3 Bills most responsible for Week 1 win vs. Rams
The Buffalo Bills made a major statement in the NFL season opener. The team traveled to Los Angeles to face the reigning Super Bowl champions and produced a dominant 31-10 victory. The Bills outscored the Rams 21-0 in the second half and tallied 170 more total yards than Los Angeles. There were high expectations for the Bills coming into the matchup and they more than delivered in Week 1.
With the start to the season going about as well as possible for the Bills, here are the three players most responsible for the victory.
3. Stefon Diggs
It should be no surprise that Stefon Diggs played a major role in the Bills’ offense. Coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, Diggs picked up right where he left off in the 2022 season opener. In total, he caught 8 of his 9 targets which he took for 122 yards and a touchdown. His 53-yard touchdown early on in the 4th quarter put the exclamation point on the game and seemed to truly put it out of reach.
STEFON DIGGS BEATS RAMSEY FOR SIX‼️
— ESPN (@espn) September 9, 2022
Diggs’ impact goes beyond just the stat sheet as the attention he demanded opened things up for the Bills’ offense. The Rams primarily lined up Jalen Ramsey on the star wide receiver and Diggs got the better of this matchup throughout the game. Josh Allen recorded a perfect QB rating (158.3) when the star corner was the primary defender, which is the second time in his career this has been the case per ESPN Stats and Info.
While Ramsey has battled a shoulder injury this offseason and may not be 100 percent, the play of Stefon Diggs was impressive nonetheless. He will surely play a major role in the success of the team moving forward and got off to the perfect start in the opening week.
2. Von Miller
After winning a Super Bowl with the Rams last season, Von Miller elected to sign with the Bills in free agency on a six-year deal. The future Hall of Famer has tallied double-digit sacks seven times in his career and still clearly has some gas left in the tank. Miller made his impact felt in his first game in Buffalo and played a major role against his former team. The 33-year-old tallied two sacks and three tackles for loss in the matchup. Both of these numbers were the top mark for the Bills’ defense.
It was a complete defensive effort from the Bills’ defense in Week 1, but Von Miller deserves a ton of credit for his impact. Buffalo made their statement why they are rightfully regarded as the Super Bowl favorites by taking down the defending champs. If the defense can continue to take strides forward and keep up the strong effort it bodes extremely well for their postseason hopes.
1. Josh Allen
There are a number of positive takeaways surrounding the Bills, but the biggest story is certainly the strong play of Josh Allen. The former seventh overall pick has ascended into one of the premier QBs in the NFL and got off to a terrific start in the MVP race. It is extremely impressive the amount of improvement that Allen has made in his four seasons in the NFL.
Allen may have shown the most progression from the start of his career until now of any player in any sport. It is quite impressive to go from the 10 touchdowns and 12 interception tally as a rookie to the star he has become now. He seemed to take another step forward in his progression to start the 2022 season.
In total, Allen completed 26 of 31 pass attempts for 297 yards and three touchdowns. He did tally two interceptions but both were passes that gave his wide receiver an opportunity to make a play. In addition to his passing, Allen made an impressive impact when running the ball. He led the Bills in rushing yards with 56 yards in his ten carries and got into the end zone with his legs as well. The Wyoming product made use of his 6-foot-5 frame and showed no fear when defenders attempted to bring him down. While he may draw some criticism for not sliding to protect himself more, his hard-nosed style of play is incredibly exciting to watch. His growth in this area has provided the Bills’ offense with a new outlook as well.
If the Bills are to be the true contenders they are perceived to be, they will need Josh Allen to continue to perform like the franchise quarterback he is capable of being. He put forth the exact type of effort that will have Bills fans excited in Week 1 and this is the level that will be expected moving forward. Even with the interceptions, it was just about an ideal start for Josh Allen and the Bills.