The Bills hype train has been rolling all offseason.
With a win to open the season, they showed signs of why that’s been the case.
On a night where the Rams raised their championship banner from winning Super Bowl LVI, the Bills came to SoFi Stadium and defeated Los Angeles 31-10 — and it easily could have been more lopsided.
At times, the play was sloppy from both sides. The Bills had three turnovers in the first half, though they led to just three Rams points. L.A. quarterback Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times, as his team’s offense struggled to find consistency. The score was tied at 10 after two quarters.
But in the second half, the Bills controlled the ball and the clock and pulled away to start the season 1-0.
Though receiver Isaiah McKenzie dropped a pass that ended up as an interception in the first half, he scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Josh Allen fired a 7-yard pass to him on the right side that put Buffalo up 17-10.
Receiver Gabriel Davis also picked up where he left off in last season’s divisional round, catching a 26-yard touchdown to open the scoring in the first quarter. He then caught a 47-yard pass to start the fourth quarter that set up Allen’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Allen’s score capped a physical 13-play, 89-yard drive that took 6:44 off the clock and put Buffalo firmly in control of the game with 13:27 remaining in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Stafford attempted a no-look pass down the field to Kupp. But it went off the top of his hands and into the waiting arms of safety Jordan Poyer for Stafford’s second interception of the night.
Allen and Diggs removed doubt when they connected on a 53-yard touchdown on third-and-4 with 9:25 left in the contest.
Allen finished the contest 26-of-31 passing for 297 yards with three touchdowns and two picks. He also led the Bills with 10 carries for 56 yards with a TD.
For good measure, defensive end Boogie Basham tipped a Stafford pass to himself to give the Bills their third interception of the night. But the Bills didn’t score when running back Zack Moss fumbled in the red zone.
While Los Angeles’ defense came up with a few takeaways, the team generally had trouble stopping Buffalo’s offense. The Bills started the game 9-of-10 on third down and were averaging 7.3 yards per play after Diggs scored his touchdown.
Per Bills PR, Buffalo set a franchise record with seven sacks in a season opener. The previous record was six against Minnesota in 1994.
Thursday’s game was the first Rams’ season-opening loss of the Sean McVay era. The Rams will be back at SoFi Stadium to host the Falcons next week.
The 1-0 Bills will get to enjoy a long weekend and an extra day of rest before hosting the Titans next Monday night.