Buffalo Bills sweep Los Angeles Rams to start 2022 NFL season: How it happened

The NFL is back!

After 214 days (yes, we counted them all), the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams host the upstart Buffalo Bills in the season opener tonight.

The Rams – led by defensive lineman Aaron Donald, receiver Cooper Kupp, quarterback Matthew Stafford and cornerback Jalen Ramsey – return with hopes of being the first repeat league champions since the New England Patriots in 2003-04.

The Bills, led by star quarterback and preseason MVP favorite Josh Allen, are on a mission to reach the Super Bowl after heartbreaking playoff losses the past two seasons.

Could these teams meet in the Super Bowl this season?

Stay tuned here to the USA TODAY Sports live blog for highlights from the Bills-Rams game at SoFi Stadium.

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Josh Allen, Bills dominate Rams in season opener

It was a wicked Super Bowl hangover. And a beatdown from Buffalo to Los Angeles.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a 31-10 victory over the defending champion Rams on Thursday night in the NFL season opener at SoFi Stadium.

Allen completed 26 of 31 passes for 297 yards, and ran for 56 yards on the ground on 10 carries in the prime-time win that certainly rattled the rest of the league.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford went 29-of-41 for 240 yards with a touchdown pass to Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, who finished with a game-ending 128 yards.

But Stafford was stymied by the Bills defense all night. He threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times.

Allen threw touchdown passes to receivers Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and Isaiah McKenzie on the play to cap the Bills’ drive, overcoming four turnovers of their own (two Allen interceptions with fumbles by running backs James Cook and Zach Moss). The Bills (1-0) will have 11 days until a Week 2 matchup with the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 19, while the Rams (0-1) host the Atlanta Falcons in 10 days on Sept. 18.

Bills, Rams trade turnovers as game ends 31-10

Good night Los Angeles.

The Bills secured their third interception on Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford with less than six minutes remaining and committed their fourth turnover on a punt by running back Zack Moss a minute later.

The difference in the games: the joy of the Bills players after their turnover versus the reaction of the Rams.

The Rams’ Super Bowl hangover was quite evident in this matchup. Despite committing four turnovers, the Rams offense fell flat on that drive.

The Bills, on the other hand, look primed for a deep run this season behind the play of Josh Allen and an improved defense.

Josh Allen finds Stefon Diggs, Bills take Rams lead

The Bills might have put this game away.

Josh Allen found receiver Stefon Diggs streaking down the field for a 53-yard touchdown, giving the Bills a 31-10 lead over the Rams with 9:25 left in the game.

Buffalo worked quickly to take advantage of Rams QB Matthew Stafford’s second interception and took a commanding lead over the defending Super Bowl champions.

Allen was the best player on the field in this game, while the Bills’ defense was sparked by the presence of Von Miller against his former team.

Stafford and the Rams offense has struggled mightily in their first game of their title defense.

Matthew Stafford throws second INT in fourth quarter

The rams roll and the bills roll.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw his second interception of the game on a pass to star running back Cooper Kupp. Bills safety Jordan Poyer made the interception after being pressured by defensive back AJ Epenesa on the play.

The Rams’ turnover gives the Bills a chance to seal the deal in the season opener.

Josh Allen helps the Bills take a 24-10 lead into the fourth quarter

The Buffalo Bills are in total control.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Josh Allen found wide receiver Gabe Davis open for a 47-yard completion that put the Bills inside the 10-yard line.

Three plays later, Allen broke the punt on a 4-yard touchdown run to put the Bills ahead 24-10 over the Rams.

Despite three turnovers in the first half, the Bills took a commanding lead over the defending champs early in the final quarter.

Allen, despite the two interceptions, has had his mark all over this start to the NFL season.

The Bills lead the Rams 17-10 in the fourth quarter

A bad stiff hand and a touch.

Josh Allen found receiver Isaiah McKenzie for a 7-yard touchdown to give the Bills a 17-0 lead with 7:59 left in the third quarter on Buffalo’s first drive of the second half. The drive was highlighted by Allen stiff-arming a Rams defender to gain a first down on 3rd-and-7 earlier in the drive.

The Rams started the half offensively, but a drop by Matthew Stafford and a sack by Bills defensive end Gregory Rousseau led to a three-and-out.

