OutKick’s Biggest Takeaways From Rams vs. Bills

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By the grace of God and my OutKick editors, I (“A.A.”) was able to spearhead an OutKick operation for Game 1 of the 2022-23 NFL season.

Covering the highly anticipated bout between the reigning-champion Los Angeles Rams and prematurely crowned Super Bowl 57 champs — Buffalo — felt like a task as gargantuan as Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (6’6″, 324 lbs).

America, baby.

But with a great team (including total pros like Armando Salguero, Trey Wallace, Meg Turner, Dom Bonvissuto, Dan Zaksheske and more), OutKick represented in Inglewood, Calif. and provided coverage hotter than the sidewalks of SoCal.

And like Dr. Dre said, we still running the game.


Here are the biggest takeaways from Rams vs. Bills, live from SoFi Stadium:

Josh Allen, Gabe Davis Got Them Dogs In ‘Em

No disrespect to perennial Pro Bowl wideout Stefon Diggs, but Bills wideout Gabe Davis popped on the field unlike any other wideout on Buffalo’s depth chart.

Diggs is the all-around better player; still, Davis’ knack for the deep ball and end zone last postseason catapulted him up the WR ranks this off-season. And he’s back to work.

Davis put up an excellent 22-yard average per reception and scored the season’s first receiving touchdown with impressive ease. Thursday’s performance showed that the off-season hype surrounding Davis might be warranted.

As for Allen …

… well, for a guy that is considered by many to be the season’s best bet for MVP, it takes a special performance to outplay the sky-high expectations.

Four total touchdowns and a mean stiff arm on a Rams defender later, Allen led the Bills to the Week 1 promised land and kept the team on beat with their Super Bowl ambitions. At least based on how the sports media has hailed the squad.

Completely sucks that I faced the Bills QB in two fantasy leagues, including OutKick’s inaugural league. Yikes.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Still Got It

If you told me, a fan of the long-expired The Osbournes (2002-05) TV show, 20 years ago that Ozzy Osbourne would still boast mean singing pipes in 2022, I would’ve called you crazy. Bat-s*** crazy.

Turns out he’s still got it, and his Thursday night halftime show was a sensation at SoFi.

The Oz

Have You Seen Cam Akers or Allen Robinson?

Seriously, someone put out an APB for these guys.

Beginning their respective 2022 campaign on the wrong foot, Rams running back Cam Akers and wide receiver Allen Robinson were two names highly anticipated for their assumed impact on the offense but nowhere to be found on the field against Buffalo.

Robinson received two targets and caught one ball for 12 receiving yards. Akers — the third-year man out of FSU — carried the ball three times and laid a goose egg in yardage.

If you started either of these guys in fantasy this week, our condolences.

The only player to have a worse night than Akers was Bills rookie RB James Cook, who fumbled the ball away on his first NFL carry. But even at that, Cook went home a winner.

Rams head coach Sean McVay admitted that he didn’t properly scheme for his players in the “humbling” defeat. We can trust him there and expect some adjustments.

Sean McVay: 5-1 in season openers

The Secret to Good S’Mores

Listen, when I tell you the press box’s complimentary s’mores were delicious, I mean it.

Sitting in a room full of camera-ready reporters isn’t the prime environment to eat a sticky s’more. I get that. But after feeling a low-blood-sugar rush in the second quarter, I wandered my way to the snack bar and picked up a s’mores bar.

The bite was tasty from start to finish. My teeth broke through the soft marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker. However, my tastebuds reached a pleasant, Shyamalan-like twist when a hint of cinnamon rushed its way into the snack’s profile.

All that to say, make s’mores with your family this weekend and add a dash of cinnamon at the base. They’ll thank you for it. And many props to SoFi Stadium’s service crew. Perhaps the only polite dining service in all of LA County.

(Pictured) Good s***

Swiss Cheese Rams O-Line & Stafford’s Problem

The Rams can forget about a repeat Super Bowl campaign if they don’t shore up their offensive line soon.

If this exact Rams roster took the field six months ago to face the Cincinnati Bengals at Super Bowl 56, Joe Burrow would be celebrating a ring ceremony to start the new season — i.e., the Bengals would have won.

And it’s all on the new-look starting offensive line, which gave up seven sacks on Stafford.

Putting Stafford in collapsing pockets inspires a turnover-friendly side to the QB, and it was on full display Thursday night when Stafford tossed three picks.

Matthew Stafford, post-game.

Rams fans want to believe that Joe Noteboom can be a successor to Andrew Whitworth, even if there’s scant confidence for it.

Offensive tackle and 2022 Rams captain Rob Havenstein could not hold his own and appeared small against Von Miller all night. The team announced on Wednesday that they signed Havenstein to a new three-year deal.

Don’t get so used to him, Rams fans.

Also, is Stafford fully recovered from his off-season right arm procedure? Something to watch.

Do The Rams Need Odell?


If anything, OBJ needs the Rams — evidenced by his repping of the team colors on the field Thursday, despite still being a free agent.

Props to Odell for exercising true patience, but he’ll have to wait much longer on a contract from Snead until the team figures out how to get Allen Robinson going. Robinson has long showcased innate talent that is immune to whoever’s throwing him the football. AR can produce, and frankly, the Rams are better off getting consistent production out of him rather than a recovering OBJ, who suffered his ACL tear not long ago.

R.I.P. Queen Elizabeth II (Sept. 8, 2022)

Queen Elizabeth II: 1926-2022

Big Time Pressure From Buffalo

I may be late to this reality, but dang, the Bills have a great defensive line.

DT Jordan Phillips, who was in that scuffle with Josh Allen at Bills training camp, produced two first-half sacks and appears to be clicking with Sean McDermott’s defense as advertised over the off-season.

A vengeful Von Miller, who won the Super Bowl with the Rams last season, was also a highlight of the defense, adding a pair of sacks to his stat line …

… but even then, there’s still a coterie of guys on the Bills’ D-line that’ll make this one of the most formidable pass-rushes throughout the season.

Young players like Miami product Greg Rousseau, a budding AJ Epenesa and relentless ‘Boogie’ Basham kept Stafford on the run — made more impressive by Bills defensive stalwart Ed Oliver’s considerable absence from the game, due to an early ankle injury (he’ll be alright).

Will The Bills Win Super Bowl 57?

I don’t know, ask Geoff Clark.

Happy NFL season!

Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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Written by Alejandro Avila

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