Keys to the Game: Buccaneers vs Rams


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a dominant win last Sunday. Their 46-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers puts Tampa Bay at the five seed for the time being, but the Los Angeles Rams are not far behind.

The 6-3 Rams are looking to solidify a playoff spot as well, which makes Monday’s game incredibly important for both teams. This will be the Buccaneers most important game of the season that still remains on the schedule.

Here is how Tampa Bay can come out on top.

Get Rojo Rolling

The Rams have one of the best defenses in the NFL, giving up only 18.7 points per game. Only the Baltimore Ravens rank better in this category.

Like last week, the Buccaneers need to get Ronald Jones the rock in order to create a balanced attack. Play-action should also be crucial in this game, as the Rams linebackers are probably their weakest link on defense.

If Jones can rush for close to 100 yards, the Buccaneers will have a good chance to win as they would control the clock. You can’t abandon the run like they did against the New Orleans Saints, but I think this coaching staff has learned their lesson.

If Ali Marpet can’t go Monday, A.Q. Shipley will have his hands full with Aaron Donald. Todd Bowles and company shut him down last season, and frequent double teams should be able to do the same.

Harass Jared Goff

The rams offense is not as efficient as the 2018 Super Bowl squad, but Sean McVay continues to use creativity to his advantage. Constant motion, screens, and jet sweeps keep defenses guessing, and it may seem impossible to stop. But the Rams crumble under pressure, especially when they fall behind early.

Jared Goff ranks below 32 quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of QBR under pressure, and his lack of mobility make this deficit even more glaring.

Todd Bowles will need to dial up blitzes to create a long down and distance, as the Rams are incredibly efficient on 2nd and 3rd and short.

Kind of like Aaron Rodgers, a few hits will rattle Goff, and cause him to rush through his progressions. This game is truly a coin flip when picking a winner, but I think the Buccaneers will come out on top, and get over their primetime woes.