Los Angeles Rams (2-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
The Bills made the playoffs with 10 wins last season, but they faced a very easy schedule and their performance against tougher competition is concerning. They went just 1-5 against teams that finished with a winning record, with their only win coming against the Marcus Mariota-led Titans in a game in which the Titans missed 4 field goals and lost by 7. Even more concerning is the statistical split of quarterback Josh Allen between games against winning teams and non-winning teams.
Even with a solid game against the Titans included, he completed just 51.7% of his passes for an average of 5.65 YPA, 7 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions against winning teams, as opposed to 62.6% completion, 7.26 YPA, 13 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions against .500 or worse teams. With the Bills’ schedule getting much tougher this season, the key to them making it back to the post-season will be Josh Allen and the rest of this team playing better than they have against tough competition.
Whether or not they can do that is still up in the air, as the Bills started their season with a pair of easy games against divisional opponents, taking care of business in both games. This week, their schedule gets tougher, as they play host to the Rams. The Rams came into the season with several glaring weaknesses, but, one of them, their offensive line, has been pleasantly surprising this season thanks to the emergence of young players and bounce back years from veterans. They haven’t faced the toughest schedule to get to 2-0 and they barely won their week 1 game, but the Rams are exceeding expectations and have mostly avoided injuries so far, and they should easily compete for a playoff spot if that continues.
The Bills are better on offense since adding Stefon Diggs this off-season and Josh Allen is another year experienced, now in his 3rd season in the league, so I give them a better chance of beating a team like the Rams than I would a year ago, but I still have the Rams about a point higher in my roster rankings. This line, favoring the Bills by 2 at home, suggests these two teams are about even, so we’re getting a little bit of line value with the Rams, but the Bills could easily end up winning this game by a field goal, so this isn’t one I’m confident in. In fact, a Bills win by a field goal is probably the single most likely outcome, even if the Rams overall may have a better chance of covering.
Buffalo Bills 24 Los Angeles Rams 23
Pick against the spread: LA Rams +2