2022 Kickoff Preview – Bills at Rams

SB Champs vs SB Favorites Square Off in Season Opener

by Nikko Buenavidez
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Football is back! The NFL season kicks off Thursday night with the defending champions taking on the Buffalo Bills in what could be a Super Bowl preview this year. This should be a fun game to watch, so let’s preview some matchups and players to watch.

Matchups to Watch

Jalen Ramsey vs Stefon Diggs

In a matchup against some of the league’s best, this should be one of the most important during this game. Ramsey doesn’t shadow the whole game like he used to, but we should see him lined up across Diggs for a few snaps. The last time the two faced each other in 2020, Ramsey allowed 2 catches on 4 targets for 13 yards in shadow coverage. If they can limit Diggs, Gabriel Davis or someone else will have to step up as the next receiver for Josh Allen.

Rams Defensive Line vs Bills Offensive Line

The Rams’ defensive line is one of the deepest in the league, which should pose a big threat for Josh Allen. The Bills line ranked 20th in the NFL according to PFF and their success hinges on the development of some young players. One of the keys to this game will be the Rams’ ability to put pressure on Josh Allen and contain him in the pocket. Once Allen starts running, he’s one of the most threatening playmakers in the NFL.

Rams WRs vs Bills Secondary

The Bills’ secondary will be somewhat depleted after the loss of Tre’Davious White but is still a solid unit. They’ve got one of the best safety duos with Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, as well as rookie first-rounder Kaiir Elam. The Rams have a deep wide receiver room headlined by Cooper Kupp, and the Bills might not have the talent to keep up. One of the key ways for the Bills to win will be limiting the Rams’ passing attack, making them turn to the run game which is worse in comparison.

Players to Watch

Allen Robinson

One of the major additions for the Rams this offseason, Robinson joins the defending champs after having a down year. With Matthew Stafford being the best quarterback he’s ever had, he should easily be in line for a breakout year. Not only that, but with many defenses now focused on stopping Cooper Kupp, it should open up more work for Robinson on the outside. In the opener, he should be one of the main targets to take advantage of, as Buffalo is mostly going to be focused on Kupp.

Bobby Wagner

The other big Rams addition, Wagner will now lead a linebacking corps that struggled in coverage last year. He and Ernest Jones should be a great duo and it will be interesting to watch how he performs on a much better defense. I’ll be keeping a close eye on his role, and if he’s still got the ability to produce. The entire linebacking room will need to contain Josh Allen and the Bills running backs if they want a chance at winning.

Gabriel Davis

Davis is an interesting case, as his best game came in the playoffs against the Chiefs. He has only topped 100 receiving yards three times, and I don’t really see the hype everyone has been giving him. I think he’s basically the Bills’ version of Van Jefferson, WR3 on the Rams. Having said that, Davis could still be the X-Factor this game, with Ramsey or Hill focusing on Stefon Diggs.

Von Miller

Unfortunately for the Rams, Miller will be on the opposite team this time, leading a young Buffalo defensive line. Miller had a big impact on the Rams championship push last year, and put up good stats as well. He’s still a solid edge rusher and knows the Rams well. Against a young offensive line, Miller could take advantage of Joe Noteboom to get to Stafford.

You can find all NFL picks from our NFL computer model at PicksforTonight.

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