The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams are having strangely similar trajectories this season. Both teams were left for dead after sluggish starts, with their head coaches on the hot seat, only to rebound and beat up teams considered much stronger. They meet up this Sunday in the battle of possible overachievers.
Rex Ryan seemed as good as gone when the Bills started 0-2 and fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman, but all they've done since then was rattle off two straight wins over the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. The latter win was particularly noteworthy -- the Patriots got shut out at home for the first time since Gillette Stadium opened. Sure, they did it against a third-round rookie quarterback, but it's impressive nonetheless.
There are still pressing concerns, such as the loss of star receiver Sammy Watkins, who's on injured reserve. The Bills will have to lean heavily on their running game and defense, but we doubt Ryan would have it any other way.
Jeff Fisher and the Rams were a national punchline after getting shut out by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, but nobody's laughing now after they beat the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arizona Cardinals. Currently 3-1 and first place in the NFC West, the Rams are doing it with even less of an offense than the Bills.
Case Keenum is a replacement-level journeyman quarterback playing like one, while Todd Gurley has been running into brick walls all season. Needless to say, this game projects as a low-scoring affair.
With no obvious favorite here, NFL experts are a bit divided. The ESPN panel is siding with Los Angeles by a slim 5-4 margin. At CBS Sports, five chose the Rams and three chose the Bills. And here at SB Nation, six writers picked Buffalo and three, plus the OddsShark computer, went with the Rams.
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