Rams Present Major Challenges

January 18th, 2022

Joe wrote the following yesterday. And after watching the Rams throttle the sorry Cardinals last night to advance in the NFC playoffs to play the Bucs, Joe is starting to wonder this more.

Was the Bucs defense Sunday that damn good or were the Eagles that damn bad? The answer is somewhere in the middle.

Regardless, the defense is going to have a handful coming. The Rams now will play the Bucs in Tampa at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The Rams offense looked hot and dangerous as hell last night. Odell Beckham looked the best he has played in a month. Cam Akers returning from an Achilles injury in seven months makes O.J. Howard cringe.

And let’s be real: Matt Stafford is no Jalen Hurts.

It’s a major test for the Bucs defense in the divisional round. The positive here is that Joe is sure the Bucs won’t lay down like the Cardinals did.

69 Responses to “Rams Present Major Challenges”

  1. Im not tired anymore we Super Bowl Champs!! Says:

    That’s why you play the game. Maybe third times a charm! Go Bucs!

  2. Kenny Says:

    Do we still have time to get AB back?? I’m serious, someone get his agent in the phone. We need that lunatic!

  3. GenocideD Says:

    This is what we came to do! Go bucs!

  4. David Says:

    Wirfs and Lenny are needed back.
    Heavy dose of running the ball is needed

  5. Adrnagy Says:

    The way the cardinals played even the jaguars would of looked great !

  6. Anonymous Says:

    The buc D looked nasty haven’t seen this Defense all year

  7. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Rams are gonna take deep shots on these corners. These corners have to be disciplined. Anyway get a pass rush on Stafford. That’s what they need.

  8. Buc king Says:

    Not to early to say told you so about obj… and don’t give me we didn’t have the money stuff..1 restructured contract and he was a buccaneer and 1 phone call from brady…well here we gona team I least wanted to play… rams vs the goat…they will bring pressure with four we will need to establish a run..bubble screens..anything to combat their aggression.
    Brady will need to be smart with the ball and dline will need to apply pressure..hope to God wirf plays n smb is back..be great to have fournette

  9. bucschamps Says:

    eagles offense is better than cardinals. #77 of rams oline seems injured. we need a fully healthy Wirfs and Jensen.

  10. Coburn Says:

    Unfortunately I think it’s too optimistic to expect a fully healthy wirfs and Jensen. Jensen may playz but will be hurting, knew it would be worse the next day. Wirfs I’m pretty sure sprained it and wouod be weeks of rest to be 100%. Dunno how we will keep Brady upright, will have to get ball out fast and hope for the best

  11. Buczilla Says:

    The Rams are a good team but I believe that we are better. We’re at home and as long as the pass rush shows up we can beat these dudes.

  12. adam from ny Says:

    this is like the saints playoff game last year…

    we are playing the evil doctor voodoo mcvay and his gang of henchmen…

    belichik just packed up his tom brady doll really well and is express mailing it to mcvay in the morning…

    let the games begin…

    if we get past these azz ramers on sunday, we are superbowl ready – whether we have to go to green bay or tea bag the gold diggers on our home turf…

    cyrus from the warriors said it best while holding his hands high in the air:

    “because it is all our turf !!!”

  13. dmatt Says:

    Being that Keshawn has proven himself, let’s put LBell in the slot for CGodwin. We should get creative in any way we can throughout the post season. Whatever it takes to win the next three games, start with optimism. Being that Suh don’t take bullying kindly, if must, put him at at OL. I’d love to see him n Donald go at it. It’s a must that we pressure Stafford. DWhite cannot over run the play. Assign MEdwards in the slot to cover Cooper Kupp. If our defense get get any chance for a turnover, they must catch or recover the ball,every opportunity counts. We’ve gotta play smart n violent. Rams are bullies n it’s time to prove them wrong.

  14. Kenny Says:

    Remember when we were looking at heading into the post season with Godwin, AB, a healthy Lenny, a healthy Rojo, a healthy O-line, a healthy secondary? Imagine if we had all that!

    Now imagine that we don’t, and we STILL beat the Rams! That’s how legends are made. Go Bucs! Become freaking legends!

  15. Francisco Guzman Says:

    I hope Grayson can find a way and play in this game. I feel more confident in him than these other guys.

  16. Tye Says:

    The Chiefs presented ‘Challenges’ for the Bucs going into the Super Bowl…
    Most were so sure the Chiefs had the game in the bag leading up to the game…
    Chiefs scored 9 points…. Not saying the Bucs are the same team they were but they are not strangers to being counted out before the game is played!

