BILLS-RAMS MATCHUP WINNERS
Anthony Lynn vs. Gregg Williams
The Bills and their offensive coordinator like to impose their will with the running game. The Rams and their defensive coordinator like to intimidate the opposition with aggressive blitzing. The Bills ran on first down the third most of any team in the NFL last year (55 percent). How did that work out? Against the Rams, the Bills ran on 15 of 23 first-downs for 119 yards, a 7.9-yard average. LeSean McCoy’s 53-yard run was a first-down play. The Rams blitzed the fifth most of any team last season. By The News’ count, Williams blitzed Tyrod Taylor on nine pass plays. Taylor beat it for key gains on three different scoring drives. The 29-yard pass to Charles Clay to set up the first TD beat a blitz. The 17-yard pass to Robert Woods late in the first half beat it. So did Taylor’s last TD pass.
Bills OL vs. Aaron Donald
Donald is a star, but the Bills kept him quiet most of the day. No doubt, the Bills’ job was made easier by the fact two other Rams starting defensive linemen – Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers – sat out with injuries. So the Bills double-teamed Donald a bunch of plays. Of course, most teams double-team Donald a bunch, and he still makes plays. He’s like Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins in that he’s short, stocky, low-to-the ground and cat quick. Donald had just two tackles and a half a sack Sunday. He beat Richie Incognito with a power rush up the middle on a 7-yard sack of Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter. But that was the only time he got in the backfield against the Bills’ Pro Bowl guard. Bills guard John Miller blocked him up one on one on the first play from scrimmage, a 15-yard LeSean McCoy run.
Bills D vs. Todd Gurley
The Rams’ star running back is off to a rough start this season. It’s not his fault. At all. He’s running behind one of the shakier offensive lines in the NFL. His quarterback, Case Keenum, doesn’t scare any defensive coordinators with his ability to throw downfield. The Bills did a good job containing Gurley, holding the third-year back to 72 yards on 23 carries, just a 3.13-yard average. Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards and averaged 4.8 yards a carry. This year he’s averaging only 2.7 a carry and 57 yards a game. The Rams love to spread teams out and run the hard-charging Gurley against nickel defensive fronts. By unofficial count, they did that eight times against the Bills but managed only one gain of more than 5 yards on those plays. The Bills’ D got stouter late. Gurley gained only 8 yards on his last 10 carries.