Since the beginning of the Tom Brady era. the Buccaneers were destined to be known as an offensive powerhouse. Looking at this roster, it would be difficult to argue that sentiment. The stats, however, will lead you to an above average situation for Brady and his offense. Heading into this Monday Night matchup, the Buccaneers will need to be much better than above average.
It is now week 11 and the Buccaneers have a new opponent standing in their way to reach the playoffs. Let’s take an in-depth look at the Los Angeles Rams.
Here’s How The Rams Measure Up
Let’s cut right to the chase here. The Rams stack up very nicely regardless of who they are facing. They have playmakers at every position and on both sides of the ball.
Looking at their team statistical rankings, the eye test is definitely backed up by the numbers.
- Rush Yards/Gm 8th (134.2)/ Pass Yards/Gm 11th (261.3)
- Rush Touchdowns/Gm 3rd (1.6) / Pass Touchdowns/Gm 21st (1.4)
- % of Rush Plays Called 9th (45.60%) / % of Pass Plays Called 24th (54.40%)
This is a team that throws the ball often, but they are one of the teams who love to run on first down. Even with a 54.40% tendency to throw the ball more per game, they are 23rd in likelihood of running the ball on first down.
That being known, they also have a three headed monster in the passing game as well. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are 24th (577) and 34th (469) in receiving yards, respectively. Tyler Higbee rounds out the core at tight end with 296 yard receiving after missing a handful of games. All are capable of the big play in a down field throwing attack.
According to ESPN, Jared Goff is currently 25th in quarterback rating with a 57.9. Relatively speaking, this isn’t as bad as it looks, though it’s not great. Add in a pass rush and his story gets even worse as he only completes about 41% of his passes when pressured.
- Rush Yards Allowed/Gm 5th (96.8) / Pass Yards Allowed/Gm 3rd (199.7)
- Rush Touchdowns Allowed/Gm 8th (0.8) / Pass Touchdowns Allowed/Gm 1st (1.0)
- Sacks/Gm 3rd (3.4) / Turnover Margin (Net 0)
Speaking of pass rush, they have a guy named Aaron Donald. Oh yeah, and the Buccaneers are currently playing musical chairs with their offensive line. Keep that in mind as Donald isn’t even phased when double teamed. He is the undisputed best defensive tackle in the game and the Bucs have to have an answer for him.
Let’s jump to their defensive backfield to another guy who is considered the leagues best defender at his position. Jalen Ramsey lined up against stud receiver DK Metcalf on 30 of 42 snaps last Sunday. The result was 2 targets for ZERO receptions. Whoever Ramsey lines up against on Monday Night for the Bucs is likely to see a similar result.
What We Might Expect
It wouldn’t be fair to give all the credit to just two superstars, even though they deserve it. The Rams defense is collectively dominating opposing offenses. Wilson was constantly running for his life and was not always able to escape the sack. This was due to all 11 players on defense doing their jobs.
Tom Brady is nowhere near as elusive as Russell Wilson, so the Buccaneers will need to hold their front line if the offense has any hope of moving the ball.
The Buccaneers are not going to put up 50 points like they did last year. Honestly, they better hope to put up at least 20 and keep turnovers to a minimum. Defensively, the pass rush has to show up to force Goff into situations he gets uncomfortable in. Otherwise this 7-3 Tampa Bay team could be handed their fourth loss and stunt their playoff aspirations to an NFC team eager to take it from them.