It’s a battle of 2-0 teams in upstate New York as Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams clash with Sean McDermott’s Buffalo Bills.
Along with the NFC clash of powers in New Orleans between the Packers and Saints, as well as the Monday night encounter between the Super Bowl champion Chiefs and equally 2-0 Baltimore Ravens, there are a half-dozen interconference games on the schedule in Week 3. And perhaps none of those is more intriguing than the tilt between the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills.
Both teams are off to 2-0 starts and each club is also looking to win their first three games for the second straight year. In fact, a 3-0 start by Los Angeles would mark the third consecutive year they’ve come out of the gates that strong. Of course, that didn’t seem to matter much a year ago as the team struggled for the remainder of the season. The Rams finished 9-7 and failed to go back to the playoffs for a third consecutive year.
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As for the Bills, they wilted late in 2010 and were knocked out of the playoffs in overtime in the wild card round. But the team won 10 games, the 1st time the franchise reached double-digits in the win column since 1999.
This year, both teams are off to very similar starts. The Rams have scored a combined 57 points in victories over the Cowboys and eagles. Buffalo has done them one better in scoring (58 points) in knocking off their divisional rivals from New York and Miami.
Bills’ signal-caller Josh Allen is off too easily the best start of his very brief career. He entered Week 3 the NFL leader in passing yards (729). He had never thrown for at least 300 yards in any game in either of his first two seasons. He totaled 312 through the air on the opening Sunday vs. the Jets and did that number better last week at South Florida, finishing with 417 yards and four scores. Versus the Jets, he did lose a pair of fumbles but those are his lone turnovers of the season. The third-year pro is completing 70.4 percent of his throws and has thrown six touchdown passes without an interception. The addition of Stefon Diggs has made fellow wideout John Brown even more dangerous.
Meanwhile, Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff doesn’t quite have the numbers as does Allen. But he’s been highly efficient this year and that is something that bears watching. Late in 2018, the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft struggled with ball security despite the fact that the team reached the Super Bowl. It carried into 2019 as he threw for 4,638 yards and 22 touchdowns but was also picked off 16 times and lost five fumbles. This year to date, Goff has turned over the ball just once (an interception in Week 1 vs. the Cowboys) while he’s hitting on 69.0 percent of his throws. And with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods at his disposal, he could give Buffalo’s defense fits.
Yes, Sunday night at New Orleans and Monday night at Baltimore are certainly worthy of advanced billing. But this interconference clash in the land of chicken wings could be the hottest tilt of Week 3.