Rams/Bills Takeaways and Summary

by Lewie Bartone
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*Insert Captain America meme* So, you’re mad that the refs screwed up another game.

Look, I’m as upset as anyone about that ticky-tacky DPI call at the end of the Rams/Bills game, but I feel like Rams fans are the last people that are allowed to complain about bad calls. It’s the NFL, it happens every week and sometimes you’re on the right side of it and sometimes you’re on the wrong side of it. Don’t let this overshadow the amazing comeback the Rams put together in the second half. There’s a lot of good to take away from this loss, so keep your chin up Rams fans! My thoughts from the aftermath of the week 3 matchup…

Offense –

Balance, balance, balance. That has been the story with the LA Rams this season and it’s been a lot of fun to watch. McVay called nearly an even-split game — 32 rushing plays/34 passing plays — and even when they were down 28-3, showed a lot of patience by continuing to utilize the ground game. That’s something we didn’t see him do often last year, usually abandoning the run entirely and making Goff throw it 50+ times, so that’s promising. I believe that LA has the ground attack for this to work throughout the season, which should keep them in more games than not.

Darrell Henderson looks like the guy people thought he would be when the Rams drafted him last season. He was decisive, fast, and showed great vision throughout the whole game. The RBBC in LA has been great through three weeks and I don’t expect McVay to change anything now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Henderson start leading this backfield more often than not. 

Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are proving they were worth the extensions handed to them in recent weeks — Kupp exploding for 9/107/1 and Woods going 5/74/1, along with 30 rushing yards. As I said before the season started, this is one of the best and most balanced WR corps in the NFL and they looked every piece of it on Sunday. Although, I will say, Cooper Kupp does not need to be returning punts. Please coach, please take him out.

Speaking of special teams, the kicking unit for the Rams is going to continue to be problematic, until Sam Sloman can get more experience and find his legs. Don’t be surprised to see more missed field goals, potentially costing this team a win or two.

Defense – 

Throughout the first half, the defense looked bad. Like, B-A-D. It was concerning, seeing how Josh Allen was able to carve up the secondary and how little pressure they were getting on him. The O-line for Buffalo did a great job controlling the LOS. But, as football fans know, you can only stop Aaron Donald and co. for so long. The second half was a completely different story — the pass rush looked every bit as dominant as it did the first two weeks, which in turn allowed the secondary to not have to stay in coverage as long. Buffalo scored a touchdown seven minutes into the 3rd quarter and didn’t get back on the board until the final 15 seconds of the game. Talk about controlling the flow of the game!

As much praise as I want to give the defense for the great second half, the secondary looked lost a lot of the time on Sunday. It’s unacceptable to give up a 22-yard play on 3rd & 22 at any point in a game, but to do it in the final minutes of the game is just awful. Cole Beasley was able to get loose a lot on Sunday and I’m not gonna be surprised to see offenses start taking advantage of the middle of the field against the Rams as the season goes on. 

ICYMI, Aaron Donald isn’t human. I think he’s playing the best football of his career these first three weeks and DPOY is very realistic. 

Misc. – 

Something that may be forgotten through all of this was that the Rams had back to back 1 pm east coast games, something that west coast teams struggle with every year, and yet they were able to nearly mount a massive comeback victory after a second-half surge of 29 unanswered points. That’s promising; it shows a lot of mental toughness and that’s something that Rams fans should be excited about for the season.

Rams are 2-1, tied with the Cardinals and the 49ers, and although this game showed up in the loss column, I believe they put the league on notice that no lead is safe on these guys. Look for the Rams to continue to show up, with matchups against the Giants and the Washington Football Team in the next two weeks, respectively.

Lastly, gradient numbers looked great on TV and anyone that disparaged them in the offseason was wrong and no, I never said a bad thing about them, there’s no need to check my Twitter from a few months ago. 

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