The Tampa Bay Buccaneers start their road trip with a visit to Los Angeles to face off against the Rams. This game will be one of two things: 1. A true test to see what kind of team we have against and super bowl contending team. 2. A failure and should never be mentioned in the conversations with good playoff-caliber teams. The Buccaneers offensive line is going to have their work cut out for them.
Rams Defensive Line
This group of men was already good before they added All-Pro Clay Matthews this offseason in free agency. Their front four consists of Aaron Donald, Matthews, Michael Brockers, and Dante Fowler all first-round picks in their respected draft class.
The Rams defense will try to pressure Tampa Bay into long down and distances and place Tampa Bay in a real tough 3rd down conversions The Rams defensive line will isolate a matchup that they want to attack and have one of their top players beat their matchup and gain pressure on Jameis Winston. The Rams like to use several stunts and shifts to confuse offensive lineman by making a wrong read and letting a sack hungry Rams defender in your quarterback’s face. On most third-and-long situations, the Rams will play their DBs back. They will get pressure with just four while having an extra man in coverage.
If I were in the Rams defensive lines film room, I would be targeting Donovan Smith and Alex Cappa. Cappa will likely get a heavy dose of Donald all game much like Ali Marpet did in his younger years. This Rams defensive is planning on creating a lot of turnovers Sunday at home.
Buccaneers Offensive Line
The Buccaneers offensive line per Pro Football Focus is ranked 19th in the NFL and has had its up and downs this season. The Buccaneers have struggled when they have been faced against great pass rushers. The leaders on this offensive line have to communicate really well and come up with a plan to slow the rush down and give your running backs and quarterback clean lanes to throw and run. The way this offensive line is going they Tampa need to slow the Rams down is by lining up and punching them square in the mouth and setting the tone that we will not be walked all over. Establish the run early! Get this offensive involved early before its too late.
Photo credit: buccaneers.com