When it comes to assembling the NFL's regular season schedule each year, the ultimate goal for NFL Broadcasting Vice Presidents Onnie Bose and Mike North is to put the best games in the best windows for fans.
In looking to maximize Game 1 of 27, they arrived at the Bills for the Rams' Kickoff Game opponent at SoFi Stadium, looking to capitalize on Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen's pair of impressive playoff performances last season.
"One of the first things we looked at was, where are we going to play?" Bose said during a conference call with reporters Friday alongside fellow NFL Broadcasting Vice President Mike North. "You're always looking at, 'Where's Aaron Rodgers? Tom Brady? The Dallas Cowboys?' And this year, it's 'Where's Joe Burrow, where's Josh Allen gonna play? And very much it was just, your lasting memories of Josh Allen were some of the most incredible quarterback play and it just felt right and made a lot of sense, one, to just put him right back on that spotlight against the Super Bowl champions, and also just for the mix of the rest of the weekend and where we ended up slotting the Sunday night game, the Monday night game, the two doubleheader games. All of those things are interconnected. But it was a strong narrative that we wanted to put out there front and center."
In the Bills' two playoff games, Allen threw for a combined 637 yards with a 9-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He completed 21 of 25 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns against the Patriots in the Wild Card Round, then completed 27 of 37 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns in Buffalo's wild 42-36 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round.
Mix in Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford's performance during the Rams' Super Bowl LVI-winning playoff run – which included leading three consecutive game-winning drives across the Divisional Round, NFC Championship and Super Bowl – and it's a recipe for an exciting quarterback matchup and primetime game in Inglewood.
There was plenty of speculation and fan interest in a possible Rams-Broncos kickoff matchup given the familiarity with Denver quarterback Russell Wilson from his time with the Seattle Seahawks. Bose said Rams-Broncos "is certainly in that mix for awhile" in terms of exploring kickoff options.
"I think we talked about this a little bit, right, that the Rams have great opponents," Bose said. "It could have been the Broncos, it could have been the 49ers in a championship game rematch, it could have been the Cowboys."
Ultimately, though, the appeal of pitting one of the league's top ascending quarterbacks against the defending champs was too good to pass up.
Ahead of Sunday's Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos Week 16 matchup, take a look back at photos of historical matchups between the two teams.