  17. KoryC idahome bucc fan Says:

    In Tampa “Simdau”? Joes had some nice cold big storms today!!🤣

  18. Oxycodoms Says:

    Might come down to succop vs gay

  19. BuccaneerButters Says:

    Stop the run. Double Kupp. Apply pressure to Stafford. Put an extra lineman in, have the TEs block, run the ball hard. Take your shots when you need to. The Rams are not invincible

  20. Cleanhouse Says:

    Don’t think it’s that easy to switch from Dline to online at the pro level on a weeks notice DMatt- even for Suh. I do like the Leveon in the slot idea

  21. adam from ny Says:

    they prolly got rid of matt gay too fast…

    he’s turning into a pretty solid kicker with a booming leg

  22. DrunkInYbor Says:

    I’m not worried at all. Probably a close game. We are at home. They have to travel to the opposite coast on a short week. I believe in my team.

  23. DrunkInYbor Says:

    Wait wait…We talking bout kickers? Kickers?
    they prolly got rid of matt gay too fast…

    he’s turning into a pretty solid kicker with a booming leg

  24. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    I saw a couple looks with Bell out wide vs/Carolina, and I liked it.

  25. captivajim Says:

    like the aints-the rams are bullies.. Donald will b problem #1, Von Miller not far behind … Our O line is critical in this game .. Brady took 4 hits against Eagles & these bullies are a lot bigger handfull to “manage”…we need a 6th guy on the O line

    they will key on Gronk–as they did last time

  26. bucschamp Says:

    seems like stinnie will shift to RG and cappa to RT. still good line. could be a pleasant surprise. Stafford can be pressured

  27. Mike C Says:

    Every team that had no business in the playoffs is gone, no cupcakes in this round, L F G Tampa!

  28. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Tom Brady doesn’t care
    I think I’ll bbq some nice, tender leg of lamb for the game.
    Shoot, I haven’t eaten leg of lamb for decades.

  29. Swampbuc Says:

    Given the Bucs injury situation, the Rams should be favored. I hope that’s the case, then the Bucs players can use it for motivation, how the Bucs are a soft, finesse team.

    Boron — listen up!

    Don’t be dropping Brady 7 steps for the first 30 plays of the game! Quick passes on first down along with some play action screens, sprinkling a good 20 – 25 running plays into the mix, please.

    Please keep moving Mike around and running him out of the slot.

    Please help the right side of the OL especially if Wirfs is out — but even if he is in, he’s hurt. Help him.

    Bowles — listen up! Everyone is singing your praises for clowning the Eagles but your boys relaxed and got sloppy in the fourth quarter, and this Rams team already made your boys look like a Lovie Smith 2014 defense. Please come forward with a similar concept to the Super Bowl game plan, but without needing to worry so much about Stafford running, like Mahomes.

    Hey BA — make sure your boys know, it’s gonna be a physical azz game. Stress that if the Bucs match and exceed the Rams physicality the game can be theirs.

    But, this is worst case scenario to me. This is the Bucs worst matchup in the NFC other than the Saints.

    The Rams have had our number in the playoffs historically.

  30. westernbuc Says:

    Stafford was looking pretty bad before this game. Cardinals looked like they didn’t belong. Imagine if it were Jameis or Baker throwing that pick 6 like Kyler did. The media would spend all offseason talking about it.

    Rams have owned us as of late. They were the only team I was really worried about in the playoffs last year and now we have to beat them. I’m cautiously optimistic

  31. Christos Says:

    I think the way you must play the Rams is punch them in the mouth and outphysical them both on Offense and Defense. If Fournette can play then run at them and run some more. I know that will probably not happen and we gonna throw a lot but i really believe you got to bring the fight to them. Hit them and hit them hard. Defense should be agressive, dont get them the easy soft zone completions. Be physical that is the way. Go Bucs

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    CaptivaJim … I agree with you; Rams are bullies. They can play some good old-fashioned, smashmouth football. But so can our Bucs. Our OLine doesn’t take any crap from anyone; neither does our DLine. Bucs will win Sunday because …

    1 – We’re playing at home. We lost to them earlier this season 34-24 out in Los Angeles; this time they’re on our turf where Bucs are 8-1 so far this season. ADVANTAGE: Bucs.

    2 – Rams are on a short week. Playing a Sunday game AFTER a Monday night game is always tough, but it has to get even more difficult when you have to fly all the way across the country to play that Sunday game. ADVANTAGE: Bucs.

