The opening match of the NFL 2022 season sees the Los Angeles Rams begin their defence of the Vince Lombardi Trophy when they play host to the pre-season title favourites Buffalo Bills in a cracking contest on Thursday night.
These two sides are highly likely to be contenders to not only open up the campaign but they could very well finish it against each other as well. This is a chance for both to not only lay a marker down to each other but also the competition.
Los Angeles Rams
The champions Los Angeles Rams will have heaps of pressure on them in this match. They have lost some key components of their title winning side but they will still be expected to deliver the performance of champions. They will be boosted by the fact that under this head coach they have never lost an opening game of a season. If they can make it 6-0 on opening day under him they will certainly lay a marker down over what lies ahead.
The Rams still have the likes of Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp around while Aaron Donald is back for another season and that trio will be key but it will also be interesting to see if they can establish a run game this term. That was the one weakness they had in their Super Bowl winning campaign so if they can open a running game early doors it will make them an even greater threat than they were last season.
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The Buffalo Bills will feel they let an opportunity slip last season. They were one of the better teams in the AFC last year but they surrendered the number one seed towards the end of the campaign which meant that they had to go on the road early in the playoffs and came unstuck. Teams who nearly miss out in this league regroup, sign again and get ready to go again and that is what Buffalo have done. Their marquee close season signing came from the Rams in the form of Von Miller.
He will ensure opposition quarterbacks don’t have much time to find their rhythm or throw the deep ball and you would imagine based on last season that the rest of the Buffalo outfit will deliver the goods too. One issue they might have here is in the secondary where leading cornerback Tre’Davious White so they will need their pass rushers to get to Matt Stafford else this could be a longer night than ideal for the Bills’ defence.
I think it is only wise to take a watching brief on this match in terms of backing the outcome of it because there have been a number of changes since last season and there are one or two injury doubts heading into the match. If all things were equal I think the Buffalo Bills have the better roster throughout but going to Los Angeles Rams without your leading corner feels like a bit of a recipe for disaster and it is that which I am going to exploit.
Cooper Kupp might not necessarily exploit that because he operates in the slot a lot of the time but I’m sure he’ll move around the formation and with Allen Robinson having sat out the preseason and Robert Woods not a thing of the past in Los Angeles, Kupp is clearly going to be the main man here. I don’t see Los Angeles winning this match if Kupp doesn’t have a big game but he doesn’t need to have the biggest game to cover a 90 yard receiving line and I’m happy to camp on the over on that line.
Back C.Kupp – Over 90 receiving yards for a 3/10 stake at 1.85 with BetVictor
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