Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
2020 Week 3 Analysis: Rams @ Bills (By Ross Jacobs)
-On the face of it this looked like the Bills were blowing out the helpless Rams and then almost blew the game on a furious LA comeback, but that's not entirely accurate. The Bills did build a large early lead, but it wasn't because they were just destroying the Rams.
-LA was driving the ball just as well as Buffalo, but they stalled a couple of times on an interception, a failed 4th down, and a missed field goal. It was mostly just happenstance that the Bills were converting their drives into scores and the Rams weren't. The score was only 21-3 at the half. That feels like a big difference, but in terms of on field performance this game it really wasn't. The script flipped in the second half, and it was the Rams that began converting their drives and the Bills that stalled a little. Josh Allen finally got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and was picked off, and the Rams finally mustered some pressure including a huge series from perennial defensive MVP Aaron Donald. The Rams took the lead on a Darrell Henderson TD, but the Bills drove right back down the field and Tyler Kroft scored the game winning touchdown.
-Overall it was a struggle between two strong and evenly matched teams. I'd say the Bills are maybe a touch better, but it's not a huge difference. Both teams have excellent offenses and suspect defenses, but the Bills might have a slightly better pass defense. Both teams are getting gashed in the running game.
-I feel like I need to make a public apology to FFM's own Myles Crowe. During the run-up to the 2018 draft I gave Myles hell for being on the Josh Allen bandwagon. I've made a lot of good calls over the years, but this was not one of them and Myles was absolutely on the right track. Now I'm not ready to admit that Allen is a future hall-of-famer or anything. I still think he's got some issues with decision making and accuracy, but my pre-draft analysis was that he would never be close to a functional NFL QB, and that is clearly wrong. Buffalo's management and coaches deserve a lot of credit for building a system around Josh that plays to his strengths, but clearly he's a capable QB. In fact right now he's got to be in discussion for MVP. So Myles, if you're out there reading this, I apologize. You were right, and I'd love to hear from you and talk some more draft this next year. Our Allen discussion was one of the more interesting talks I've ever had, and I clearly have something to learn from you. Great job.
-The other QB in this game, Jared Goff, isn't getting the love that Allen is at the moment, but he's playing awfully well himself. This offense is a well-oiled machine, and he is slicing and dicing his way down the field with smart decisions and pin-point laser throws.
-RC and I were further vindicated in our RB scouting this game. It's clear at this point that Devin Singletary and Darrell Henderson are two of the best runners in the game. Both guys are very talented, but I'd rather have Henderson for fantasy moving forward. Singletary is still going to lose too many TD's to Allen. Henderson will lose a few to Brown but not as much.
-We all just assumed the Bills would have a stout defense again, and after the first couple weeks of the season I thought the Rams might have one too. At this point I'd say both units are lucky if they are average.
-Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp continue to look like solid WR1.5-2's. This offense is fantastic and Goff is finding the open man every play.
-Higbee is definitely going to be an up and down play this year. The Rams have gone back to mostly using their WR's and RB's and ignoring the TE. He'll need touchdowns to matter most weeks.
-There's nothing else to say about Josh Allen. I said week 1 that he was going to be a top scorer this year. He is scoring touchdowns at an obscene rate, and I don't see any reason why that would stop.
-Hope you jumped on Henderson in time. He's a high-end RB1 the rest of the season. Singletary might be a back-end RB1, but more likely he'll be a nice RB2.