The Los Angeles Rams are riding high coming off a third straight win, but the focus has quickly shifted to their upcoming challenge against the Buffalo Bills in their second home game of the season.
Buffalo has also been one of the hot teams in the league after a pair of consecutive victories topping the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots, who were both in the conference championship games last year. A major part of their success in the last two seasons has been the emergence of quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The 27-year-old has been a great find for the Bills helping provide some much-needed stability at the position for the franchise. Taylor presents a difficult assignment for any opposing team because of his ability to be a dual-threat quarterback. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher believes that will be a point of emphasis for his defense while also providing a comparison to another Pro Bowl signal caller in the NFC West.
“He’s a healthy Russell Wilson if that gives you an explanation or definition. He can extend the plays, he makes all the throws, he’s a little taller than Russell. They’re using him a little differently than Seattle uses Russell," There are called runs for him, there’s all kinds of stuff in their offense. They’re very creative. They went through a coaching change, but the last two weeks, they’ve been challenging from a defensive standpoint, with personnel groupings, unbalanced formations, Wild Cat, and all that stuff. So, it’s going to be a long week for us defensively.”
Taylor has provided the Bills offense with a significant boost in the running game because of his mobility. Last season, Buffalo led the league in rushing while being tied for the league lead with 4.8 yards per game and 19 rushing touchdowns. They are on that same pace this year currently holding the seventh-best rushing attack while averaging 123.3 yards per game on 4.6 yards per carry and four touchdowns.
The former sixth-round pick also shares another similar trait with Wilson in that he rarely commits turnovers in the passing game. Last season, he ranked in the top five in the lowest interception rates in the league among quarterbacks that made a minimum of 300 pass attempts. He currently has just two interceptions through the first month of games.
All of this has helped open up an opportunity for Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy to produce like top rusher in the league when he's on the field. McCoy is ninth in the league with 297 rushing yards, 14th with 4.4 yards per attempt, and tied for fifth with three touchdowns. With this duo leading one of the league's best rushing attack, it presents a unique challenge for the Rams defense that ranks 17th against the run allowing opponents to rushing for 104.5 yards per game.
However, Los Angeles has allowed just 3.7 yards per carry, which is tied for 10th fewest in the NFL despite opponents rushing the ball 28.2 times against them per game. That said, Fisher is ready for the challenges that lie ahead for his team on Sunday afternoon at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
"Tyrod (Taylor) is playing good," Fisher said. "(RB) LeSean (McCoy) is making all kinds of plays. They’re well-coached, so it’ll be a big challenge. But again, we’re happy to be at home.”