Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Rams

September 30th, 2019

“The Sage” delivers in his thrice-weekly column.

BY IRA KAUFMAN columnist

Presented By 

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The chant began at Buffalo Wild Wings in Oldsmar seconds after Ndamukong Suh’s 37-yard fumble return sealed Tampa Bay’s improbable victory.

“Lock him up, lock him up,” Buc fans shouted in unison. They weren’t talking about Suh, Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

They were talking ’bout Shaq Barrett, who had just concluded another monster game to cap off a monster September. Yes, it was Barrett who caused Jared Goff’s fumble for Suh’s scoop and score. Buc fans are already lobbying the front office to extend Barrett’s contract to prevent him from hitting free agency next March.

There were plenty of other gladiators at the cavernous Coliseum, which looked surprisingly empty considering the home team was 3-0 and the Rams represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last season.

The Bucs were too busy scoring a franchise-record 55 points to check out the action in the stands. They arrived in the City of Angels as 10-point underdogs and promptly beat the devil out of a Los Angeles team that clearly wasn’t ready to compete when the game began.

Here’s how the Bucs evened their record at 2-2 heading into the Big Easy. They didn’t make it easy on Sunday, but they made plays in crunch time and erased the sting of last week’s setback:

*Give it up for the visitors, who showed mental toughness by putting the Giants meltdown behind them before boarding the plane on Friday. The Bucs jumped ahead 21-0, stunning Rams fans and throwing Sean McVay’s playbook into La La Land.

*This needs to be said and said in a loud voice: We may have just witnessed the greatest opening month by a defensive player in the NFL’s 100-year history. Through four games, Barrett has 9 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception. He also tipped a Goff pass for another Buc pick. From here on out, he will be the focal point for every offensive coordinator the Bucs face.

*You could justifiably hand out game balls to Barrett, Jameis Winston and Chris Godwin, but this often-maligned offensive line also deserves a bow. They gave Winston ample time to survey the field and turned Aaron Donald into Chris Baker for one majestic afternoon. Alex Cappa and Ryan Jensen are laying people out and if O.J. Howard ever gets untracked, this offense will be downright scary.

*The Bucs scored 28 first-half points for the second consecutive week and Winston did a superb job spreading the ball around. Ronald Jones once again provided balance with 19 carries for 70 yards as he continues his one-man resurrection tour.

*Todd Bowles still has plenty of work to do. The Rams just rolled up 36 first downs and Goff’s 45 completions tied the league record set by New England’s Drew Bledsoe against Minnesota in 1994. That game went into overtime. This one didn’t.

* Our deepest sympathies go out to Bucs GM Jason Licht on the death of his father, Ron. The two men were very close and Ron Licht proved to be a delightful presence when I saw him on occasion at One Buc Place.

*Winston continues to play winning football after a poor Week 1 effort against the 49ers. He threw a pick-6 to Marcus Peters, but he looks confident and poised for the most part. By the way, Peters is still looking for Mike Evans.

*It’s going to be difficult for Byron Leftwich to top himself as a play-caller. The Bucs kept a solid L.A. defense off balance while converting 8-of-13 on third down. The teams combined for 25 penalties, but the Bucs kept their cool while springing Sunday’s biggest upset.

*He’s playing in Barrett’s immense shadow, but Lavonte David is reminding us once again why he is one of the NFL’s most underappreciated players.

*Although Tampa Bay’s young secondary needs to tighten up, the rush defense has been spectacular. Opponents are averaging 2.9 yards per carry, helping to spring Barrett loose off the edges on obvious passing downs.



45 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Rams”

  1. '79 Defense Says:

    Much more of a fun read than last week.
    –Condolences to Jason

  2. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    The Bucs are now Un-dead to me.

  3. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “2nd round pick and Cam Brate & anyone of our corners for

    Patrick Peterson”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  4. Prague Bucs Fan Says:

    Shut up Kobe. Eat crow. You’re the biggest roll on here for years.

  5. ModHairKen Says:

    Two other points: Not cutting Gay or even bringing in a K for a tryout was smart. Second, we do not need to go after a malcontent like Jalen Ramsey. The DBs are all young. They will continue to improve.

