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Rams’ McVay Praises Buffalo Bills: ‘It’s An Excellent Team’

Los Angeles will host the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8 in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL Season.

With the start of the 2022 NFL season just days away, the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams will not get the chance to rest on their laurels.

Shortly after the unveiling of their championship banner, the Rams will square off against a team with aspirations of their own. week 1. Los Angeles will host quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8, the first game of the 2022 season.

While the Rams are confident in their ability to repeat as champions, they are highly cognizant of the Bills' place at the top of their list of potential challengers. Despite Buffalo’s prowess on both sides of the ball, Rams coach Sean McVay will be ready for all aspects of the Bills' strengths, including on the sidelines.

“It's an excellent team,” McVay told reporters on Friday. “There's a reason why you see a lot of the outside-in narratives have them as one of the best teams in the NFL. I think that's earned based on the ‘consistency that they've played with, got great players, great coaches. They've added some nice pieces on both sides of the football … Coach McDermott and Coach [Bills’ Defensive Coordinator] Leslie Frazier, tremendous respect for those guys. So it's going to be a great challenge."

One of the most anticipated battles in the NFL’s season opener will be Los Angeles’ defense attempting to contain the Bills’ high-octane offense. Allen’s abilities, in particular, have certainly caught the Rams’ attention. 

McVay and his staff are fully aware of the potential difficulties in defending the 6-5, 237-pound quarterback. Despite losing former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, with whom Allen has a solid professional rapport, the Rams recognize the continuity Buffalo’s offense will bring to the field.

“They've been able to keep some of their foundational philosophies. I know Ken Dorsey being the coordinator now, but expect them to be able to operate in a similar way with a couple little tweaks and wrinkles here that we've got to be ready to play rules ball and react.”

Allen played some of the best football of his career in 2021. Throughout the regular season, the 25-year-old threw for 4,407 yards with 36 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. His dual-threat capabilities in both the passing game and the run game make him a metaphorical nightmare for opposing defenses.

Conversely, Buffalo is considered among the most complete teams in the NFL. In addition to Allen, wide receiver Stefon Diggs and tight end Dawson Knox, the Bills also added the services of linebacker and former Rams linebacker Von Miller to their defense. While the eventual return of injured cornerback Tre’Davious White will be delayed beyond week 1, McVay acknowledged the threat posed by Buffalo’s defense in all three phases.

“Defensively, they're excellent,” McVay said. “They have great personnel. They've added some depth at the corner spot, even though a great player (Buffalo Bills CB) Tre’Davious White won't be available, they've [still] got great players on all three levels of the defense.”

Unsurprisingly, the Bills have emerged as the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl, with Allen having the best odds of any player to win league MVP. Their matchup with the Rams has the makings of an instant classic. 

In addition to the duel between Allen and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, Diggs will meet his coverage match in Los Angeles cornerback Jalen Ramsey, while Rams receiver Cooper Kupp will have his hands full in trying to shake free of Buffalo’s defensive backs, including Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson and rookie Kaiir Elam.

While the Rams-Bills matchup will make for an exciting opening to the 2022 NFL Season, its potential to close the season at Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona will make it that much more intriguing. 

Los Angeles and Buffalo are set for a 5:20 p.m. PT (8:20 ET) kickoff on Thurs. Sept 8 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. 

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