10 measly points, 243 net yards total, and 2.9 yards per rush. Sounds like offensive numbers of a blowout and the Los Angeles Rams did take that beating, 31-10, at the the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Losses are not always the offenses fault, but when the coach is anointed an offensive genius, this unit will always get the most scrutiny.
Against a stout Buffalo defense, the Rams offense couldn’t get a roaring fire lit and when they did manage to strike a spark, they inadvertently stamped it out themselves. These self-inflicted wounds eventually lead to a total bleed out.
What were the wounds? In both the pass and run game, poor blocking was key, and not just limited to the offensive line. The failure by the tight ends and wide receivers was glaring. Many back door seal blocks were missed allowing the edge defenders to crash down and scuttle runs before they even started. Blocking wasn't the only problem, there were a number of dropped passes, unforced penalties, and yes, some questionable play calling.
the Rams have gone 80% run on first down— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 9, 2022
50% run on early downs
forcing them into 3rd & an average of 9.3 yds-to-go
The offense spent enough time in enemy territory
It isn’t easy to find much light in the opening night loss, but all is not lost. L.A. did manage to convert on six of 13 third down plays and if they can extend those numbers over the course of the season, 46.15% would their best conversion rate in the McVay era.
But more importantly, a recap of the drive charts shows the Rams crossed into Bills territory on six of their ten total drives, certainly more than enough chances to win, or at least be competitive.
Drive #1- Starts with a nice six-pay drive to the Buffalo 43. On 2nd and six, Noteboom gets overpowered for sack. On third and long, Stafford throws underneath and a shirt gain.
Drive #2- Four plays and out.
Drive #3- The Rams recover a fumble at the Buffalo 36. A run for no gain and on 2nd and 10, Matthew Stafford throws a terrible pass for an interception.
Drive #4- Cashing in on an out of bounds kickoff. L.A. goes 60 yards for a touchdown.
Drive #5- After an interception, Rams take over with 1:53 left in half and get to Buffalo 29 before a sack and some questionable clock management lead to a field goal as the half ends.
Drive #6- To open the second half, L.A. goes three and out. By far, their worst series of plays.
Drive #7- Buffalo takes a 17-10 lead and Rams respond, driving into enemy territory. On 2nd and 9, Stafford takes and a sack and on third, misses badly on a deep pass, when a medium completion would have offered a field goal attempt.
Drive #8- Although not on the Buffalo side of the field, from the Rams 43, Stafford throws high to a wide open Cooper Kupp and it ricochets off his fingertips and is intercepted.
Drives #9 and 10- In mop up time, L.A. had two decent forays. #9 ended with an interception at midfield and after a nice drive, their final possession ended on downs in the redzone.
A couple of final thoughts before moving on from this loss
First, there has to be more to the Cam Akers story other than his perceived effort on a missed block. In-game slacking just does not square with his past Rams efforts. I find it very hard to believe that a guy who has proven his mettle and willingness for hard work to suddenly shy away from a block. Man. I hope it is not Injury related.
And second, Why was Allen Robinson invisible, at least to Matthew Stafford?
Stafford had a rough go and it only began with substandard blocking. He missed some reads, made bad throws, and was overall just a little off kilter. Take a look at this tweet and let us know how you saw it.
Besides Giants content, I'm a big fantasy football nerd— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) September 9, 2022
Allen Robinson had a 96% routes run share & a 97% snap share
Here are all of his routes that are not screens or just quick curls vs. press
Also left out the garbage time fade at the end of the game (time restrictions) pic.twitter.com/2XOYE4vcaI