The banner commemorating the Los Angeles Rams’ victory in Super Bowl LVI was revealed before their 31-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Thursday evening’s NFL season opener at SoFi Stadium.
Matthew Stafford had three passes intercepted which Buffalo converted into 10 points and was sacked seven times.
Josh Allen completed 26 of 31 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns and ran four yards for a fourth-quarter score for Buffalo. Allen had two passes intercepted, which the Rams converted into a field goal.
The Rams recovered two Buffalo fumbles, but were unable to convert either of those takeaways into points.
The Rams scored all their points in the second quarter on Stafford’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp and Matt Gay’s 57-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. They punted on each of their first two second-half possessions, Stafford threw interceptions on the next two and they turned the ball over on downs on their fifth and final second-half possession.
Buffalo took a 10-0 lead on Allen’s 26-yard pass to Gabe Davis on the game’s first drive and Tyler Bass’ 41-yard field goal eight minutes, 48 seconds before halftime.
The Rams were outgained 413 yards to 243, trailed 23-19 in first downs and 31:14-28:46 in time of possession.
Stafford completed 29 of 41 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown in front of a crowd announced at 73,846. The yardage increased Stafford’s career total to 50,235, making him the 13th quarterback to throw for 50,000 yards and the one to accomplish the feat in the fewest games, 183.
“When you look at a lot of the ways that this game unfolded, (I) feel a huge sense of responsibility to this team,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after his first loss in a season opener in his six-season career. “We weren’t ready to go. I take a lot of pride in that and that’s on me. I got to do better. There was 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 all look inward. We’re going to do a better job moving forward, but you give credit to the Bills. Then we’ve got to understand that we’ve got to have that mindset of mentality to be able to move forward accordingly.”
The banner was revealed from the stadium’s canopy roof above the 400 level on the stadium’s south side. It will hang at every Rams home game this season and in future seasons. A banner celebrating the Rams’ first Super Bowl victory in 2000 was on display when fans arrived and is displayed side-by-side with the banner for Super Bowl LVI.
Owner Stan Kroenke and retired offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth led the on-field celebration, which included highlights from last season and an augmented reality experience on the stadium’s video board. They were joined by members of the Watts Rams, the youth football program created by Los Angeles Police Department officers in an attempt to improve relations with the public through football.
A 10-foot aluminum “Love” sculpture by Colombian-American artist Ruben Rojas was unveiled in the stadium’s American Airlines Plaza Thursday afternoon as part of the debut of the NFL’s “Choose Love” campaign, intended to spread a message of love this football season in response to the increase in hate crimes and gun violence.
Rams and Buffalo players wore helmets featuring “Choose Love” as part of the league’s social justice helmet decal messaging.