    3 – Bucs defense in better shape defensively this game. In our 1st meeting, Bucs didn’t have SMB & lost Dean to injury after 12 plays. Delaney got 53 def snaps (82%) and Cockrell got 57 def snaps (87%), along with Davis who played the whole game. Edwards played quite a bit (23 def snaps … 35%). JPP also missed that game, so our rookie JTS got 51 def snaps (78%). Rams scored FIVE passing TDs: 2 against Davis, 1 against Delaney, 2 against Edwards. Rams primary weapon: Cooper Kupp (caught 9-of-12 targets for 96 yds, 2 TDs & 5 first downs). Bucs’ defense won’t let that happen again.

    4 – Bucs game plan will be much better this game. Quite frankly our game plan sucked in our 1st meetup with the Rams. Bucs only ran it 13 times for 35 yds, but passed it 55 times. Brady did very well (completed 75% for 432 yds) but majority of that was in the 2nd half when the Rams were already way up. Bucs offense only scored 7 pts in the 1st half; punted our 1st 3 possessions; need to start faster AND control the ball more using a higher run-pass ratio like we did Sunday.

    We can beat these guys. And we will.

  33. adam from ny Says:


    nice one…always excellent on the details

  34. Pete I Says:

    This is why we are fans. Bring the Rams on!

  35. August 1976 Buc Says:

    The Rams dominated the Line of Scrimmage, both sides of the ball in week 3.

    The Bucs Pass Defense was injured and on the sideline, really as the game went, the Bucs had no real answer for the Rams passing offense.

    The Rams put a lot of pressure on Brady in that game. Again, the Bucs got whooped at the line of scrimmage, which had not really happened like that for quite some time. The Bucs offense was hit and miss.

    So hopefully the Bucs have a way to counter act the Rams rush consistently, or it will be not fun to see.

    The Bucs can win this game, but it have to somehow compensate for the beat up offensive line.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  36. Jerry Says:

    We are going to need turnovers, luck, and a hell of an effort to have a chance in this game.

    This is going to be the toughest game the Bucs have faced of the last two years, by far. Long list of injuries and an inconsistent defense with corners that will be regularly tested. If we can’t keep Brady upright and if the defense can’t get off the field on 3rd downs, this game will be over by the 2nd quarter. This is a nightmare matchup.

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    Adam … We also didn’t have Antonio Brown in that game (can’t lose what you didn’t have), and Gronk didn’t have his best game (4-of-8 for 55 yds, no TDs). Our primary receivers in that 1st meetup were Mike Evans (8-of-10 for 106 yds, 0 TDs & 7 first downs) & Gio (9-of-10 for 51 yds, 1 TD & 4 first downs). Lenny also went 3-of-3 for 26 yds, 0 TDs & 2 first downs). IOW our RBs got a LOT of work … in the passing game. I suspect that Gio will be a big weapon this Sunday, as will ME13 once again. Hopefully Lenny’s back for this one too.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 … Rams pressured Brady 11 times in that game … in 71 offensive plays for the Bucs (3 sacks, 1 Knockdown, 7 Hurries). Better than most teams did against him, but I wouldn’t call that domination.

    Bucs only ran it 13 times in that game. When an excellent DLine like the Rams have KNOWS you’re gonna pass, they tee-off. Running the ball keeps them honest, and we didn’t do that very effectively. Besides, TB12 completed 75% of his passes in that game, so he handled the pressure quite well. We converted almost all of our 3rd-and-shorts, but our 3rd-and-longs didn’t work out too well, and we had too many of those.

  39. Darin Says:

    We’ll know at halftime.

  40. JA Says:

    For all you naysayers …
    The Rams just beat up on a team who had lost four of their last five games. And looked bad doing it. Last night made it five of six.
    The Rams choked away a 17 point lead and the second seed the week before against the 49’ers—AT HOME!
    They have five losses.
    They are under a tremendous amount of pressure this year to win it all by mortgaging away their future to get Beckham, Miller and Stafford. When’s their next first round draft pick, 2050?
    And finally … Vegas doesn’t expect them to win.
    True, Vegas doesn’t get it right all the time. But all those big tall buildings out there weren’t built by people who usually got things wrong.
    This Rams team is far from invincible.
    Let’s get this win and move on to Green Bay or welcome San Francisco to Tampa Bay!