Rams, Bills tied at 10 at halftime

How about the first half?

Rams kicker Matt Gay kicked a 57-yard field goal to help the defending champions enter halftime in a 10-10 tie with the Bills in the NFL season opener.

The Rams were unable to capitalize on another Bills turnover as the Buffalo defense held their own in the final minutes of the second quarter. Stafford was sacked by Bills defensive lineman Jordan Phillips with Daquan Jones and AJ Epenesa also on the play to set up a 2nd and 19.

The Bills were fortunate, despite a 3-1 deficit in the turnover battle, to end the first half tied with the Rams.

Josh Allen throws his second interception of the first half against the Rams

The Bills had most of the momentum early in this one. But halftime can’t get here soon enough for Buffalo.

Josh Allen threw his second interception of the game with 1:53 left in the first half, as Rams defensive back Troy Hill grabbed one from Bills wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

Allen threw the football late and behind his receiver and now has two interceptions. It’s Buffalo’s third turnover of the first half in a 10-7 game.

Cooper Kupp’s incredible touchdown puts the Rams on the board

The Rams had a decision to make: Settle for the 3 or go for the fourth down. And coach Sean McVay’s decision paid off.

Cooper Kupp took a push from a teammate to secure a first down on 4th and 2, and later scored a touchdown from Stafford to get the Rams on the board. The Rams were helped by an 18-yard run by running back Darrell Henderson on the drive.

The Rams cut the Bills’ lead to 10-7 with three minutes left in the first half.

Bills 10, Rams 0 8:48 in second quarter

While the Rams couldn’t get their offense going after their turnover, the Bills took advantage of theirs.

Bills kicker Tyler Buss hit a 41-yard field goal to give Buffalo a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. Josh Allen lost receiver Gabriel Davis on a pass near the sideline on third down to set up the touchdown.

Either way, Buffalo has regained momentum and has an early double-digit lead in the NFL opener.

The Bills, the Rams trade early in the second quarter

The Rams did nothing with their first turnover, going three-and-out on the next possession. But they quickly got the ball back on offense.

Rams defensive back Nick Scott forced rookie Bills running back James Cook’s first career fumble early in the second quarter.

It took just two plays before the Rams gave the Bills the football back as Stafford threw an interception to Bills cornerback Dane Jackson.

The Rams force turnovers, slowing the Bills’ momentum in the first quarter

Allen started the game by completing his first 10 passes, but the next pass attempt to receiver Isaiah McKenzie was intercepted by Rams linebacker Terrell Lewis for the game’s first turnover.

Allen and the Bills’ offense was rolling and the turnover killed Buffalo’s momentum in the first quarter.

Bills 7, Rams 0, 9:56 first quarter

The Buffalo Bills wasted no time getting off to a fast start. They drove down the field on their first possession and quarterback Josh Allen found receiver Gabe Davis wide open for a 26-yard touchdown on the game’s first drive. After a few plays, the Bills set the Rams up for a play-action game that worked to perfection.

Rams unveil championship banner

Before the game, the Rams unfurled their championship banner and ran onto the field after an extreme introduction by retired forward Andrew Whitworth.

Unsigned wide receiver Odell Beckham, who played for the Rams last season, was also on stage hoisting the Lombardi Trophy during the pregame celebration.

Queen Elizabeth II was honored with a minute’s silence before the match

During the pre-match celebrations, a minute’s silence was observed in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, who died earlier on Thursday.

NFL kickoff injury report

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected to play without restrictions despite discomfort in his right elbow dating back to last season.

“He’ll be ready to go,” Rams coach Sean McVay told Stafford reporters earlier this week.

However, it is something to keep an eye on during the opening.

The Rams will be without receiver Van Jefferson (knee), while cornerback Derion Kendrick, quarterback Bryce Perkins, linebacker Jake Gervase and receiver Lance McCutcheon are inactive.

Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson, receiver Khalil Shakir and cornerback Cam Lewis are inactive, while offensive lineman Tommy Doyle (foot) and tight end Quintin Morris (hamstring) will not play due to injuries.

Reading before the NFL opening game

Get ready for Thursday night’s game with some of our best stories on the Bills-Rams tilt, as well as predictions for the upcoming season.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bills-Rams final score: NFL opens season with thrilling clash

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