Alan Bill technically makes a statement Josh Allen didn’t have all night. He took a sack and threw two interceptions at the end. But anyone watching Thursday’s game knows that the first was clearly on the receiver’s chalk, the second being picked up for a great play by Rams cornerback Troy Hill, who read the throw beautifully.
Allen was a machine before and after him. Once he was able to use his legs more in the melee and scored in the second half, the Rams had no answer. There were zero passes of more than 20 air yards through three quarters. Then in the first game of the fourth quarter, Allen faced a cover-0 blitz and dialed a deep ball to Gabe Davis for 47 yards.
After three plays, he enters the end zone. how do you stop him? Two photos couldn’t do that. Allen’s MVP favorite is the bombshell. Is there any cause for concern for Stafford? It’s easy to wonder whether Matthew Stafford is completely healthy. What we couldn’t do about his elbow after all the off-season stories. There are times in the game when he threw more than I can remember, but that’s hardly evidence that he’s somehow backing it up with his throwing speed.
Stafford’s first interception looked like a miscommunication with tight end Tyler Higby, making it hard to know who’s to blame. SECOND INT Stafford tried to dial up his Super Bowl magic with a three-quarter arm angle pass to Cooper Kupp, but Stafford was high and off-target with it.
Was it a beautiful walk? At least not. But Rams’ obstructions and the inability to run the ball out of 11 personnel made his task very difficult. There may be a physical element to Stafford’s Week 1 clashes, but let’s not default to that notion after a game.
Salute to the defense of the bill. Much of the ensuing discussion was about how the little corners of the bills could conflict.
But sixth-rounder Keir alum and Christian Benford, who played FCS ball a year ago, did extremely well and Dane Jackson had a pick. No matter how hard the rams tried, they couldn’t get out of those two-high looking burrows for most of the night. It’s difficult when you can’t run the ball. It seemed that from a big sporting standpoint, there was little opportunity to disappoint Stafford and Sean McVay.
Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier technically operates with an old-school mindset: Matriculate the offense in a field of eight, 10, 12 plays in one crack. The thinking is that mistakes will happen. That philosophy came to the fore in a big way on Thursday. The Bills found good pressure most nights, especially from Von Miller, and what looked like a very deep defensive line group.
The Rams helped him with poor pass-safety, and he had covered more than 38 yards in the first 55 minutes of the game. But the credit goes to the Buffalo Defense who carries in three picks and seven sacks. It was a tremendous effort.
Dorsey is off to a great start. Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey had his bag in his first regular-season game as a play-collar. The worry of losing Brian Dabol is tomorrow’s news. Dorsey played some of Allen’s rollout plays that Cam Newton used to do with the Panthers when Dorsey was their QB coach.
On a TD drive that raised the Bills to 17-10, Dorsey used Allen several times as a runner, resulting in his highlight-reel hard arm from Rams safety Nick Scott. Mix that with outside zone toss plays – a Kyle Shanahan staple that appears to be a new wrinkle and Dorsey was able to keep the Rams’ defense off-kilter at times.
So, he’s drawing from other team concepts, while also maintaining the core of the playbook that Allen has excelled at over the years. It’s hard to argue with that formula. where was cam? The Rams used Darrell Henderson to drive back extensively at the start of the game and in all eight plays of the opening drive, while Cam Akers was mostly seated.
I learned I was healthy after Acers announced earlier this week. He said that everyone else will get to see only on Thursday. I’m just going to play my game. Akers’ first carry came just minutes into the second quarter, resulting in no advantage. He will finish with two carries for zero yards. Is it too early to be worried? Definitely. This is week 1.
Rams have 10 days to face the eagles. Some of their uses can be attributed to the score getting out of hand. Perhaps the soft-tissue injury Akers dealt with in preseason is still barking a little. But how the rams use their backs at the start of this season will be worth watching. The fantasy owners of Acre certainly will.