Rams vs. Bills score: Josh Allen throws for three TDs, runs for one as Buffalo dominates second half – CBS Sports

Rams vs. Bills score: Josh Allen throws for three TDs, runs for one as Buffalo dominates second half - CBS Sports

The Buffalo Bills came into the season as a favorite to go to the Super Bowl, and lived up to that championship hype with a dominating 31-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday. Buffalo overcame four turnovers and continued to put up 31 points in an impressive performance, dominating the game in the second half to put away Los Angeles.

Josh Allen finished 26 of 31 for 297 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the win, while also rushing for 56 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Allen’s four-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal at the 4-yard line early in the fourth quarter gave the Bills a commanding 24–10 lead that set them up for the win.

The touchdown run was the 32nd of Allen’s career, tying him with Fran Tarkenton, Kordell Stewart, and Terry Bradshaw for 14th most in NFL history. Allen had his seventh game with three pass touchdowns and a rushing touchdown, putting him in sole possession of third place on that category in NFL history (Drew Brees has nine and Tom Brady has eight).

The Bills defense forced three turnovers (all interceptions) and had seven sacks on the night, holding the Rams to just 3.7 per game. Stefon Diggs caught a 53-yard touchdown from Allen in the fourth quarter to put Buffalo up 31-10, capping a night he finished with eight catches for 122 yards with a touchdown.

Cooper Kupp had a strong night in a lackluster offensive game for the Rams, finishing with 13 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Stafford finished with three interceptions in the loss (his second three interception game with the Rams) and finished 29 of 41 for 240 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Rams head coach Sean McVay is below .500 in a season for the first time in his career. He falls to 5-1 in season openers.

Why the Bills won

The Bills weren’t perfect on Thursday night, but they were certainly better than the reigning Super Bowl champions. Buffalo’s defense was very, very impressive — from the pass rush to the overall play of the secondary. But what stood out just as much was Allen’s play.

The Bills’ franchise QB completed 26 of 31 passes for 297 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. The first interception was not his fault, as Isaiah McKenzie practically gave the ball away to a linebacker, but the second was an underhand. For 99 percent of the game, however, Allen was magnificent. He spread the ball out to seven different receivers, and it felt like he was always on top of where the open option would be. Allen had just one “incompletion” in the first half, when he went 17 of 20 for 153 yards, one touchdown and two picks.

The NBC broadcast pointed out that Allen pulled the ball 2.2 seconds per drop entering the fourth quarter — which is above average. He looked comfortable and trusting his receivers to make plays in the flat, and waiting in the pocket for downfield development.

Everyone would probably agree that Allen is a star, but Thursday night just built on the fact that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and exposed why the Bills are the favorites to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year .

Why the Rams lost

There is plenty of blame to go around on LA’s part. Jalen Ramsey had a rough night, Stafford missed several throws and Allen Robinson was not a part of the offense at all. But one thing that made life difficult for the Rams as a whole was the play of the offensive line.

LA is replacing two starters on the offensive front this season, and it certainly showed. Stafford was sacked six times for a loss of 43 yards in just the first three quarters. According to the Associated Press, those six sacks are the most the Rams have allowed in any game under Sean McVay. Stafford was sacked one more time in the final stanza.

While the play of the offensive line affected Stafford, it also hurt LA’s running backs. The Rams rushed for a total of 52 yards on 18 carries, an average of 2.9 yards per carry.

Turning point

Down 14 points early in the fourth quarter, the Rams had to get something going. Instead, Stafford threw his second interception of the night.

Just three plays later, Allen found Diggs streaking down the right side of the field for a 53-yard touchdown that extended Buffalo’s lead to 21 points.

Game of the game

This was either the moment you jumped for joy or felt your stomach sink. Down 21 points after a Rams interception and a Bills touchdown, Stafford threw his third interception of the night — an impressive do-it-yourself highlight-reel play by Boogie Basham.

Josh Allen stiff arm

As a defensive back, it must be difficult to take down a tall, athletic quarterback like Allen in the open field. Nick Scott found out firsthand that it’s not a pleasant experience as he ended up on the wrong end of this tough arm from the Bills quarterback.

What follows

The Bills return to Buffalo for another primetime matchup as they host the Tennessee Titans next Monday night. As for the Rams, they will stay home and host Marcus Mariota and the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday afternoon.

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