That SUCKED! There’s no eloquent way to say it. Tonight was a sh** show and the Rams know it. Sean McVay’s profanity-laden speech after the game said it all even if we’ll never fully know what was said. Josh Allen and Von Miller ran wild over the Rams Hulkamania style. Ring night was supposed to be the transition from a storybook ending to a new chapter in the “WE NOT ME” era and instead began as if written by Stephen King.
The 31-10 loss to the Super Bowl favorite Bills played like one of the quicksand disasters of last November and all the concerns about a Super Bowl hangover bubbled to the surface. Fortunately, it’s week one and there is plenty of time to get back to who they were in February.
Rams Offensive Problems
Nothing went right from the jump. The running game was as putrid as it was all postseason. Darrell Henderson was the leading rusher with 47 yards. Cam Akers only amounted to two yards. This happened largely because the Andrew Whitworth-less line couldn’t block. They also allowed seven sacks and basically looked like the Bengals line did in the Super Bowl.
Matthew Stafford looked like he did last November throwing for one touchdown and three picks. Two were bounced off Cooper Kupp‘s hands and had the rotten luck of being near a safety, the other was an outright bad throw. Allen Robinson had only two targets for twelve yards demonstrating that he and Stafford are not yet on the same page. Tyler Higbee had three drops, Tutu Atwell dropped his only target, Brandon Powell struggled to make plays, and Ben Skowronek still has Gumby arms.
They clearly missed Van Jefferson and the conversation kept going back to the lack of Odell Beckham. Kupp was the only one who rose to the occasion having 13 catches, 128 yards, and the Rams lone touchdown.
Rams Defensive Problems
Defensively, things were more mixed. On one hand, Terrell Lewis and Troy Hill had picks, Leonard Floyd recovered a fumble, and Aaron Donald recorded his 99th sack. Bobby Wagner also had a strong debut with seven tackles and a sack.
They allowed the Bills to convert 90% of their third downs and they didn’t punt all night. There were “FIRE RAHEEM” rumblings again (because Twitter is a hellscape everyone should avoid) but honestly the fact that they were on the field for 31 minutes can explain why.
The pass rush outside of Donald was non-existent and the secondary was awful outside of the two turnovers. The Bills had 413 yards of total offense and Josh Allen was able to bomb it or run it whenever he wanted.
Brandon Powell also had a rough night as he was stymied on every return, putting the Rams offense in a bad starting position for most of the night.
RUN IT BACK took a major hit tonight but the good news is this was likely rock bottom. The Rams frustratingly need to get punched in the mouth from time to time. Last season they were able to pick themselves up off the mat and fight back. It’s clear what needs to be fixed. By virtue of having Van Jefferson back in the lineup, they should be able to get Robinson and Kupp open.
The line can’t possibly be this bad against an Atlanta team that isn’t equipped to compete much less win games, and defensively there’s no way Jalen Ramsey gets cooked like that again.
McVay needs to find a way to integrate the run game. It isn’t clear why Akers wasn’t involved more and Kyren Williams can’t get healthy soon enough. McVay also needs to utilize Stafford out of Shotgun more especially if the line is still trying to gel. They didn’t play in the preseason so it’s possible a lot of this was rust but now that they know their weaknesses they are more than capable of fixing them.
Now is not the time to panic. Instead, they need to pull themselves out of their vomit, drink some Pedialyte, and nurse this hangover. Atlanta gives them a chance to reset and regroup, they’re still the champs and now they have to act like it.