  41. #1bucsfan Says:

    This game right here might be the biggest challenge for the Bucs. I think there offense is better than our defense. Even with everyone healthy the rams offense can score their physical and fast. Their defense isn’t to shabby either. This is most likely going to be a high scoring game. Let’s goo Bucs. Brady beat the rams in the SB down more than 17 points so I plenty of confidence in him that he will beat them again. Even tho he has lost to them the past couple years lol

  42. Hondo Says:

    This game WAY TO BIG for Stafford. Todd will blitz the Bucs and Stafford will shrink and throw pics. Brady has won SUPER BOWLS with less talented receivers. Although Bucs have lost a few talented receivers Brady has PLENTY OF WEAPONS. Look for Gio to come up big. Go Bucs.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    Mcvay has outcoached Bowles in the last couple matchups, no reason to think anything will change, Rams by a touchdown.

  44. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 … Rams pressured Brady 11 times in that game … in 71 offensive plays for the Bucs (3 sacks, 1 Knockdown, 7 Hurries). Better than most teams did against him, but I wouldn’t call that domination.

    DR…If you can go back and watch the gane, the offensive line and defensive line got beat bigtime in that game. That was the game I really noticed Vita and Suh, but more Vita it seemed like they were on the sideline for a large chunk of plays. The Rams were having their way and Vita is on the sideline, many people in the gameday thread were like where is Vita? Brady got roughed up in that game.
    The Bucs usually win the line of scrimmage, but in the 3 of the losses this year, Rams, Saints 2nd game, and WFT game, the Bucs lost the offensive line of scrimmage. The Rams whooped the Bucs Oline badly in the game. Just go back and watch.
    These are the same comments about the Bucs losing the line of scrimmage I made right after the Rams beat the Bucs in week 3. It was painful to watch, the Rams were the better team that day. Like I said, the Bucs have usually won the line of scrimmage but not in week 3 against the Rams.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  45. Bucsfanman Says:

    Defense Rules nailed it.

  46. August 1976 Buc Says:

    I know what I saw and it was a painful game to watch against the Rams in week 3. Anyone can go back and watch the game on NFL Game pass.

    I sure hope the Bucs are more competitive this time, but they cannot get whooped on the Oline and d line and win.
    They have to be better, and not lose both sides of the line of scrimmage.
    It is not a great time to see Wirfs get hurt, but whatever, no one will cry for the Bucs, they have to man up, or go home.
    Hopefully they come out play with their hair on fire and put a beatdown back on the Rams.
    The Bucs have enough talent to win, even without the walking wounded, but you have to do it on the field.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  47. Bird Says:

    The thing that scares me the most is rams defense reminds me of saints defense. They were popping guys last night. Man i hope wirfs can go…but not be liability

    I agree with others who have commented

    There will be no rams fans at game. So all the noise will be on stafford…

    Also, as long as defense plays like eagles and last year in playoffs , we have a chance. They were horrible when we played rams last 2 years.

    Brady aint scared…just hope that rubs off on other guys cause rams are a complete team. Starting to wish cowboys had won 😂

  48. Bobby M. Says:

    There are no “gimmes” in the NFL….especially at this point. We have to beat a very good team. One thing that i’ve noticed, Bowles tends to struggle with QB’s first time he sees them. The 2nd time, our defense seems to be much more precise at exploiting weaknesses. Stafford is a solid QB but can struggle and when he does, he has a tough time snapping out of it. Fingers crossed Leftwich doesn’t get too cute trying to out wit McVay.

  49. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    The coordinators will earn their money this week, if Leftwich makes a game plan at all.

  50. Cee Says:

    Not to be underestimated is the value of Richard Sherman. He played in that division his whole career. Imagine the insight he brings in defensive game planning against the Rams!

  51. Dyno-White ! # 45 Says:

    IMHO, it’s energy , luck, and turnovers. Their season is a mirror of our season last year. They have our SB script, and we have the injuries, inexperience, etc. of a team that is playing at the wrong time.

    If the Bucs somehow pull this out Bowles and Leftwich can pick their next coaching job and the men and women trainers get an MVP.

    Rams: 30-17, it that’s why the play the game. As a Bucs fan since 1976, this year has been a blast considering what I have seen. BTW, the good news is I really suck on making predictions. So there.

  52. Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 … I remember watching that 1st game and thinking that the Rams just wanted it more. Like Bird says ‘They were popping guys’.

    And yet, when you look at the results, Brady completed 75% of his passes. Yes he was sacked 3 times, but there were a number of other games where he was pressured more. Both the Bucs & the Rams came out even on TOP, and neither of us had any turnovers.

