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4 clear reasons not to overreact to Rams stinker vs. Josh Allen, Bills

NFL, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills

On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Rams opened the 2022 season with a highly anticipated game against the Buffalo Bills. Despite the high level of enthusiasm surrounding the game, the Bills made a strong statement by beating the Rams at SoFi Stadium in lopsided fashion.

The Rams offense gained only 243 yards and scored just one touchdown all game. On the opposite side of the field, the Bills’ defense played nearly flawlessly to derail the defending Super Bowl champs’ season opener.

The visitors won, 31-10, in Tinsletown. It put Rams coach Sean McVay in a very unfamiliar spot — a defeat in the first week of an NFL season.

It’s for real, whether it’s Week 1 or not. This isn’t the preseason, as the Rams swiftly discovered. The Rams may be the defending champions, but the Bills are for real. There are a number of reasons the experts picked the Bills as Super Bowl favorites, and we saw them on full display in Week 1.

Having said that, let’s not overreact, okay? Despite this being a forgettable game for the Rams, the loss doesn’t make them doormats. They are still champions until someone else wins Super Bowl LVII.

Here are 4 clear reasons not to overreact to the Rams’ loss to Josh Allen and the Bills.

4. Cooper Kupp is still Cooper Kupp

13 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown is not a bad stat line, even for Cooper Kupp. However, when the final scoreline is as lopsided as it was, all of your efforts are easily forgotten. Keep in mind, too, that the Rams didn’t have Odell Beckham Jr., who certainly could have helped out on offense. If he does return to the Rams’ roster, he would be a game-changer.

Be that as it may, Cooper Kupp still impressed. I mean, how many times did you guys hit replay on his toe-drag TD highlight on YouTube or Twitter? That was pretty awesome. The bottom line is that Kupp did his job. He delivered in this game, but the Super Bowl MVP cannot do it on his own. Right now, Sean McVay and the rest of the staff must find ways to share the wealth moving forward.

3. Nick Scott looks solid on defense

Nick Scott, outside of Kupp, was perhaps the Rams’ finest player on the field on opening night. Scott started in place of the injured Jordan Fuller and put up a total of seven tackles and a forced fumble in the blowout loss.

The Penn State graduate actually should have been credited with two forced fumbles, but Ernest Jones was credited with forcing the game’s first fumble. In any case, Scott demonstrated that even when Fuller returns to the field, the Rams will have to make room for him on defense.

And yes, even if Scott was on the business end of a Josh Allen stiff arm, nobody can fault the kid for going after maybe the best QB on the planet right now. Gotta give him props. He’s one to watch.

2. Cut Matthew Stafford some slack

Let us not overreact to Stafford’s poor performance. He did throw three interceptions and gained only 240 yards on 41 attempts. Were we really shocked by the INTs? And not all of those were his fault anyway. However, the offensive line did give up seven sacks and 15 hits on Stafford. Again, that should not be the quarterback’s accountability, though he’s probably feeling those painkillers kick in right about now.

Keep in mind that Stafford did complete two of his five passes that were at least 20 yards downfield. Take note as well that the interception intended for Cooper Kupp was the result of his attempting a difficult no-look ball when it wasn’t really necessary. We praised him for it in 2021. Let’s not crucify him for trying it out again on Week 1, shall we?

Obviously, his elbow is also still bothering him. That’s no excuse, of course, but assuming his elbow heals up in the coming weeks, he should perform better. And, yes, he deserves better o-line protection as well.

1. These are the Bills, man

In 2022, the Buffalo Bills are on a mission, and they made a strong first impression against the defending champs. We all knew the Bills were good and that they had a legitimate shot at beating the Rams. Why are we so incensed they did just that?

Maybe we didn’t expect Jalen Ramsey to give up so many deep balls? Sure, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten how to cover receivers. Remember that he faced no less than Stefon Diggs, one of the top receivers in the game. Ramsey’s bad performance isn’t excused since he’s shut down top-tier pass catchers previously, but he appeared rusty and wasn’t in peak condition given how extensively the Rams played zone coverage. He will absolutely get better.

Remember also that these are the Bills, man. They’re very good. To wit, they boast one of, if not the, strongest defensive fronts in all of football. No team wants to give up seven sacks, but against Von Miller, Greg Rousseau, and an in-form Jordan Phillips, it’s possible.

And again, these are the Bills, man. They’re led by Josh Allen, who was visibly hungry to bounce back after the way they exited the 2021 playoffs. The consensus pre-regular-season MVP pick pretty much played to form. For sure, no one can argue that he isn’t a true MVP contender. Three passing touchdowns and one running TD? That’s four touchdowns for the Bills, and he had a hand in all of them.

The Rams are good. They are defending champs. They just ran into a helluva better, hungrier, and more complete team to open their season.