ORCHARD PARK — The Bills almost wasted another big passing day from quarterback Josh Allen as they allowed the Los Angeles Rams to storm back from a 28-3 deficit to take a late fourth-quarter lead on Sunday at Bills Stadium. However, the Rams’ comeback effort would fall short as the Bills put together an 11-play, 80-yard game-winning drive which ended with a game-winning touchdown pass from Allen to tight end Tyler Kroft with :21 to go in the game. Allen finished the game with five total touchdowns - four passing, one rushing - on his way to yet another 300 plus-yard passing day, which is his third straight such performance to begin the 2020 season.
Here are a few takeaways from today’s thrilling Bills win:
ALLEN IS HERE TO STAY
Allen picked apart the Rams’ defense for much of the game and finished with 311 passing yards, using several different receivers to move the ball down the field at will throughout the first half and late in the second half. The Bills offense lost its rhythm during the third, as their final two drives of the quarter ended in an interception and a punt, while their first drive of the fourth ended with an Allen fumble.
Conversely, the Rams, who were unable to do anything throughout the first half, found their rhythm early in the third quarter and wound up scoring 29 unanswered points in the second half to take their first lead of the game. A big reason for the big Rams’ comeback was the way LA stuck with their running game, as running back Darrell Henderson went off for 114 of the team’s 167 rushing yards, which allowed Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff to quietly throw for over 300 yards with a couple of touchdowns.
However, as good as Goff and the LA running game was this afternoon, Allen was just a bit better.
Despite throwing his first interception of the season and losing a fumble, Allen was just short of outstanding against the Rams, and his heroics in the fourth quarter served as the cherry on top. The late touchdown pass to Kroft was an excellent example of what Allen displayed throughout the game. As the Buffalo QB made a number of beautiful throws, both while on the move and from inside the pocket.
Allen’s rapid progression was on full display against the Rams, and the Bills can be satisfied knowing that they now have their quarterback of the future.
SLOW DAY FOR DIGGS, BROWN
Bills WR John Brown’s day ended early in the second half due to a calf injury, while Diggs was relatively absent from the Bills’ passing attack for much of the afternoon. While Diggs finished the day with four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown, Brown failed to record a catch before departing.
The Bills’ top-two receivers knew they could be in for a tough day with the Rams coming equipped with one of the NFL’s most-talented secondaries, led by All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. That proved to be the case as Ramsey held Diggs without a catch until his touchdown grab, which came with 8:10 to go in the third quarter.
Brown’s injury was the reason for his quiet performance, and his status remains unclear at this time. Though, you can chalk Diggs’ slow day up to his matchup against one of the best cover corners in the league. Nothing to worry about here.
THE SINGLETARY SHOW
As many predicted, the absence of rookie RB Zack Moss on Sunday led to a big day for second-year RB Devin Singletary. Singletary touched the ball 17 times against the Rams, by far the most touches he’s received this season while recording 121 total yards.
The skillset which Moss possesses is valuable to the Bills and their fastly developing offense. But one thing we’ve learned these past two seasons is that if you give Singletary the ball enough, he will produce. Moving forward, I would like to see the Bills use their two backs in more of a 60-40 split than the 50-50 split we saw them deploy through the first two weeks of the season.
TIGHT ENDS HAVE A DAY
Bills’ tight ends accounted for three of the Bills’ five touchdowns against the Rams, with Tyler Kroft catching a couple of TD passes and Lee Smith adding one of his own. Kroft finished the game with four catches for 24 yards and the two scores, while Smith’s lone catch was the touchdown grab which came from one yard out.
With starting tight end Dawson Knox out with a concussion, the Bills backup duo came through and in a big way.
THE DEFENSE STRUGGLES
After turning the ball over on downs to open the third quarter, the next four Rams’ drives resulted in touchdowns. The Bills second-half defensive woes continued as, a week after allowing Dolphins’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to air things out in the second half, the Bills allowed Goff to pick them apart for much of the final 30 minutes of this game. While it appeared dominant in the early going, the Buffalo defense struggled at times this afternoon, and whether they’re able to rebound next week will be something to watch.