The Buccaneers look to snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday when they take on the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium.
Not only will the Buccaneers look to get in the win column for the first time in a month, but they will also be looking to snap a three-game losing streak against the Rams going back to the 2020 season. That includes a 30-27 loss to the LA Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs last season.
Both teams are struggling. The Bucs are 3-5 and have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL.
The Rams, fresh off their Super Bowl win against Cincinnati, have also struggled with a 3-4 record this season.
With some thinking that the Bucs will have revenge on their mind for getting bounced by the Rams in the playoffs last season, Todd Bowles said that the team is just looking at this game to get back on track and try to win a game as opposed to looking for revenge.
This game will also highlight two of the worst-running teams in the league. Neither team can run the ball worth a darn, with the Buccaneers averaging 62 yards a game while the Rams average 68 yards a game.
At some point, the Buccaneers will need the get the run game going. Rachaad White may be the spark the Bucs need to get it going. It’s time to see what White can do with extended playing time.
This could potentially be a low-scoring affair, as the Bucs are 25th in points scored, and the Rams are 28th. In addition, both teams have been terrible in the red zone.
Bucs Will Be Without Four Starters
The Buccaneers will be without four starters on Sunday, with tight end Cameron Brate, wide receiver Russell Gage, guard Luke Goedeke, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. all out for the game.
Sean Murphy-Bunting, Carlton Davis, and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks are questionable, but Todd Bowles indicated that all three would play on Sunday.
This will be the first game for the Bucs without their best pass rusher, Shaquill Barrett.
Anthony Nelson will start in place of Barrett, but everyone on the defensive side of the ball will need to step up their game to compensate for the absence of Barrett.
The Rams will be without linebacker Jacob Hummel, but wide receiver Cooper Kupp who leads the league with 9.1 receptions per game, will start against the Buccaneers.
Tom Brady and Mike Evans Could Set New Records
This could also be a record-setting day for a couple of Buccaneers as Mike Evans and Tom Brady look to add more impressive numbers to their legacy.
Mike Evans needs 122 receiving yards to reach 10,000 yards for his career. He is also on track to notch 1,000 yards receiving this season. This would be his ninth consecutive 1,000-yard season. A number that should ensure Mike Evans’s entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his playing days are over.
Evans will be matched up against Jalen Ramsey. Those players have had a few wars on the football field over the years, and Sunday’s game should be no different.
Tom Brady needs 164 passing yards to become the first NFL player to pass for 100,000 yards in his career, including playoffs.
The Buccaneers have had ten days to prepare for the Rams. So you would think we would see something a little more exciting than an off-tackle run on first down.
The playcalling has been downright pitiful. Of course, everyone wants to point the finger at the players and blame the execution, and they are not without blame. But Byron Leftwich also has to be held accountable for the play-calling.
Let’s hope it will not be the same old Bucs offense against the Rams. I want to see some imagination in the offense and better execution in the red zone.
With Tom Brady’s issues in the rearview mirror, look for Brady to have a breakout game and play like the Tom Brady we expect in Tampa.
Defensively, the Buccaneers need to get off the field on third down and get some pressure up the middle on Matthew Stafford. Stafford has thrown seven picks this season, second behind Matt Ryan. The turnovers have contributed to the Ram’s 29th ranking in turnovers.
The Buccaneers will generate three turnovers. But Tom Brady and Mike Evans will set new records, and the Bucs will return to their winning ways.
This will be a low-scoring affair, with the Buccaneers prevailing 21-19.