Allen throws 3 TDs; Bills dominant in win at Rams
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — All of the expectations in the world were on the Buffalo Bills’ shoulders heading into the season-opening game against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. And when the spotlight was on, the Bills delivered in a big way, making a statement and coming away with a 31-10 win at SoFi Stadium despite first-half mistakes.
After going into halftime tied at 10, the Bills — this season’s Super Bowl favorites, per Caesars Sportsbook — went full steam ahead in the second half, scoring touchdowns on three straight possessions, while forcing two punts and intercepting quarterback Matthew Stafford twice in the second half alone.
Despite two first-half interceptions — one of which bounced off wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie — quarterback Josh Allen led the way, completing 26 of 33 passes (83.9%) for 297 yards and three touchdowns. His completion percentage broke the Bills’ regular-season record, previously set by Trent Edwards in 2008. Allen also was the team’s leading rusher with nine carries for 57 yards and a score.
The Bills’ offense had success maintaining drives on third down, finishing 9-for-10 (90%), tied for second best in the past 30 seasons by any team in a single game. Buffalo did not punt once in the game.
The defense gave Stafford fits, sacking him seven times — the most Stafford has been sacked as a Ram. Two of those sacks came from Von Miller in his first game as a Bill. Miller also had two quarterback hits and three tackles for loss.
The Bills were able to generate pressure successfully without blitzing. By the fourth quarter, the Bills had only one blitz on 49 dropbacks (2%). Stafford was 0-3 last season when opponents blitzed less than 10% of the time.
Los Angeles was able to stay in the game early thanks to a 4-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Cooper Kupp late in the second quarter, but the Rams were unable to get the offense going in the second half. The Bills’ outpaced the Rams in total yardage 414-243.
L.A. became the third defending Super Bowl champion since 2004 to lose a Thursday season opener (teams were previously 14-2).
The Bills will now get a long break before hosting the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football in Week 2.
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