    Our problem IMO was two-fold: (1) our game plan sucked (too much passing/too little running); and (2) our defense didn’t pressure Stafford enough (only sacked him once), we allowed too many ‘big plays’ (like DJax’s 75-yd TD to open the 3rd qtr?), and we allowed way too many 3rd down conversions (10-for-15). That won’t happen again. It’ll be a classic dogfight, but our guys have a chip on their shoulder after that 1st game. The Bucs will win.

  53. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Just catch the pick’s Stafford throws to us.. we’ll be fine.

  54. orlbucfan Says:

    Thanks DR, captiva, and all. The Rams aren’t going to be any harder than the Aints and Pack last playoff year. Remember: the Aints beat us twice during the regular season. We beat them in their house in the playoffs. You can bet General LVD watched this game last night. The Mighty Defense will be ready and it’s healthy now. Our offense is weakened but that should make us hungrier for this win. Bucs will be at The Licht House. 🙂 Rams are on a short week, and have to fly across the country and 3 time zones. If they come in figuring this one’s in the bag, they lose. As far as this loyal, long time Bucs fan is concerned, Bucs will be the underdogs. And screw Antonio Batguano Crazy Brown. Don’t need him. Go Bucs Sunday!!

  55. brooks Says:

    remember 1999? NFC Championship game? greatest show on turf.
    This is our turn for a payback. This will be one for the ages.

  56. 4eva_i_luv_tampabay Says:

    Everybody we need to get our tickets ASAP I got mine . Let us fans help this team out we need to be super super loud #Letsgo!!!

  57. Bird Says:

    4eva i luv tampa bay

    Yup. Get your tickets. I will be there. I thought there would be a ton of green last week and there wasnt. It seemed 90% red

    And rams fans arent as passionate as philly fans
    Should be huge buc turnout

  58. Buccfan37 Says:

    I enjoy Defense Rules optimism and thinking going up against the Rams but I feel that Jerry is likely closer to the actual outcome.

  59. Cobraboy Says:

    Whichever defense gets to the QB more this game will win.

    End of story.

  60. Duane Says:

    Speculation game works well both ways. Even considering all the injuries to this team, the biggest question is still- Does Matt Stafford have the juice to win his second playoff game, can he win a championship, and most importantly does he do it starting with Brady in Tompa Bay? The answer is NO. Big props to the Rams for trying to duplicate what the Bucs did last year, but Stafford is not Brady.

  61. SOEbuc Says:

    8-1 at home. Bring that sh!t on. LFG!!!

  62. Minnesota Bucs fan Brent Says:

    I am coming down for the game this weekend. Wondering if I should wait till later in the week to buy the tickets as I’ve heard they go down in price. I’ve only been to Ray Jay 2 times in my life. I’m excited for my 1st buccaneers play off game( in person). Me and my wife are going. Spending budget is $500 per ticket. Any suggestions on were to sit and buy tickets. Thank you! Goo bucs!!

  63. Jerry Strickland Says:

    Rams always concern me it seems like they have a jinx on us like the Saints do. We have got to be at our best on defense with or without who plays. We got to get turnovers and we cannot be missing tackles. Offense line has got to protect Tom because they will be coming after him like a herd of wolves.
    Let’s Go Bucs!! We can do this!!! Goooooo Buuuuucccccss!!

  64. Mike C Says:

    I am going to do my part to make sure the environment is as Hostile as it can possibly be for the Rams, Tom Brady makes everyone accountable, including fans, do your job. L F G!

  65. Mike C Says:

    And when the Rams score or take a lead(hopefully they won’t)…..Stay in the game, Do Not Let Them Take You Out Of The Game. THIS TEAM DESERVES EVERY THING YOU GOT.

  66. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Bottom line every team left is good. Also, if you had the first pick and could have any player in the history of football who would it be? Simple answer TB12. The man is the best to ever play…

  67. BillyBucco Says:

    If I remember correctly, we were able to move the ball.
    I think this is the game where a couple screens were forced quick and resulted in a turnover.

    I’m sure we will spread the ball out and pose problems.
    Race to 30 probably.

    Turnover battle type game.
    Let’s hope the ball rolls our way.

  68. Matt Says:

    GO RAMS!!!!

  69. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    @dmatt – I agree 💯 with the L. Bell in the slot , ESPECIALLY if we get Fornette back !! We also have PERRIMAN ! He’s a pretty good WR and I think he can take some pressure off Evans , as long as they USE HIM !! Look , EVERYONE doubted the Bucs could beat the AINTS on the road last year !! And the Packers in GREEN BAY !! And of course nobody but REAL BUCS FANS thought we would beat KC in the Super Bowl !! So I say BRING WHOEVER !! GO BUCS