  6. Brandon Says:

    Can we cut Kobe the liar? GTFOH, bum.

    It was Donovan Smith that laid Peters out at the goal line.

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    And yet, there were so many so-called “fans” who just wanted to give the Rams the win just for showing up.
    “Aaron Donald this, Aqib Talib that, Kupp’s gonna……”
    Where are you at this morning “fans”?! Your crow is getting cold!

    This defense will get better and the offense should gel more. We CAN be scary!

    As an aside, there was nothing more satisfying than seeing Donovan Smith obliterate Marcus Peters!

  8. Patrick in SC Says:

    I have a theory that the Bucs but and everything up against the Giants in the second half in an effort to not put things on film for the other teams to study. They went super vanilla, almost like a preseason game and then we’re trying to dig out of it. I wonder if them not incorporating Howard into the scheme may be a similar thing where they are spending the first half of the season having defensive coordinators have to scheme for Godwin and Evans and then, Midway through the season, flip the script and make Brate and Howard bigger focal points. Maybe a crazy conspiracy theory, but it’s hard to think of another reason why someone as talented and who is as much of a size mismatch as he is can’t find his way into the game

  9. #1bucsfan Says:

    Defense needs to tighten up. Cut down on the dam penalties an this team is out for blood. Love it. #endthedrought

  10. Pewter power Says:


    Same fans who look at names on passport and crown teams like Cleveland for the superbowl based on nothing. Glad im not one of these fans who jump in and off the bandwagon from week to week. I knew this team would improve simply by hiring a competent veteran coach which had always been the issue.

  11. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    A turnaround and a culture change are already evident 1/4 of the season in … to some. The next four games will really convince the fans who have been browbeaten by the other naysaying “fans”. They will jump on board with the diehard optimists who have always supported their Bucs no matter what.

    Being cynical and depressed is not really the same as merely being realistic.

    Who knows, maybe next year at this time a ticket may be hard to come by at a reasonable price.

    Donovan Smith may well get a fine this week. Now that’s going to turn some heads! LOL

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We really, really needed this win to wipe out last week…..and it was a win that was certainly unexpected.

    This should give the Bucs hope and confidence going forward that they can win any game…..anywhere….against anyone.

  13. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Yesterday was fun! Also scary till the sack strip TD! Optimist/pessimist I don’t give a fuhhhhhhhh! We’re all fans here obviously (joebucsfan, umm helllo) and nobody is exactly the same! This team should be 4-0 if you ask me, but everyone in here would’ve probably taken 2-2 to start. Also, Bucs should be in 1st place but Dallas shat themselves on network tv to a Drew Breesless Saints team that I believe will not be able to keep up with this improving Bucs squad. Yes please to a shutdown corner, press coverage and DEFINITELY A SHAAAAAAAQ Barrett extension, find a way. LETS GO

  14. Bob in Valrico Says:

    One of the things Leftowich pointed out last week was that its a sixty minute game. Jameis answered the bell and IMO that may have been the most noteworthy
    accomplishment of all the Kudos he receives for what was probably his best game in the pros. Great Job by the O Line. But guys ,you have to free ROJO. Penalties
    keep putting him in jail and have prevent him from having a real breakout game.

  15. DB55 Says:

    FIRST OF ALL…….bucsfanman

    Kupp did exactly what I said…..500 yards passing by a second rate qb who apparently obviously deserves 35 mil a year cough cough

    And although Donald didn’t bury us to my shock and pleasure he still had an Aaron Donald day. As for Talib he got owned by jameis and crew 🤷🏽‍♂️

    Check yourself before you riggity……

    This would be an excellent win to celebrate if not for the fact that it took 55 points to win. Am I the only one that sees that as a huge problem?

  16. DB55 Says:

    Amazing job by the dline holding Gurley to 16 yards rushing and the rams to 30 yards rushing as a whole. WOW.

    NOW VH3 and Stewart,,,you got some explaining to do.

  17. Slugglife Says:

    A win is a win. As long as you outscore the other team, I don’t see a problem. This was the defending NFC Camps and a 3-0 squad.

    Teams can’t run on us. We are shutting down the NFL’s best RB. The secondary has got to play better. Goff hits two of those bombs and we lose that game.

