The wait is over! The NFL season kicks off tomorrow night with two heavyweights who could very well see each other again in February at the Super Bowl.
The Bills, logical contenders for the throne, cross the States United to go and rub shoulders with the defending champions, the Rams, in Los Angeles. It's hard to ask for better to get into the groove!
For the Rams, it's the start of the quest for a second title in a row, a feat no team has achieved since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004. The mission is clearly not easy, but they rely on a core of veterans like Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, who are the envy of many teams .
Since 2016, every Super Bowl champion has returned to the playoffs the following season. So there are no big morning after symptoms in the air. The 2015 Broncos are the last champions to miss the playoffs the following season.
Among the Rams, however, a few questions arise. The two running backs, Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, have missed training lately to treat sores. There's also Jalen Ramsey, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. He'll be in charge, but in the face of the Bills' destructive aerial attack, he'll need to be in top form.
Most worrying is Matthew Stafford, who suffered from an elbow injury for long months. In training, his rehearsals were even limited for part of the summer.
The Bills aren't flawless either, especially at cornerback. They will be without their Tre'Davious White ace. Their rookie Kaiir Elam, selected at the end of the first round, had his ups and downs in training camp.
Nothing more normal in the case of a youngster, but against Arsenal offensive of the Rams and the flair of coach Sean McVay, he risks being attacked excessively. Stafford will rush at him like a good carnivore deprived of steak during a summer.
In the end, even if both attacks make headlines, the hero of the game could very well be veteran quarterback fighter Von Miller. He'll want to make an impression with his new team and he often shines in the spotlight.
Last season, the Rams went 9-1 when Stafford was sacked or sacked. under and 3-4 when he has been the target of two or more sacks.
It's Miller's time!
THURSDAY DUEL< /strong>
The Opposing Forces
- Josh Allen | Quarterback | 36 T, 15 INT, 4407 yards
- Devin Singletary | Running back | 7 T, 870 yards
- Stefon Diggs | Receiver | 10 T, 1225 yards
Los Angeles Rams
- Matthew Stafford | Quarterback | 41 T, 17 INT, 4886 yards
- Cam Akers | Running back | 0 T, 3 yards
- Cooper Kupp | receiver | 16 T, 1947 yards
PLAYER TO WATCH
Gabriel Davis | Receiver, Bills
In his first two seasons after being drafted in the fourth round in the spring of 2020, Davis has slowly but surely risen to prominence. With his remarkable game of eight receptions for 201 yards and four touchdowns against the Chiefs in the playoffs, he pleaded for a major role this season. He remains behind Stefon Diggs in the hierarchy, but he will clearly get his share of opportunities. The Bills will bet on an electrifying duo.
Bills 27 – Rams 24
1. Los Angeles Rams 12-5
The Rams are defending champions, so for now, the pedestal is theirs. Especially since there is no substantial loss in this lineup. With receiver Allen Robinson, the offense promises to be even more explosive than it already was.
2. Buffalo Bills 11-6
Quarterback Josh Allen recently mentioned that his goal is to avoid a few unnecessary hits to preserve himself for heavy games at the end of the course . Good idea, even if it will always be in his DNA to bequeath his body to science for the cause.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-4
Tom Brady will still be fully dedicated to his team, despite what some observers suggest. Still, between the juggling around his retirement in March, the rumors of his desire to evolve in Miami and his supposed marital problems, the last few months have stirred.
4. Kansas City Chiefs 12-5
The Chiefs could introduce a whole new iteration of their offense without receiver Tyreek Hill. In his place, veteran JuJu Smith-Schuster has looked good in training camp being used in multiple roles. If there's one to revive him, it's pilot Andy Reid.
5. Green Bay Packers 13-4
The Packers offense always ends up working. The defense has made good progress over the past few seasons. The organization's most underrated move was hiring Rich Bisaccia to pull special teams out of their traumatic 2021 coma.
6. Cincinnati Bengals 10-7
The Bengals seem to be there for good among the top teams in the league, but where they have things to prove is that they play 10 games this season against teams that had winning records last season. It's the price of glory.
7 Los Angeles Chargers 9-8
This ranking will clearly be too advantageous for the taste of many for a team that has not taken been in the playoffs since 2018. On a strict talent basis, the Chargers have a place in the top 10. Now the boots have to follow the chops.
8. San Francisco 49ers 10-7
How will the 49ers handle expectations of their green navel young quarterback, Trey Lance? If he disappoints, should he be left in the fray to continue learning? Should we take advantage of a mature roster to bring Jimmy Garoppolo back? Let the young man have a chance…
9. Baltimore Ravens 8-9
The Ravens are reviving quality players like tackle Ronnie Stanley, carriers JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Everything suggests that 2021 is just a bad memory from the infirmary.
10. Tennessee Titans 12-5
Like the Ravens, the Titans were also plagued by injuries last year. Several soldiers return, but questions remain. The right side of the offensive line is scary, as is the young group of receivers without much depth. What about King Henry's foot?
11. Denver Broncos 7-10
This is another team that perhaps finds itself ranked more on its potential than tangible results. With Russell Wilson on board, after all, the Broncos take a quantum leap in credibility. He won't miss anything in Denver.
