It’s week three in the NFL. The Bills are hosting the Rams with 79 degrees at gametime and winds blowing at 15 to 17 miles per hour. Gusts up to 30 mph are in the forecast, but otherwise, a perfect day for football.
The Rams have won the toss and elected to defer. Buffalo will receive the opening kickoff.
Andre Roberts returns the opening kick 39 yards past the 40 yard line, but the Bills gain only one yard. Josh Allen’s first two passes are a well defended squeeze attempt and a deep ball that missed by five yards. Gonna be a long day is this is what the Bills are gonna get.
Rams blow right down the field near the red zone, but then the Bills get back to back sacks from A.J. Epenesa and Matt Milano. For Epenesa, it’s his first ever NFL sack. He chased down Jeff Goff on a roll out. Milano came on a blitz the Rams did not pick up. The sacks forced the Rams into a 52 yard field goal try that Samuel Sloman missed wide left and the game remains scoreless. Big stop for the Bills. Seemed like the Rams would get a field goal out of that drive, at least.
The Bills take the ball on their own 42 and drive all 58 yards in 11 plays. Devin Singletary had runs of 16 (on 3rd and 2) and 13 yards. Allen did a nice job avoiding a blitz and rolling out to find Gabriel Davis for 12 yards. The TD came on a 4th and goal pass from the one. Allen finding a wide open Lee Smith. The drive finished unusually. It seemed the Bills had a TD to Stefon Diggs, but replay overruled the catch. The next play was also a TD to Diggs, but a Brian Winters holding call negated it. However, a Rams roughing the passer flag negated the hold and we did third down over again. The next try was a direct snap to Singletary, but he only got to the one yard line. The Bills still found a way to take a 7-0 lead.
The Bills get the ball right back in good shape after Levi Wallace intercepts Jeff Goff at the Bills 34 yard line. Goff tried to force a pass into double coverage and Wallace made him pay.
The Bills capitalize with another touchdown drive. It starts on a play action pass that got Davis super wide open. He made a nice toe tap to haul in a 39 yard gain. From there, the Bills just leaned on the Rams with runs and screens and short throws. The last 11 yards were all Allen runs. His second rushing TD of the year came from the one yard line.
The Rams finally get on the board with a field goal. Taron Johnson made a tackle for a loss of two on second down from the Buffalo eight yard line. The Bills then snuffed out a screen on third down. Back to back runs of 14 yards by Darrell Henderson got L.A. into scoring range, but it’s still Buffalo on top 14-3.
This is getting incredible to watch. The Bills roll down the field and score another TD, needing eight plays to go 75 yards. Allen hit a sweet pass down the sideline to Cole Beasley for 29 yards that set up first and goal. A play action to a wide open Tyler Kroft was the TD. It gives Buffalo a 21-3 lead.
The Rams didn’t have time for much of anything after the Bills TD and it’s 21-3 at the break.
The Rams open the second half with a couple first downs, but go for 4th and 4 from the Buffalo 48. A roll out pass was so well covered, Goff only threw it out of bounds.
The first play after the turnover on downs is a 34 yard screen to Singletary where the second year back made an amazing move just after the catch to get free. Allen had to convert a 2nd and 18, but found Cole Beasley for 13 yards and then Kroft for 13 more. Allen did a nice job to finish the drive with a throw to Diggs in the back of the end zone under some pressure. Diggs beat Jalen Ramsey one on one for the Bills fourth consecutive TD in as many possessions. They lead 28-3 in the third quarter.
Goff leads the Rams right back down the field for the first L.A. touchdown of the game. It took only 2:32 to travel the 75 yards for a score. Five different Rams had big plays on the drive. Goff finished it with a one yard sneak, but the Bills still hold a comfortable lead at 28-10.
Allen’s first interception of the year comes on the next possession. The Bills got into first and 18 after a holding penalty. Allen was under pressure and heaved one for Kroft. It was well underthrown and Kroft committed offensive pass interference to get separation. Kroft made the catch, but John Johnson jumped in to get his arms around the ball. It appeared pretty clear both players come down with the ball simultaneously, which usually is ruled a catch for the offense (which would have been negated by the penalty). However, officials ruled it an interception on the field and that ruling stood up after replay. This one is going to get a ton of criticism.
The Rams made the Bills pay quickly. A three play drive moves 59 yards for another quick TD. Former Bills Robert Woods finishes the drive with a 25 yard catch and run TD. Suddenly, we have a game again at 28-17.
Leonard Floyd sacks Allen to force a three and out on the next Bills drive, but Corey Bojorquez comes up huge with a 73 yard punt that pins the Rams at the three yard line.
The deep start didn’t faze the Rams. They score a third straight TD on an impressive 97 yard drive. Goff converted a third and 11 to Kupp with a 17 yard play. He also got a 31 yarder to Robert Woods on third and eight near midfield. Kupp got the TD on a wide open play action reception for 16 yards. The Rams also converted a two point conversion to Higbee. Suddenly, the Bills 25 point lead is down to 28-25.
The Bills had the ball in field goal range, but Aaron Donald sacked Allen to create a 2nd and 22. Two plays later, he got Allen again and the Bills QB fumbled. The Rams recovered and Allen gave L.A. 15 more by mouthing off to officials after the play. Both Donald sacks were violent, but appeared legal.
Six plays later, the Rams actually took a lead in this game. A 23 yard pass to Josh Reynolds started the drive and Henderson finished it with a one yard TD plunge. A game Buffalo led 28-3 is now 32-28 in favor of the Rams.
The Bills get moving, but another Allen sack leads to third and 22. A scrambling throw to Beasley converts the first down for a gain of 23 to keep the drive alive and continue making this game more amazing than the play before. After Allen commits a facemask to set up 3rd and 25, the Bills convert with some help from the officials. A 16 yard pass to Beasley made it 4th and 9. The Rams were then called for pass interference against Davis. It was an incredibly questionable call, but maybe makes up for the interception call earlier. The Bills scored on the next play with a diving TD catch by Kroft. It gives the Bills the lead with 15 seconds to play.
The Rams tried a mega lateral play that never had a chance and the Bills get away with a 35-32 win.
Allen finished with his third straight 300 passing game. He passed for 311 yards and four touchdowns. Beasley led the Bills with 100 yards on six catches. Kroft scored twice. Singletary had 121 total yards. For the Rams, Goff passed for 309 yards while Henderson topped 100 yards rushing with 114 yards.
It was the most unexpected of close games, but it is win number three for the Bills by a 35-32 final. For all the fans who did not have a heart attack, they can now exhale.