    But we won. Fire the cannons!

  18. #1bucsfan Says:

    DB55 in a win is a win ugly or good looking it’s a win bro. Now yes it did take 55 points not ideal out secondary is young an inexperienced. There will be lots of growing pains still with this secondary no excuses they gotta tighten up an the offense line is killing Rojo yea they are blocking good an opening up holes but the penalties to erase 2 monster gains for rojo is unacceptable. Play more disciplined

  19. Chesapeake Bucco Says:

    Its one game, albeit a very good win. We still have a long way to go.

  20. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Where is THE BUCS REALIST?????????????

    Keep chopping g the wood Bucs!!!!!!


  21. ChanEpic Says:

    Good morning to all of the Buc faithful! Isn’t Monday morning sweet when you eat a W for breakfast? Go Bucs….


  22. Sleepy903 Says:

    I wonder if some of the defensive problems are because Devin White isn’t in there calling the defense and making the checks. I feel that the responsibility is now on Lavonte and I know he has done it before however the defense just doesn’t seem to be the same one we saw weeks 1 and 2.

  23. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    1)How many people thought “Ronde at the Vet in Philadelphia” when LVD intercepted Goff?

    2)Who knew Vea had a spin move?

    3)Shaq has a spin move!!

    4)Rojo should have had 149 yards. Double shift?? Howard holding again!!

    5)Shaq had a heck of a game before the sack, but that was the “coup d grace!”

    6)Suh on the scoop and score must have been a great feeling for him in LA especially.

    7)Nice TD run for Rojo on his home turf.

    8)Shaq caused the Whitehead pick

    9)Shaq caused Goff to miss some wide open receivers.

    10)Moratorium on bashing Jason Licht for at least a week.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    DB55- I won’t “check myself” because you were one of the ones burying this team before the 1st snap. This despite vast improvements from week to week and starkly from last year.
    No it was not a “clean win” having to score 55 points. But we did it, didn’t we?! Just like I don’t expect for us to put up 55 points a game, I don’t expect our defense to give up so many either. This defense will get better. We KNEW the offense would have to take up the slack while this defense got better.
    DB55, I’ll give you a pass…..this time. Next time, however, you need to take all that negative BS and put it to better use.

  25. Colonel Angus Says:

    Ain’t no style points in the NFL. This isn’t college football. Win however you have can.

  26. AMI_Chris Says:

    I will give it up for the team. I’ve been immensely critical and gave them no chance yesterday. After watching last night’s Saints-Cowboys 12-10 slugfest, I’m not sure the Bucs are ready to compete in that kind of a game, but that is a problem to worry about next week. I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s game and we saw the offense that we all thought could have. (But I’m still SMH over beating CAR and LAR on the road while losing to SF and NYG at home…classic Bucs.)

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    All the talk about trading for Ramsey and the Jags don’t even want to trade him. They turned down 2 first rounders. Word is the owner wants to keep him…and he calls the shots.

  28. '79 Defense Says:

    Joe, how many years does someone have to be in moderation around here? I’m not exactly sure why I ever was.

  29. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “Root for Arizona to keep losing

    The more and sooner they give up and look toward next season

    The sooner Patrick Peterson is in Pewter”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  30. D-Rome Says:

    Our deepest sympathies go out to Bucs GM Jason Licht on the death of his father, Ron. The two men were very close and Ron Licht proved to be a delightful presence when I saw him on occasion at One Buc Place.

    Very sorry for his loss.

    He’s playing in Barrett’s immense shadow, but Lavonte David is reminding us once again why he is one of the NFL’s most underappreciated players.

    He’s been sensational all year!

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    AMI_Chris Says
    “After watching last night’s Saints-Cowboys 12-10 slugfest…”

    Okay. This bugs me.

    The Rams were undefeated. They played in the Superbowl last year. They are the reigning NFC Champs. They have freaking Donald.

    And we beat them. Yes, it was not a knockout victory, but they took the lead and never lost the lead. If the Rams had played a team that was considered a top contender, like the Pats, both teams would be considered the best.

    So get it straight. That was Superbowl level play yesterday, against a team that played in the superbowl.

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    These same WRs were playing in the SB last year…..our same DBs were 5-11….

