Editor’s note: After the Buffalo Bills’ dominant victory over the Los Angeles Rams Thursday night, in the NFL’s annual kickoff game, Mike Martz provided four takeaways from the game:
Bills’ Offense Outplayed Rams
Offensively, the Bills clocked them. They rushed the football a lot on first down, let that clock go, short passes, little option routes. They really didn’t take the ball over the top until the fourth quarter. They were very, very patient.
This is San Francisco’s playbook. The 49ers come in and beat the Rams time and time again doing this: dominate the clock, get first downs, get them inpatient.
Really, though, the Rams couldn’t get anything going offensively because of the edge stuff. The Rams are a big fly-sweep, bootleg, rollout team, and those edge rushers they just took all of that stuff away from them. They were able to run the ball a little bit. I thought the Bills had a great plan, but more importantly, they just outplayed them. They were more physical in this game.
Bills’ Defense Set the Tone, Too
Buffalo’s defensive front, particularly on the edge, took away the hard play-action the Rams like to do. They put enough pressure on them they couldn’t hold the ball and get out on the perimeter and get those deep crossing routes.
They really forced the Rams to get more of an up-tempo passing game, get the ball out faster. It’s something they don’t necessarily want to do. They’re not real comfortable being in a shotgun in the pocket. When they were, they had a little bit of success, but that’s just not what they do.
The other thing with that, when you can put the pressure on and stymie the running game with your front four like they’ve been able to do, then you don’t need to blitz, you don’t need to pressure. They are very simple on defense and they had a great game plan for them.
Tale of Two Quarterbacks
Matthew Stafford missed two balls where he just flat missed the receivers. He just didn’t look very sharp to me. They got him out of his plan, what they wanted to do, and the Rams just couldn’t adjust to it.
That’s not to say the Rams aren’t a good team and won’t come back, because I think they will. But I didn’t think Stafford looked very sharp in the game.
On the other side, it’s hard to play better than Josh Allen played in this game. They’re the No. 1-ranked team in the NFL for a reason. I picked them to win the Super Bowl this year, and I think Josh Allen will be the MVP of the league.
Even his [two] picks were perfect throws, his receivers just gave it up.
High Praise for New Bills OC Ken Dorsey
I really, really like this new offensive coordinator. I like his rhythm, his patience. Their adjustment to shutting down the clock for the Rams. They dominated the clock the entire game. That’s something they had to do to win the game. I really liked his approach to this game. They’re a really good team right now and the offensive coordinator is really helping them.