LOS ANGELES — Although the Buffalo Bills’ three-game winning streak is equal parts exciting and improbable, LeSean McCoy sees ways it can get even better.
McCoy shredded the Los Angeles Rams’ defense for 8.3 yards per carry on the way to 150 yards rushing in the Bills’ 30-19 victory Sunday — and he still wasn’t impressed.
“There were some plays I missed today,” McCoy said. “I could have easily had over 200 yards.”
That’s a bold statement against a defensive team as good as the Rams (3-2), who were missing three injured starters on their vaunted defensive line. But after the Bills (3-2) turned an 0-2 start into an above-.500 record with three impressive victories, they could be excused for feeling good about themselves.
“It’s just a gratifying moment, and we know we’ve got a ton of work in front of us,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said.
The Bills handled their first game in the Coliseum since 1992 rather comfortably, thanks to an opportunistic defense that forced three turnovers and a grinding offense that managed only 305 yards but found holes in the Rams’ solid scheme.
Robey-Coleman returned his first interception 41 yards for the tiebreaking touchdown in the third quarter, punctuating the Buffalo defense’s effort against Los Angeles’ inconsistent offense.
Case Keenum passed for 271 yards, while Todd Gurley scored the Rams’ first home touchdown of the season while rushing for 72 yards. Los Angeles couldn’t build on its three-game winning streak with back-to-back road games in Detroit and London coming up.
“We’ve got to score in that red zone,” said Tavon Austin, who had seven catches for 59 yards while rushing for 26 more. “We keep getting down there, but not scoring in the red zone. Three points is good, but three points is not going to win too many big games.”
Here are some other takeaways from the game:
LOUSY FAKE: Trailing 23-19 and desperate for a late-game spark, the Rams faked a punt from their own 23 with 3:47 to play. The Bills sniffed it out perfectly, tackling Bradley Marquez 3 yards short of the first down. Thanks to a 24-yard run by McCoy and a TD pass by Taylor, Buffalo essentially put the game out of reach moments later. Ryan credited the decisive play to the Bills’ special teams coaching staff, saying Danny Crossman, Eric Smith and Kathryn Smith were “preparing special teams for that exact play, so we were ready for it.”
DEFENSIVE BLOWS: The Rams began the game without starting defensive linemen Robert Quinn, William Hayes and Michael Brockers, allowing the Bills to gang up on star lineman Aaron Donald in their blocking. “They’re all willing, but we’re looking at the long haul right now,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “And they wouldn’t have been productive.” In the fourth quarter, Los Angeles lost standout cornerback Trumaine Johnson to a right ankle injury that had him on crutches after the game. If Johnson or the linemen remain out for a prolonged stretch, the Rams’ greatest strength will be compromised. Fisher expects to know more about Johnson’s injury Monday.
GRINDING HALT: Gurley scored a touchdown and had his second-biggest rushing game of the season with 72 yards, including a 16-yard run and a 12-yard run. But the standout second-year pro still has only 288 yards in five games. He also fumbled twice, losing one. The Rams still can’t get their most dangerous offensive player going.
HOMECOMING GAME: Robey-Coleman was named a Bills captain for the game along with Reggie Bush, Robert Woods and Kevon Seymour. The reason? They’re all USC Trojans returning to their home stadium. “We could have let distractions get to us,” Robey-Coleman said. “We came out here with a mindset to get a victory and that’s what happened.”
BIG SACK: Buffalo linebacker Lorenzo Alexander had two sacks, putting him into the NFL lead in the category. He’s the first Bills player to get part of a sack in five consecutive games since Mario Williams in 2013. Alexander was more excited about the Bills’ takeaways. “That’s what we pride ourselves on defense,” he said. “Our core principle is to take the ball away and score on defense.”