OPINION: Bills toyed with defending Super Bowl champions

Buffalo now owns the second-largest victory over a defending Super Bowl champion in their season opener after shellacking the Rams

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - Wow!

I think that would be the best way to describe the Buffalo Bills' dismantling of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams to open, what we all hope will be, a championship season for Western New York.

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Josh Allen and the offense toyed with a Rams defense that should still be good, despite losing Von Miller to the Bills in free agency. Miller and the Bills defense shut down the Rams offense, and the pass rush was unstoppable.

You couldn't write a much better script.

In his first game as offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey passed with flying colors.

Dorsey put together a smart game plan by going with a series of quick, short throws by Allen to help negate stud tackle Aaron Donald and the Rams pass rush. That strategy helped contribute to Allen completing a Bills single-game record 83.87% of his passes.

The Rams thought Allen wouldn't be patient enough to take what they were giving him, but the Rams thought wrong.

When the Rams finally decided to change their defensive approach, Allen showed off his rocket arm and hit Gabriel Davis for a 47-yard bomb, which led to an eventual touchdown by Allen on the ground.

Allen followed that up with the kill shot, a 53-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs that gave the Bills a 31-10 lead.

Allen was in complete control of the offense, and while he was doing what he does, Diggs was being Diggs. It didn't matter who the Rams put on Diggs, including standout corner Jalen Ramsey, Diggs was constantly getting open.

Diggs ended the night with eight receptions on nine targets for 122 yards and the long touchdown.

Devin Singletary picked up where he left off last season. While he didn't have a ton of touches, Singletary ran hard, hit the holes and did enough on the ground to make the Rams have to respect the run game.

Think about this stat: The offense put up 31 points despite the fact they turned the ball over four times.

They should have scored more than 40 points, against the defending champs, on their turf, in the season opener, on a night where the Rams unveiled their Super Bowl champions banner.

How about that Bills defense?

This performance was exactly what the Bills' brain trust had in mind when they overhauled the defensive line during the offseason. I said during training camp this is the deepest and most talented defensive line group in the Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott era, and it showed up on Thursday night.

Of the eight players who dressed, five recorded, at least, one sack, and seven of the eight had at least one quarterback hit.

Perhaps what's even more impressive, all of the seven sacks from the Bills came without blitzing, and all seven sacks and 15 quarterback hits came from the defensive line.

Von Miller was as advertised, as he recorded two sacks while playing only 52% of the snaps. His pass rush win rate was 48%, meaning he beat his man every other play, basically. He showed off his bull rush on the first sack - pushing left tackle Joe Noteboom back into Matthew Stafford - and then his speed on the second, as he beat a chip block and then beat Noteboom by going wide.

The defense held the Rams to 243 net yards over 10 drives. Los Angeles averaged just 3.7 yards per-play and only 2.9 yards per-carry.

In addition to the seven sacks, Buffalo picked off Stafford three times.

The only time the Rams recorded a touchdown came on a drive that started on their own 40-yard line after a Tyler Bass kickoff sailed out of bounds. The only other points came via a field goal. That came at the end of a possession that started at the Bills' 45-yard line after an Allen interception.

Even then, the Rams managed just six yards on that drive before connecting on a 57-yard field goal.

If anyone thought people were getting carried away with the Bills' Super Bowl hype, I hope they saw this game. I'm sure it would have changed their mind.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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