Keys to Cannon Fire: Buccaneers at Rams

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday for the third consecutive season. In their last meeting, the Rams were able to pull off a narrow 27-24 victory, highlighted by two interceptions from then-rookie safety Jordan Fuller. In 2021, the Buccaneers are looking to flip the script as Tom Brady plays his first professional game in the city of angels. Let’s take a look at how this very talented team can move to 3-0. 

Slowing Down Aaron Donald

The Buccaneers have done a good job in the past two seasons of preventing Aaron Donald from harassing their quarterback. This streak needs to continue if the offense wants to have any chance of moving the ball downfield. Most of the pressure will fall on guards Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa to keep Brady safe. But really, the entire offensive line may be needed for additional help. With that being said, Ryan Jensen, Donovan Smith, and Tristan Wirfs also have to play at their highest level. 

Applying Pressure on Matthew Stafford

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Rams so far, and it’s pretty clear that head coach Sean McVay loves working with him. In order to keep Stafford from having another big performance, it will be up to the defensive line to make him throw the ball away quicker. Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, and William Gholston are tasked with the majority of this assignment. 

Less Targets for Kupp

Through the first two games of the 2021 season, Rams wideout Cooper Kupp has caught 16 passes for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns. The three touchdowns have already tied his total from last year, and from a statistical standpoint, he’s one of the best in the league at his position. Buccaneers cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean have a lot of weight riding on their shoulders, and this upcoming game would be less stressful if Sean Murphy-Bunting wasn’t injured. It will be their job to not only make sure Kupp isn’t getting the ball, but also to force turnovers (or at least try to) that would give Tampa Bay more offensive opportunities.

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