Since the beginning of last season, the Bills have been knocked for playing week competition. Granted, last year’s schedule was incredibly favorable to Buffalo. McDermott and company had to gameplan for some of the worst teams in the NFL. But, in reality, this is professional sports. Teams don’t always beat other teams when they should. Buffalo did that last year, and they’re doing it again this year after taking out the New Jersey Jets in week 1 and the Miami Dolphins in week 2. From here on out, that will no longer be the narrative for Josh Allen and company. The Bills are set to play against 7 of the currently undefeated teams, one of those being the Rams. National media is painting week 3 as a “litmus test” for this young Bills team.
Josh Allen leads the league in passing yards. Stephon Diggs leads the league in receiving yards. Even Bills fans would not have expected that through two weeks. Although the Jets secondary was slighty suspect, the Dolphins secondary was regarded as one of the best young groups in the NFL. Granted, Byron Jones went down on the first defensive drive of the game for the Dolphins, but Allen still matched his first 300-yard passing game with his first 400-yard passing game. I know that’s a stat you’ve heard a lot this season, but it just proves Allen’s development as a passer. This week, the Rams secondary will really test the cantaloupe farmer, so long as they stay healthy. The only receiving touchdown LA gave up was to the Cowboys in a Sunday night victory. Hopefully, Josh Allen will be able to shove a football up Jalen Ramsey’s *** for a second time in his career.
The more likely scenario is that the Bills go back to their roots and run the football on Sunday. The Rams let up 4.7 yards per carry last week, and as we mentioned, the secondary is going to keep the areal game to a minimum. Devin Singletary has yet to have a breakout game this season, but this was around the time he found a groove last season. Zach Moss, who scored his first NFL touchdown in week 1 and saw an increase in touches week 2, is a question mark, but we’ll talk more about that below. Running back Antonio Williams, who has had stints with Buffalo in the past, was since the practice squad this week. He might receive a call up to the 55-man this Sunday.
The Bills are known for having a good injury prevention and rehabilitation program. This season the injuries seem to be spiraling. Milano and Edmunds missed the Miami game, and it was evident that the middle of the defense was weak in their absense. The two young linebackers, along with John Brown, Taron Johnson, and Ed Oliver, were limited in practice on Thursday. With Milano wearing full pads a no red jersey, John Brown being a full participant on Wednesday, and Ed Oliver dealing with a non-serious leg injury, it looks like those three will play. Johnson and Edmunds are on the fence. Beasley and White were both on the injury report this week but went full speed on Thursday. Del’Shawn Phillips, Zach Moss, and Dawson Knox have yet to practice in a limited capacity all week. Knox is going through concussion protocol, Phillips has been dealing with an injury since week 1, and Moss suffered a surprising toe injury last week. All three are leaning towards OUT this Sunday.
Dawson Knox, as mentioned above, is on the verge of missing this game Sunday. He’s been quiet all season, with one spectacular catch against Marcus Maye week 1, and a fumble (that no one saw due to CBS) after a long catch against the Dolphins. Despite this, the 2017 reception leader at the tight end position, Jason Croom, was released from the practice squad. Tyler Kroft will see an increase in snaps, as well as FB/TE Reggie Gilliam, who caught his first touchdown last week. Lee Smith has been inactive all season, and Nate Becker was re-signed to the practice squad this week, but both are primarily blockers. Honestly, without any Boston College bias, Bills fans are wishing Tommy Sweeney was able to play this weekend. He’s still on the PUP from this offseason. On the other hand, the tight end room in LA might be an issue. The Bills let Gesicki have a career day last week, and Higbee has been lighting things up this season. Hopefully, the return of one or both starting linebackers will fix that.
Former Bill Robert Woods, who recently got paid big money on a new 4-year extension, is returning to the Ralph for the first time. While Woods expressed his sadness that Bills Mafia wouldn’t be in attendance, it will still be an interesting day for the history books. It may be a bad day for the Bills, though, as Levi Wallace was bullied by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week for chunk play after chunk play. The Rams also have Cooper Kupp, arguably the best slot receiver in the league alongside Cole Beasley, who has reinvigorated this Rams team since his return. Let’s hope Milano and Edmunds return to take some pressure off the secondary.
Bills win in a close one.
BUF 27 — LA 24