NFL Game Previews: Rams-Buccaneers Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Rams-Buccaneers Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

L.A. Rams (+4) at Tampa Bay, o/u 48.5 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

These two teams have very similar reputations, and are in very similar spots in their divisions, coming into this game. Both have tough, stingy defenses that have a claim to being the best in the league, sitting second and eighth in points allowed per game and first and third in yards per play allowed, with the Rams out front in both categories. Both have offenses with big reputations that they don't quite live up to at times — Tampa's sixth in points per game but only 14th in yards per play, while LA's tied for 18th and 10th in those categories. The Rams are a half-game back of the Seahawks for the NFC West lead after Seattle's win Thursday; the Bucs are a half-game back of the Saints in the NFC South, though having already lost the season series to New Orleans, merely tying them in the final standings won't be good enough. Basically, there's a lot on the line for both clubs, even beyond the bragging rights between the two defenses. There's even symmetry in how they got to their records: the Rams are 6-0 when they hold the opposition to less than 20 points, and 0-3 when they don't; the Bucs are 7-0 when they score at least 25 points, 0-3 when they don't. As such, it's the battle between Tom Brady and his star-studded array of receivers, and Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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