The Buffalo Bills enter the 2022 NFL season as the favorites to win the Super Bowl for the first time since 1992, and started their quest for the franchise’s first NFL championship with a visit to the reigning champs on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
The biggest reason for optimism in Buffalo is their star quarterback Josh Allen, who has gone from a wild card to an MVP frontrunner in his time in the league, making an astronomical leap from his rookie season to now. As Allen enters his fifth season under center in Buffalo, he has a new offensive coordinator in Ken Dorsey (who was elevated from QB coach after Brian Daboll took the Giants job), but little is changing for Allen in what he’s being asked to do.
That continuity despite a big departure like Daboll was on display in L.A. as the Bills marched down the field on their opening drive for an impressive touchdown to take an early lead. The Rams would tie things up at the half though at 10-10 after three turnovers by the Bills — two on Allen interceptions although one was certainly not his fault. As such, the Bills needed a response out of halftime and did so in decisive fashion, forcing a three-and-out and driving for another touchdown.
On that drive, the Bills faced a third and long just across midfield and when the Rams blanketed the Bills receivers, Allen tucked the ball and showed off his running ability, discarding a Rams defender in the process as he galloped for a first down.
That’s a Derrick Henry quality stiff arm, not one you’d expect to see from a quarterback. That said, Allen isn’t like most quarterbacks as his physicality in the run game is part of what sets him apart. He’s become more selective in when he throws that weight around, trying to take fewer hits, but picking up a key third down in a tie game met that criteria and the Bills paid it off with a touchdown a few plays later.