For week 5 the Buffalo Bills will come to Los Angeles to face the Rams in what will be a meeting of two teams on unlikely winning streaks. The Bills defense has rebounded after a lackluster first couple of weeks. The Rams have strung together three wins with great defense and a surprise showing by their offense. This week should be a low scoring battle and should help one of these teams get closer to their end season goal, the playoffs.
Buffalo’s Rushing Attack VS Rams’ Front Seven
Typically we have one of the key matchups being against the Rams defensive line but this week it will be the whole front seven against one of the most diverse, varied, and explosive rushing attacks the NFL has to offer. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy offer a 1-2 punch most of the NFL doesn’t have and they do so in a variety of ways. One of the quarks of this offense is the different packages they offer such as the Wildcat with McCoy and the triple option with Taylor having the ability to take it the distance. This week will be a test for the athletic duo of Barron and Ogletree at linebacker and should show if the Rams are serious in stopping the run this season. If the Rams can slow the rush attack they should have the upper hand as Taylor is much more dangerous with his feat than with his inconsistent arm. If the Bills continue their strong running it could be a long day for the entire defense as they will be on the field for a long time. One thing to watch in this matchup for the Rams is Aaron Donald who was slighted by head coach Rex Ryan a few years ago and well documented was Donald’s response this week.
Todd Gurley VS Bills Front Seven
Todd Gurley has been stymied this year as he averages under three yards per carry and has only two rushing touchdowns on the year. Last week, Gurley was able to get going in the passing game helping the Rams move the ball into scoring position and this week should be an extension of that. The Bills are good at stopping the run and will add All-Pro defensive tackle Marcell Darius this week who is back after serving his four game suspension. With the exotic packages Rex Ryan and his brother draw up, the Rams could be in for a long day of blitzes and of reading disguised coverages. If the Rams can’t get Gurley going this week it may be the game the Rams can’t pull out with timely chunk plays and timely turnovers. With Gurley facing a team that hasn’t played him in his short career this could be the game he breaks out and plays to his expectations. If Gurley can get it going this offense will have taken the next step in its offensive progression and should come out of this game with win number four on the young season.
Turnover Battle and Field Position
Ultimately this game will more than likely come down to the turnover battle. If either team coughs up the ball it will put their respective defenses in bad field positions in what will ultimately be a defensive game anyway. The Rams feature, if not the best, one of the best special teams units in all of football and helped their team win the game last week against the Cardinals with a big punt return which set up the late game winning touchdown. If the Rams can get similar production this week it could be the needle that tips the scale in the Rams favor which is why it is very important for the Rams to take care of the football. If Keenum has one of his knucklehead moments and throws an interception for six, it could be the one touchdown of the game and cost the Rams the victory. The Bills moved the ball well against the Patriots last week but will face a tougher test against the Rams who have found a way to create turnovers in late game situations. If the Bills can protect the ball this week, their offense is slightly better on paper and should be able to push the Bills over the top this week and help their defense win the game.
This game will come down to who can move the ball, control the ball, and win the turnover battle. It may not be as important to score a ton of points in this one as both teams like playing low scoring battles and would prefer to control the clock and field position. With the Rams superior hands team, Hekker could be a real weapon this week for the Rams while the Bills have a superior quarterback. Look for this game to come down to the wire and for the winner to have won in the three categories listed above.