Bucs To Host Rams In Divisional Playoffs


A day after qualifying for the Divisional round of the playoffs by beating the Eagles, 31-15, the Bucs now know their opponent. Following a convincing, 34-11 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, the Los Angeles Rams will travel to Tampa Bay to play the Bucs next Sunday. The Divisional playoff game will kick off at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Los Angeles (13-5) held the No. 2 seed in the NFC until the last week of the 2021 season. The 49ers beat the Rams in Los Angeles in overtime, 27-24. That loss coupled with the Bucs’ 41-17 win over the Panthers in Week 18 led to Tampa Bay (14-3) taking over the No. 2 and causing L.A. to slide to the No. 4 seed in the NFC.

The Rams beat the Bucs in Week 3 back in Los Angeles, 34-24. New Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford out-dueled Tom Brady, throwing four touchdowns and passing for 343 yards in the victory. Brady had 432 yards passing, but only had one passing touchdown in addition to a rushing touchdown.

Tampa Bay and Los Angeles have squared off in each of the last three seasons. The Rams have won the last two. The Bucs beat the Rams in L.A., 55-40, in 2019. But they lost at home last year, 27-24, on Monday Night Football.

The Rams defense is led by coordinator Raheem Morris, who was Tampa Bay’s head coach from 2009-11. Morris spent over a decade with the Bucs, winning a Super Bowl ring with the team in 2002. Los Angeles sacked Brady three times and knocked tight end Rob Gronkowski out of the game in Week 3. Tampa Bay ran the ball for just 35 yards on 12 carries (2.7 avg.) in the loss. Brady was actually the leading rusher with 14 yards on three carries.

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today

Wide receiver Mike Evans, who has a combined four touchdowns in the last four games, including one in Sunday’s Wild Card playoff win, had eight catches for 108 yards against the Rams in Week 3 to lead the Bucs.

Los Angeles has four Pro Bowlers this year, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and kicker Matt Gay, who began his career in Tampa Bay in 2019. Kupp led the league in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 TDs. He had nine catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 3 win.

DeSean Jackson, a former Bucs receiver, played for the Rams in Week 3 and had three catches for 120 yards in that game, including a 75-yard touchdown. He was later released and finished his season with the Raiders.

Receiver Robert Woods, who did play in Week 3, tore his ACL and was placed on injured reserve in November. The Rams traded for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who has filled in with 27 catches for 305 yards (11.3 avg.) and five touchdowns.

Tampa Bay is 8-1 at home this year, including last week’s playoff win. Los Angeles is 7-2 on the road this year with its only road losses coming at Green Bay, 36-28, and at San Francisco, 31-10.

Share:

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings