What can the Rams take from the Bills’ game?

  • 2020 NFL Season
  • aaron donald
  • Los Angeles Rams
By Raul Corona September 29, 2020 0 Comment

The Los Angeles Rams lost a highly contested game defined by the team’s mercurial performance. The final score reads Rams 32 – Bills 35, but it was a different game before and after halftime.

The first half was a blowout. The offense struggled to put points on the board. Sam Sloman missed his first field goal of the day, and shortly after, Jared Goff threw an interception. Despite all that, the Rams were moving the ball well and the offensive line was as dominant as in the previous week.

However, the Rams played catch-up for most of the game. Buffalo came out guns blazing. There was simply no answer for the Bills’ passing game. The Rams’ secondary was confused and overwhelmed, especially after Jordan Fuller came down with a shoulder injury in the first quarter.

The game seemed lost in the third quarter when the Rams were down 28 to 3. Then, Sean McVay and the offense got to work and scored 28 unanswered points. Greatly aided by huge contributions from the defense with Aaron Donald providing two sacks and one forced fumble recovered by himself. John Johnson also recorded an interception at a key moment in the game. The momentum was there.

Alas, the Rams couldn’t stop the Bills’ final drive of the game. On 3 & 22, the defense allowed a completion to Cole Beasley down the middle. That was the beginning of the end. Yes, there was a controversial pass interference call against Darious Williams but the Rams should not have been in that position anyway. The game ended with a touchdown catch by Tyler Kroft from the 2 yard-line.

It is not the result the Rams wanted, but there are many positives from this game.
Here are the takeaways from the Rams 35 -32 loss against the Bills.

The Rams offense shines after a rough start

After sputtering in the first half, the Rams offense came out swinging in the second half and dominated the game. Darrell Henderson ran for 114 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods came up big in clutch moments of the game, each of them scoring one touchdown. Jared Goff was almost perfect throughout the game, throwing for two touchdowns and running another one himself. His only mistake was the interception in the first half by forcing a pass into triple coverage.

Even Josh Reynolds contributed to the comeback, catching 4 passes for 60 yards. Tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee also made contributions with 34 and 40 receiving yards respectively.

It seems that this unit will continue to be the strength of the team moving forward. The Rams’ rushing offense is now ranked 4th, the passing offense ranks 6th and the team is 5th in points scored. Sean McVay and his high powered offense are back.

The defense must make adjustments sooner

It became evident at certain points in the game, especially during the first half, that this defense just lacks several pieces to compete with top offenses.

Samson Ebukam played mediocre football throughout the first two weeks but yesterday was the final straw. Ebukam missed many tackles and could not keep up with his assignments, perhaps Brandon Staley can give Ogbonnia Okoronkwo a chance?

Micah Kiser is performing better but still needs to do a lot more to command the defense from the inside. He was repeatedly torched by the Bills in pass coverage. Exemplified to perfection in the Bills final touchdown catch.

Taylor Rapp played most of the game as the starting safety following Jordan Fuller’s shoulder injury but he looked out of sync, and late in coverage for most of the game. He is a good player but needs more playing time to elevate his level.

Tackling needs to be addressed. Devin Singletary got a lot of yards after contact and Josh Allen seemed to be made out of Teflon since defenders were unable to get a grip on him. Staley must be quicker with his in-game adjustments. It shouldn’t take 2 quarters to switch things up and take some risks with the play-calling.

This is a team with backbone

There were roughly eight minutes left in the third quarter and the Rams were down 28 -3. They were being outmatched, outplayed, and outmaneuvered by the Bills. But right then and there, spearheaded by the Rams running game, things started to turn around.

The Rams rallied behind a furious offensive effort to come back in the game and take the lead in the final minutes. Not many teams would even attempt to come back from a 25 point deficit but the Rams did.

It is also very important to notice that unlike last year, the Rams never deviated from running the ball and that is an absolute win by itself right there. Goff did not have to carry the offense on his shoulders and try to force completions in traffic. Trusting the running game in clutch moments will pay off for this team in the future.

What’s next?

The lowly and injured New York Giants are coming to So-Fi Stadium next Sunday at 1 pm ET. After a tough stretch to begin the season, the Rams will have to opportunity to bully an inferior opponent next week.

Sure, a win will feel great, but playing inferior teams in the coming weeks might mask the defensive issues exposed by the Bills. On the other side of the ball, the offense should keep rolling and put up record numbers against the Giants.

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