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Rams coach Sean McVay on blowout loss to Bills: 'This was a humbling experience'

Amid the flashbulbs and pomp of a Hollywood opening night, the reigning Super Bowl champions began their defense with a dud.

The Los Angeles Rams were left crestfallen by the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night, losing 31-10, as the 2022 Super Bowl favorites made a statement at the expense of the 2021 Super Bowl winners.

"We weren't ready to go, I take a lot of pride in that, and that's on me," Rams head coach Sean McVay said after the game. "I gotta do better, there were a lot of decisions that I made that I felt like didn't put our players in good enough spots. This was a humbling experience, but we're going to stay connected, we're going to look inward, we're going to do a better job of moving forward, but you give credit to the Bills, and then we've got to understand that we've got to have that mindset and mentality to be able to move forward accordingly."

While the Bills besting the Rams wasn't surprising, the lopsided final score surely was. It added up to a defeat of historical note.

The 21-point margin of loss checks in as the second-largest margin of defeat in a season opener for a reigning Super Bowl champion, trailing just the 2013 Baltimore Ravens' 22-point loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, per NFL Research. Manning torched the Ravens on that day to the tune of seven touchdown passes on his way to winning the AP NFL Most Valuable Player and the Broncos earning a Super Bowl berth. The Ravens, meanwhile, went on to finish 8-8 and didn't make the playoffs.

On Thursday night, Bills quarterback Josh Allen didn't have quite as extraordinary a showing as Manning all those years ago, but he still ran -- and passed -- roughshod over the Rams. Allen turned in his 21st career game in which he passed and rushed for a touchdown, tallying four total scores on the evening. Buffalo racked up 413 yards, scored 21 straight second-half points to end the game and didn't punt all evening.

Meanwhile, the Rams offense mustered just 243 yards and never got in sync, turning it over three times and allowing seven sacks. Adding to the puzzlement was that running back Cam Akers had just three carries for zero yards and prized offseason acquisition Allen Robinson had only one catch on two targets.

"Yeah, we just didn't get in much of a rhythm tonight, so it was tough to get anything," McVay said. "I'd like to get Allen more involved, I'd like to get a lot more guys involved. Overall, it was just a tough night for us."

There's nary a reason to panic for a team after just one loss, of course.

Nonetheless, this is unexplored territory for McVay and the Rams. He dropped to 5-1 in season openers and is astonishingly below .500 for the first time in his already stellar career.

However, as is accustomed, McVay put the accountability of the loss upon his shoulders.

"The bottom line is, I didn't do a good enough job at getting us ready to go to our capabilities," McVay said. "I have total belief and confidence in what we can do moving forward, whether we won tonight or whether we had a humbling experience like this, we've got 16 games guaranteed left. We're going to dust ourselves off, we're going to look ourselves in the mirror, we're going to be accountable to the things that we all can do better within the framework of our roles, and we're going to move forward the right way. And that's all I know how to do."

There will be plenty more questions of doubt the Rams will be asked in the coming week, and 10 days before they can begin to answer them against the Atlanta Falcons back at SoFi Stadium.

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