12. Philadelphia Eagles 9-8
The Eagles added quality ammo on defense. On offense, the arrival of AJ Brown should give Jalen Hurts some air. By combining the burly receiver with the diminutive, but explosive DeVonta Smith, the Eagles could well have concocted the ideal tandem.
13. Dallas Cowboys 12-5
The best news for the Cowboys is that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is back and will continue to have fun with Micah Parsons. The team, however, clearly did not improve in the offseason with major losses (Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory).
14. New Orleans Saints 9-8
Finally, the Saints' receiving group is no longer the shame of the circuit. Michael Thomas appears to be healthy, although it will have to be seen to be believed. Chris Olave is a rookie of whom we speak a lot of good. Jarvis Landry has slowed down, but his physical presence in traffic will not be denied.
15. Indianapolis Colts 9-8
Star linebacker Shaquille (formerly Darius) could be ready to start the season. The Colts should bet on a quality defense. On offense, the acquisition of Matt Ryan has caused a lot of noise, but Jonathan Taylor is likely to climb into the select club of 2000 yards on the ground.
16. Miami Dolphins 9-8
The Dolphins have made significant improvements in their receivers and offensive line. The backfield also becomes more believable with Chase Edmonds, although we won't confuse him with a star carrier. Jevon Holland will become a star marauder.
17. Minnesota Vikings 8-9
The optimism that reigns among the Mauves will quickly be tested by the Packers, Eagles and Saints in the first month of the season. The attack will clearly not be a problem, but the defense must make up for the rout of 2021. On the front, it is fine. The tertiary? Not sure…
18. Las Vegas Raiders 10-7
Will Josh McDaniels finally become Bill Belichick's assistant who will be able to step out of his immense shadow once away from the Patriots universe? Let's say he inherits a good situation and that on his second chance, he should have learned from his mistakes.
19. Arizona Cardinals 11-6
At the midpoint of last year, the Cardinals were identified by many as the best team in the league. Since then, Kyler Murray's leadership has been questioned, Chandler Jones has jumped ship and DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended. They remain a team to watch.
20. New England Patriots 10-7
The legion of Patriots fans will not appreciate this ranking. We will have to see if the camp's poor offensive performance was just an illusion when the real matches get under way. For the moment, this is nothing very reassuring.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7-1
As expected, the Steelers gave the ball to Mitchell Trubisky. It will be intriguing to see how patient Mike Tomlin will be with him. Young Kenny Pickett played well in preseason games and at the slightest mistake, Trubisky will be crucified by fans and media.
22. Cleveland Browns 8-9
Chance does things funny. Deshaun Watson is suspended for the first 11 games of the season. When he returns, he will face the Texans, his old flame. It can only be a coincidence. The NFL would never have salivated for such ratings in December…
23. Washington Commanders 7-10
On offense, no one will be more important than rookie receiver Jahan Dotson. Since hatching Terry McLaurin, the team has been looking to add a credible second option in the aerial game. Nowadays, it is far from being a luxury. He will be starting this week.
24. Carolina Panthers 5-12
The Panthers have the potential to be a surprise team. It is far from done, but the possibility is real. Christian McCaffrey is back, the offensive line is improved and the defense hasn't been bad despite the team's failures in 2021. We're keeping an eye out.
25. New York Giants 4-13
It's getting hard to believe the Giants after a few years of Daniel Jones behind a patched offensive line. New coach Brian Daboll gained Josh Allen's trust at Buffalo and helped him rise. If there's anyone to revive Jones, it's him.
26. Chicago Bears 6-11
Justin Fields showed encouraging signs in preseason games despite a weak roster. If the young quarterback makes this team competitive, he will have infinite merit. To shine from the quarterback graveyard would be a great accomplishment.
27. New York Jets 4-13
Several rookies are intriguing for the Jets, starting with running back Breece Hall, who will have the ball in all aspects of the game. Garrett Wilson joins a young roster receivers who have everything to prove. Sauce
Gardner as Defensive Player of the Year? Why not?
28. Seattle Seahawks 7-10
The Seahawks went there with logic by giving the offense to quarterback Geno Smith, but they will not get anything out of this situation. Neither did Drew Lock, mind you, but at least there's always the possibility of a divine outbreak. With Geno, it's more of a risk of implosion.
29. Detroit Lions 3-13-1
Last season, the Lions story was “cute”. No one saw them being in the game for more than 34 seconds in a match and yet they sold their skin dearly. Now you have to see signs of progress. If only a little bit.
30. Houston Texans 4-13
Two players will be exciting for the Texans. There's quarterback Davis Mills, who, in his second season, is already playing his future. There's also rookie carrier Dameon Pierce, who is becoming the darling of poolers looking for a bargain in the far rounds.
31. Atlanta Falcons 7-10
The Falcons are miserable on paper. Their only real star player, cornerback AJ Terrell, must feel lonely on his eroding island. It's a matter of time before the desperate team turns to rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-14
Do the Jaguars deserve better than 32nd after getting reinforcements through the free agent market and the draft? No doubt, but until proven otherwise, they remain the Jaguars, eternally clogged in their nauseating mediocrity.