yard deep ball with Ramsey in coverage. 

Losers: Rams’ offensive line, Allen Robinson

No Andrew Whitworth, a lot of problems. The Rams’ offensive line just couldn’t prevent the Bills’ attack from getting home, whether it was the run game or bringing down Stafford. As aforementioned, Stafford was sacked seven times for 49 yards lost. 

Then comes Allen Robinson, who was not found much in his debut with the Rams. After coming over from the Chicago Bears on a three-year, $46.5 million deal in the offseason, Robinson mustered just one catch for 12 yards. Cooper Kupp, who had 13 catches for 128 yards, will need significantly more help than that as Robinson is replacing Odell Beckham Jr. as Stafford’s No. 2 option.