1. Rams couldn’t stop the run.
The defense was consistently creased and even when they weren’t, the Rams weren’t making tackles. This really set the tone for the game early. Once the Rams couldn’t stop the run, the game became winnable for the Bills. The Bills had 190 yards rushing on just 27 attempts. McCoy led the way with 18 attempts for 150 yards an average of 8.3 yards per attempt.
2.Trumaine Johnson’s injury is a major deal.
The secondary had just begun coming into form with EJ Gaines’ arrival. Trumaine Johnson was really looking like an all-pro cornerback. Now he looks most likely headed for IR. This is a huge mental and physical loss for the team.
3.The defense really missed Robert Quinn.
Rob’s constant pressure of the edge makes everyone better. They missed him in a major way, and his production can’t be replaced. Aaron Donald was still Aaron Donald but is not able to dominate without Quinn in the rotation, especially when you tack on the losses of Will Hayes and Michael Brockers.
4. Jeff Fisher was out coached by Rex Ryan today.
Fisher always has a weak spot for Rex Ryan, and today should have been more suspected. Rex had Fisher frustrated today to the point that he made a dreadful fake punt call on his own 20s with all three of his timeouts in his pocket. This unsuccessful fake punt led to the final Buffalo touchdown. Buffalo’s offense executed a good plan against the Rams defense. The Ryan brothers “bend but don’t break” strategy ended up being enough today.
5.Keenum’s numbers make his performance look better than it is.
Case Keenum did not play winning football despite going 21 of 31 for 270 yards and 2 Interceptions. His first interception was a costly pick 6 and was the reason the Rams were playing from behind. Defenses continue to stack the box against Keenum making running the ball more difficult.
6.The Rams lost all facets of the game.
Offense v. Offense- Advantage Buffalo, largely due to the fact the Bills’ offense made no major costly errors. Without Kennum’s pick six the Rams were able to move the ball, but failed when it came to scoring touchdowns in the red zone. This was also a major difference in the game.
Defense v. Defense- The Bills’ defense created turnovers. The Rams tackled poorly and were dominated by LeSean McCoy. Big Advantage Bills.
Special Teams v. Special Teams- Slight advantage to Bills. There were no Tavon theatrics on special teams today, largely due to a great day by Bills punter Colton Schmidt. Greg Zuerlein continues to play like a pro bowl kicker. His 54 yard kick today was special. The “roughing the punter” committed by Josh Forrest was a turnover as it allowed the Bills to keep the ball during a critical 16-16 juncture in the game. Instead of the Rams starting the possession at their own 40, they got the ball on their own 14. This field position is critical when you have the Rams offense.
7. It is time for a QB change.
The inability to take advantage of a consistently loaded box is troubling. The more tape that gets out there, the more the Rams will struggle. It is time to go to Goff and if he is not ready, it is Mannion time. Without the move, the Rams are too predictable, and the offense is going to get more and more impotent.
8.The receivers seem to be coming on.
Today was the best performance this season from Britt, Austin and Quick collectively. If this group keeps making strides, this will be a real positive for the future.
9. When the defense is subpar it is hard to win with the Rams offense.
The outcome today may very well have been different if Case didn’t throw a pick six and miss Brian Quick on two significant plays. However, when you combine Case Keenum with a defense that gave up 7 yards a run, your result is a loss.
10. Just in case anyone thought this: it is not Todd Gurley’s fault.
He is a hell of a player and the opponents all know this. They are not letting Gurley beat them.
Los Angeles was not a friend to the Rams this week.
LA is wonderful city and truly has more to do than probably any other city in America. After watching the Rams lose a winnable game, it makes you wonder how much the players enjoyed LA this week. Think about it. They have been on the road for two previous weekends and then they were in LA this week. They follow this up with a trip to Detroit and from there heading to London. Given this travel itinerary and today’s performance, I’m thinking the players could have let LA get the better of them this week.