It’s finally here. Week One has arrived. For the Super Bowl favorite Bills, will this first test be the toughest on their schedule all year? We just have two more sleeps until we see All Pros and future Hall of Famers collide
Season 103, Episode 1
For the first time since the Bills’ Super Bowl years in the mid-90’s, they are favorites to win every single one of their games according to ESPN and CBS. In week one, the Bills open their season where last year’s Lombardi trophy was hoisted, and they will match up with the team who hoisted that Lombardi trophy, the Los Angeles Rams. This is also the game that I believe will be the teams’ biggest challenge all season, not including potential playoff matchups.
Buffalo also plays teams such as Tennessee, Kansas City, Cleveland, Green Bay and Cincinnati, however though a few of those games will be highly contested, no game will be more highly televised nor pose as onerous a threat than last year’s champions.
The Champs Have Artillery
Looking up and down the Rams’ offense, there are playmakers and Pro Bowlers everywhere. Starting with the quarterback, Matt Stafford. After spending his first twelve seasons in Detroit and withstanding a loathsome front office and lack of receivers throughout his tenure, Stafford was finally dealt to Los Angeles to join the Rams for Jared Goff. As Goff made the wretched trip from LA to Detroit, Stafford was over the moon, excited to join his new offensive mastermind head coach in Sean McVay, while having more than an abundance of weapons to work with.
The Rams’ offensive prowess starts, middles, and ends with the extraordinary play of wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who after showing abilities to be a nice versatile pass catcher with Goff, broke out under the expertise and sheer precision of Stafford and won the triple crown, leading the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns, being the first to achieve the remarkable feat since Steve Smith in 2005. Kupp became just the sixteenth receiver in NFL history to win the triple crown, and heading into his sixth year in the league, he is in the prime of his career.
The mid-season addition of Odell Beckham Jr. was a quintessential fit for LA as well, as Beckham was rejuvenated and made it much easier on the rest of the offense by constantly forcing double teams and beating cornerbacks when he was matched up in single coverage. OBJ made a touchdown catch in the Rams’ Super Bowl win but was later shaken up and forced to depart the game due to injury.
The belief is that Beckham will be back with either LA or actually sign with Buffalo for the 2022-23 season, however his torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl has to finish healing before he can be signed. Newly acquired Von Miller has been heavily recruiting Beckham to the Bills ever since joining. In fact, the former teammates have been going back and forth on Instagram for months regarding the matter. While Taron Johnson, Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are busy trying to contain Kupp, it will most likely be the rookie Kaiir Elam in his first professional game that will be asked to match up with the three-time Pro Bowl wideout.
Kupp & Robinson
If that didn’t seem like enough of a challenge for the Bills’ defense, LA also acquired former Bears receiver Allen Robinson in the offseason. After catching passes from Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky and the hapless QB combination of Andy Dalton and Nick Foles, Robinson finally has found a place with elite talent all around him and has been flourishing already. The reigning Super Bowl MVP had this to say about his new running mate.
“He looks really good. He’s been huge for us this offseason,” Kupp said. “It’s been incredible to see him work, find his niche and find how he’s gonna fit into things and his ability to run all the routes and do all the things he wants to do in this offense, all things Coach asks receivers to do, he’s not only willing but he is able. I’m really excited for him, and his mentality has been great. He’s been a great addition as a sounding board for me even to run ideas by him, talk football with. It’s been a lot of fun.” https://theramswire.usatoday.com/2022/09/05/rams-cooper-kupp-allen-robinson-offense-progress/
AD= Greatest Defensive Player Ever?
Needless to say, without the comfort of having All Pro Tre’Davious White in the fold week one, Buffalo will be just hoping not to allow over thirty points in this years’ season opener. Looking at the other side of the ball, although Buffalo did steal one of LA’s best in Von Miller, number ninety-nine wearing the blue and yellow will strike fear into every quarterback and offensive coordinator for as long as he plays.
Aaron Donald made the play to save the Super Bowl in the final seconds in February, and even after a bit of chatter in the summer about retirement, rest assured Donald is still an LA Ram and he is vying to become the single most accomplished and dominant defensive tackle to ever play. Josh Allen faced him once in 2020 in Buffalo, and while the home-team Bills edged LA in that contest, Donald certainly made Allen’s life miserable for many snaps throughout the day. Donald forced a sack fumble and also made numerous tackles for losses in the backfield all game, as he always does.
This Team Has Hall Of Famers
Other than Aaron, the Rams acquired Bobby Wagner as well, and he will be controlling the middle of the field along with Leonard Floyd in what could be the best new linebacker duo the league has to offer. Floyd, who is going into his year-twenty-nine season, has racked up 19.5 sacks in his first two years with Los Angeles, and he is now a proven elite outside pass rusher.
Of course, the Bills will compete just fine with their heavy loaded offense, headed by MVP favorite Josh Allen, 2020-21 receiving champion Stefon Diggs, and rising star Gabe Davis. The addition of rookie James Cook will hopefully jolt the running game, and Dawson Knox is ready to become a top five tight end as well.
Yes, Buffalo has an elite offense, but Allen and company will not have a walk in the park in the season premiere on NBC. Though Buffalo faces a AFC divisional game rematch in Kansas City, a cold Halloween Sunday Night game at home against Green Bay and a fun week 17 showdown in Cincinnati, I believe the game that will give the team the most trouble will undoubtedly be Los Angeles in week one.