Top 3 Takeaways From Buffalo Bills 35-32 Win Over LA Rams


The Buffalo Bills moved to a 3-0 start after beating the previously 2-0 LA Rams at Bills Stadium. They did so after playing a stellar first half, followed by their patented 3rd quarter collapse, and then some Josh Allen heroics to come back in the 4th quarter and close the game. Here are my three main takeaways from this roller-coaster win:

Super Bowl-Caliber First Half a Reason for Hope

The Bills played a near-perfect first-half, putting the team in what seemed like a very comfortable 28-3 lead. The offense was lights-out, with OC Brian Daboll calling an awesome game and Josh Allen executing it in almost flawless fashion.

With Zack Moss out of the picture, Devin Singletary again showed why he deserves to be the clear number one back on the team, consistently making people miss and gaining lots of yardage. More Motor touches equals a better Bills offense, and it’s been clear since his first game in the league a year ago.

The offensive line did an impressive job containing Aaron Donald, and the offense, in general, couldn’t be stopped. The defense, with Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds back in the lineup, controlled the Rams’ offense, allowing some success on the ground but shutting down their passing game.

Buffalo held a 28-3 lead against a good, well-coached team. They played like a true AFC contender, and if they can keep this level of performance for an entire 60-minute period, this is a team that really can surprise the NFL world.

Dangerous Second Half a Red Flag

If there isn’t much to argue about the first half performance, the complete opposite can be said about the second half. It all started with the 3rd quarter, something that doesn’t surprise Bills fans anymore.

Josh Allen made a very questionable decision throwing a dangerous ball up for grabs to TE Tyler Kroft. The veteran pushed off the defensive back, avoiding a costly INT, and made the catch, resulting in an offensive pass interference call, but somehow the officials called the play on the field an interception. It was an awful call that ignited Los Angeles’ comeback.

From this point, nothing more worked for the Bills’ defense, which had no answer for the Rams’ running/play action-based attack. Even when they found ways to put Jared Goff in uncomfortable 3rd-and-long situations, they consistently allowed the conversions and couldn’t get themselves off of the field.

The offense wasn’t much better, with the OL struggling against Los Angeles’ halftime adjustments. More blitzes were sent and Aaron Donald started to dominate. Daryl Williams and Brian Winters committed several penalties, and Josh Allen, trying to make something happen out of nothing, lost his cool and contributed to the meltdown in the 4th quarter with a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that helped the Rams eventually take the lead.

Some will question the play calling, and the execution certainly wasn’t good enough on both sides of the ball. However, at this point, it seems like a mental hurdle that the players and the coaching staff need to figure out together quickly. They need to find ways to put good teams away and secure those wins. This already happened in the playoff loss to the Texans a year ago, and the story almost repeated itself today. That’s an important step in this team’s growth.

Josh Allen’s Heroics Save the Day

He started on fire and had a shaky second half, constantly dealing with Aaron Donald and the Rams’ pressure. But no matter how difficult or unlikely it is to be able to secure a win, Allen never gives up.

He’s the type of QB who makes things happen, not the one that needs a perfectly-schemed offense around him to succeed. Sometimes he will make questionable decisions, but you can’t deny one thing: with Allen under center, you’re always confident that he can turn things around.

Today was another example of just that. With a little more than four minutes left in the game and with all the momentum in LA’s favor, Allen led another game-winning drive. He was in tough 3rd-and-long situations several times and didn’t have John Brown on the field. However, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Tyler Kroft, and especially Cole Beasley came up big and helped him to win another game for Buffalo.

His ability to move in and outside the pocket, avoiding rushers, and throw from unconventional platforms with velocity and precision makes him a threat no matter how bad the situation is. Once he is in the red zone, it’s game over. Allen plays his best with the game on the line, and it’s really exciting to be able to count on your QB in those situations.

Quick Notes

  • I’m so happy for Tyler Kroft. People who never played a sport have no idea how tough it is to not be able to do what you love because your body doesn’t allow you to. It’s good to see him doing well and becoming a reliable red zone target for Josh Allen.
  • The run defense has had some bad days under McDermott, and today was another one. The bend-but-don’t-break approach works more often than not, and the Bills’ staff seems ok with allowing some success on the ground if they can shut down the passing game and leave the field. However, this didn’t happen today, and one of the reasons was a poor showing by Tremaine Edmunds covering the middle of the field. Hopefully he rebounds next week.
  • Taron Johnson was another guy who had a rough day. He’s really strong tackling and helping against the run but not very reliable in coverage. Add the fact that Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are really good in the slot, and you have the recipe for disaster.
  • Gabriel Davis is looking like a steal.
  • For the first time this year, the Bills’ DL was blatantly pushed around. They couldn’t stop the run or pressure Goff, who had a lot of time to operate, especially in the second half.
  • Yeah, sometimes I scratch my head too, wanting more ground game with Singletary, but let’s accept that the Bills’ offense is a pass-first unit now, Allen is the centerpiece of the passing and rushing attack, and Daboll trusts him. It’s refreshing to see after so many years running the football the majority of the time. You can’t have the best air and ground attack at the same time, so let’s enjoy the ride with this new-look philosophy.