Defense Shines And Offensive Struggles Continue In Win Against The Rams

For the first time this season, Buccaneer fans were able to witness that Brady Magic, as Tom Brady led the Bucs on a six-play 60-yard drive in 38 seconds as the Buccaneers pulled off a 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams, snapping a three-game losing streak.

With the win, the Bucs move to 4-5 on the season and into first place in the NFC South.

Wins are hard to come by in the NFL. But a win is a win, and the Bucs will take it any way they can. However, this was far from a masterpiece, and the team still has much to correct before their game in Munich against Seattle next weekend.

The fire Byron Leftwich chants were heard throughout Raymond James Stadium, as drive after drive, the execution and play calling was abysmal.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. Yet that is what Leftwich does.

He continues to run the ball on first down when through the first nine games, the Bucs have proven they are ineffective at running the ball on first down. However, opposing defenses know that the Bucs will run the ball, and Leftwich does it anyways.

His best play-call was the final offensive play, a touchdown pass to Cade Otten with nine seconds remaining.

On second thought, I’m not sure Leftwich had anything to do with that call. I think that was Tom Brady doing an audible on that final drive. We will never know the answer to that, as Leftwich will never answer that question.

The defense played well, outside of two long pass plays to Cooper Kupp. The touchdown pass that Kupp scored on was eerily similar to the long pass and catch that put the Rams in field goal range to knock the Bucs out of the playoffs last season.

The Bucs allowed the Rams just 206 yards of offense and held the Rams running game to 68 yards, much better than the 231 allowed to the Ravens a week ago.

Akiem Hicks returned to the lineup, and we saw what a disrupter he can be along the defensive line. Vita Vea had two sacks, and on both of those sacks, Hicks was double-teamed, freeing up Vea to get the sacks.

Rachaad White led the Bucs with 27 yards rushing and averaged 3.4 yards a carry. I have advocated for White to get more chances to run the ball. However, today he produced when he got his chance.

White has good vision, hits the hole quickly, and has good speed.

It was another record-setting night for Tom Brady as he hit Leonard Fournette on a screen pass to put him over 100,000 passing yards in his career.

Brady finished the game with 280 yards putting the ball up 58 times. But, in typical Tom Brady fashion, he was happier with the win than the milestone. “It’s all about the win, man. I’ve never cared about the records.”

This was also Brady’s 55th career game-winning drive to set a new NFL record. Brady had been tied with Payton Manning for the most fourth-quarter comebacks with 54.

Chris Godwin had seven catches for 36 yards, giving him 5,047 in his career, passing Mark Carrier for second place in Bucs history.

Sunday was also the best performance for rookie punter Jake Camarda this season, as he averaged 59.5 yards a punt, including one that went 74 yards and pinned the Rams deep in their territory.

Camarda was also a key figure in flipping the field in the Bucs’ favor on several occasions and was awarded a game ball from Todd Bowles for his efforts.

Jaelon Darden had his best day returning punts, averaging 10.3 yards per return on eight punts.

The defense played well, and the special teams’ play was very good. But, again, it was the offense that couldn’t get much going until that final drive that gave the Bucs the win.

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