The 2022 NFL season kicks off in style on Thursday night, as the Buffalo Bills take on the Los Angeles Rams in what could be an early Super Bowl preview. The 33rd Team’s experts have this game covered from every angle.
How will the offenses perform? What kind of numbers can we expect from talented quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Josh Allen? Will talented defensive units already be in midseason form? Experts with more than 1,000 years of NFL experience break down all of these questions and more along with fantasy, DFS and betting analysis from some of the industry’s best.
How to Watch Bills-Rams
Date: Thursday, Sept. 8
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
TV Channel: NBC
Expectations High for Both Teams, QBs
Bills QB Josh Allen is one of the brightest young stars in the NFL, while Rams QB Matthew Stafford is entering his 14th season in the league. Longtime NFL QB guru Marty Mornhinweg asked The 33rd Team’s Matt Cassel on the different expectations for these two quarterbacks entering Week 1 and the 2022 season.
Which Offense Has Most Firepower?
Cassel was also asked which offense has the best chance to put up big numbers. Both the QB and former NFL wide receiving Greg Jennings jumped on the same bandwagon. Watch the video above to see why one of these offenses reminds Jennings of the great Packers offenses he once played on.
Defenders vs. Trendy Contenders
Few players in NFL history were as dominant at their position as Joe Thomas was an offensive lineman. The former All-Pro tackle breaks down why the Bills are such a trendy Super Bowl pick and why this game and this season seem like one of the most anticipated moments he can remember.
Don’t Count Rams Out in Week 1
“We can’t have a better opener, can we?” That’s the rhetorical question NFL analyst Charles Davis poses, and while the answer to that question is a resounding “yes” from the NFL fanbase, Davis goes on to break down some more surprising numbers about the Rams and coach Sean McVay. While the Bills might be favored on the road in this one, Davis poses a compelling argument to not count out the home team.
Kupp Might Be in For Regression Year
Rams WR Cooper Kupp won the wide receiving triple crown last season by leading the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. It would be unlikely for anyone to repeat those kinds of numbers, but Jennings contends that it could be a positive for the Rams if the consistent Kupp could take a backseat—at times—to the upgraded weapons around Stafford.
Von Miller’s Intel Could Change Outcome
Bills pass rusher Von Miller is a talented and savvy veteran who still has a lot of good football left in him — at least, that’s what the Bills expect after they signed him to a six-year deal worth up to $120 million. Miller only had five sacks in 2021, but exploded for four sacks in the postseason. Numbers and QB pressure aside, Hall of Famer Rod Woodson explains why Miller’s information might be the key to a Bills victory.
Bills’ Secondary Concerns Could Turn Tide
Former NFL pass rushing Chris Long believes the Bills’ defensive backfield and question marks surrounding Tre’Davious White’s injury should be concerning for the Bills against high-octane passing offenses like the Rams early in the season.
Line : BUF -2.5
O/U : 52
>> Between the Lines: NFL Week 1 (Chris Farley)
>> Bills Preview and Over/Under Prediction (Chris Farley)
>> Rams Preview and Over/Under Prediction (Ryan Reynolds)
Comprehensive DFS Breakdown
“Previous matchups do not predict future results,” says Jordan Vanek, The 33rd Team’s head of DFS, “But they provide insights into how teams find success against each other. In Week 3 of 2020, the Rams took on the Bills, the year that the Rams had the best defense in football and Josh Allen broke out. The final score was 32-35, and the Rams scored 29 points in the second half.”
Read more about how individual performers may fare based on everything we know about both the Bills and the Rams.
> Bills-Rams DFS Thursday Night Showdown (Jordan Vanek)
Prop Bets Worth Investing In
Josh Allen OVER 6.5 Rush Attempts
“This is by far my favorite play for this game,” said Brian O’Connell, a DFS and betting contributor. “The Rams had an average blitz rate per dropback of just more than 27% last season. In games where teams have blitzed more than 27% in the previous two seasons, Allen has averaged 6.95 rushes per game. When you reduce it to games where the total was also over 50, he went over six out of six times with an average of 7.17 rushes per game. I will be playing this confidently up to 7.0 but will avoid it if it hits 7.5 or higher.”
> Week 1 Thursday Night Player Props (Brian O’Connell)
Analytical Insights from SIS
Offensive Statistics and Tendencies
|Statistic||Los Angeles Rams||Buffalo Bills|
|1st Personnel Group||11||11|
|2nd Personnel Group||12||21|
|YPA vs. Zone||8.3||7.4|
|YPA vs. Man||8.9||7.1|
|YPA vs. Blitz||8.7||7.5|
|% TGT to Wide||21.1%||30.8%|
|% TGT to Slot||55.7%||43.2%|
|% TGT to RB||12.9%||14.5%|
|% TGT to TE||9.7%||6.5%|
|Gap Run %||20%||33%|
|Zone Run %||80%||61%|
|Red Zone Pass Rate||57.7%||54.4%|
|Red Zone Rush Rate||42.3%||45.6%|
Defensive Statistics and Tendencies
|Statistic||Los Angeles Rams||Buffalo Bills|
|Zone Coverage %||68%||57%|
|Man Coverage %||14%||29%|
|Primary Coverage||Cover 3||Cover 1|
|Secondary Coverage||Cover 4||Cover 3|
|Stacked Box %||4%||19%|
|Red Zone TD %||51.8%||51.1%|
Bills Injury Report
OL Tommy Doyle (foot)
TE Quintin Morris (hamstring)
Rams Injury Report
WR Van Jefferson (knee)