    Pipe down with the bashing….when a play needed to be made they made it…..DBs still learning….Ryan Smith should give us some depth


  33. Bucamania Says:

    HUGE win against the defending NFC champs!!

    Jameis looked better than ever (sans one bad decision)
    Rojo looks like the answer at RB. Homerun threat in the backfield.
    Godwin is the truth.
    Mike Evans is Mike Evans.
    And freaking Shaq Barrett is a MONSTER!

    Those bad throws that Cam and Goff are making is because of the pressure this defense is putting on them to make quick decisions and get rid of the ball. Beats the hell out of soft coverage and death by a thousand paper cuts.

    Say what you want, this team ain’t boring!

  34. buccaNEAR DOMINATION Says:


    I understand that Goff tied a record for most completions in a game, however you fail to realize or at least mention that Goff had the third most attempts in a game in NFL history. Folks also need to consider this as they bash our secondary for their performance.

  35. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Am I the only one here who LOVED watching us in the words of the TV announcers “abuse” Talib?

    He was all over Brate but Cam gets the score. How about that Aquib?

    But by far the best play and just as significant as Brate’s TD was when Godwin just TRUCKED Talib…literally ran over him for a TD! Again causing announcers to comment…Phillips and Weddle are NOT going to like that.

    Perhaps Aquib is tougher with defenseless cabbies than an NFL WR that he has to keep out of the endzone.

    Neon only rhymes with Deion but it appears Talib tackles with the same enthusiasm as Sanders. Won’t keep him out of the hall but it doesn’t make him stand out for toughness…again unless you’re a defenseless cabbie.

  36. FanO’Bucs Says:

    Condolences to the Licht family.

  37. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    Well, wasn’t this a nice surprise. Famous Jameis had what is likely the best 4 quarters he had had in a Buc uniform. Combined with the first half of last week he is on a mini roll. ROJO actually looked like a breakaway back- -nice.

    I have been extremely critical of Jameis and the Bucs in general. Maybe they have something cooking here. The Rams aren’t patsies.

    Maybe (10-6) NOSBOS will comeback from self exile.

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    FanO’Bucs Says:
    September 30th, 2019 at 10:54 am
    Condolences to the Licht family.
    Amen, and the aholes who badmouth him on here need to lay off this week.

  39. TexBuc Says:

    I am enjoying this win

  40. D1 Says:


    The Bucs needed 55 to win the game , you see it as a problem.

    We won right! Good problem to have on a Monday. ..

    Point is you see a problem when it’s actually a predictable direction for the game to go. There was not a single new problem that emerged yesterday . Nor was there anything that got solved overnight.

    You should have seen a big passing day , stat wise, from the Rams because of the first half. And the the past year in regards to the secondary. Sh#t man did you watch the Giants game?

    I don’t see the hating winston going on today. So maybe it’s a good time for you to show everyone how much you know about football. You’ve said a thousands. of times. How bout taking a Crack at your own opinion and blow everyone away with the x’s and o’s breakdown of the game. Simply put up, or smile and enjoy the day. .victory Monday.

  41. DB55 Says:


    The pick 6 was caused bc winston got his hand hit as he released.

    Is that good?

  42. DB55 Says:

    That and the fact that oj Howard literally tripped on his own 2 feet trying to make a tackle but it was worth it to see DSmith de lest peters. Imo. Lol.

    Plus vh3 and Stewart need to be replaced ASAP. Other than that it was literally a perfect game.

    I just think it’s crazy that Winston has to be perfect for the hate to dissipate. Call me crazy or whatever else you wish ✌🏽

  43. widerightandleft Says:

    Kobe only tells the truth! Long time suffering Bucs fans have short tolerance for losing.Forgive us !

  44. mark2001 Says:

    Ira…don’t know how to ask a question for your Tampa 2, but please ask DB if a big win like this kind of reminds him of a great young LB yelling something after a game against an undefeated Minnesota Vikings more than a couple years ago, about David beating Goliath when we snapped their undefeated streak? I’ll never forget that moment, and how it seemed to be a turning point for you guys… to really believe anything was possible.

  45. Joe in Michigan Says:

    RIP, Mr. Licht.