The NFL season gets underway in exciting fashion as two teams who figure to be serious contenders for the Super Bowl this year hope to get their campaign started the right way. The Buffalo Bills will journey west to take on the defending champion Los Angeles Rams to kick off Week 1. It should be a fun night in Los Angeles, as the Rams will put a bow on their magical 2021 run in hopes of repeating in 2022. There are a few storylines to keep an eye on in this clash of heavyweight teams.
Stefon Diggs vs Jalen Ramsey
One of the best wide receivers in the NFL and one of the premier cornerbacks in the game will face each other on Thursday night. It will be interesting to see if Rams three time All-Pro Jalen Ramsey will shadow two time Pro-Bowler Stefon Diggs all over the field. If the two are matched up for the majority of the contest, it will be fascinating to see which star gains the advantage.
The two teams and two players last squared off in a game in September 2020, which Buffalo won 35-32 in Western New York. In that contest, Diggs posted a relatively modest line, snagging four catches for 49 yards. He was able to salvage his day by catching a four yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Matthew Stafford’s Elbow
Although it does not appear to be serious enough to keep the veteran on the sidelines, the elbow ailment that Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford is dealing with is worth monitoring. When we last saw him, he was the catalyst for a game winning drive in the Super Bowl, which featured several clutch throws to wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
It has been reported that Stafford also had to manage the tendinitis last year as well, and head coach Sean McVay does not seem overly concerned that this will hamper his starting quarterback. It will be worth keeping an eye on, to see if Stafford misses throws he usually connects on with ease on Thursday, or if the Rams dial up a more run heavy game plan than usual to compensate.
Josh Allen Picking Up Where He Left Off
The last time NFL fans saw Josh Allen on a football field was last January in a classic game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He played about as well as a quarterback can play, responding with touchdowns every time Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led his team down the field. Even though Allen’s performance came in a losing effort, he proved that he could deliver during high pressure situations on the biggest stage.
While a Week 1 regular season game doesn’t necessarily compare to the postseason limelight, there will be a lot of interest in the Bills this season. Everyone in the league knows how good the Bills are, and Buffalo will get their opponents best shot. If Allen is going to be considered a legitimate MVP candidate, a great performance against the reigning champions will go a long way in helping that cause.
How to watch Bills at Rams
When: September at 8:20pm ET
Odds Bills at Rams
Moneyline: Bills -134 at Rams +114 (Fanduel 4:40pm ET)