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Matthew Stafford threw for four touchdowns and 343 passing yards as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-24 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
Stafford learned tight discontinuance Tyler Higbee and wideout Cooper Kupp for touchdowns within the first half of. He then launched a 75-yarder to DeSean Jackson much less than a minute into the 2d half of earlier than connecting with Kupp a 2d time later within the third quarter.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady done 41-of-55 passes for 432 yards. He learned 10 thoroughly different plod-catchers on the day.
Brady also added a speeding touchdown, as did wideout Chris Godwin. The passing procure was as soon as to Giovani Bernard from 10 yards out.
Every teams mixed to start the sport with 5 drives that ended with punts, nevertheless six of the next seven drives culminated with touchdowns.
The Rams in a roundabout map scored touchdowns on four straight drives earlier than including discipline dreams on its subsequent two to retain the Bucs at bay.
The Rams’ steal also ended Tampa Bay’s 10-game steal trail that dated again to closing year. Following a 27-24 Week 12 loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, the 2020 Bucs gained four straight traditional-season games earlier than winning four playoff matchups.
As for this season, the Rams improved to 3-0, and the Bucs fell to 2-1.
Rams QB Matthew Stafford: 27-of-38, 343 passing yards, 4 TD
Rams WR DeSean Jackson: 3 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD
Rams WR Cooper Kupp: 9 catches, 96 yards, 2 TD
Rams TE Tyler Higbee: 5 catches, 40 yards, 1 TD
Buccaneers QB Tom Brady: 41-of-55, 432 passing yards; 3 carries, 14 speeding yards, 1 TD
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans: 8 catches, 106 receiving yards
Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin: 6 catches, 74 receiving yards; 1 lift, 2 speeding yards, 1 TD
Stafford Dissects Bucs Protection
The Rams entered this year with lofty expectations after making the NFC Divisional Spherical closing year and including Stafford in a substitute with the Detroit Lions within the route of the offseason.
Up to now, they’re meeting them rather with out complications.
L.A. overwhelmed the Chicago Bears 31-14 earlier than beating the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 on the avenue to start 2-0.
However the Rams’ finest hours this season came about on Sunday afternoon, and so they’ve Stafford to thank.
The 12-year venerable carved up the Bucs defense, as noted by the Stafford-Kupp connection continuing to excel.
This connection went for 22 yards amid a 14-play, 95-yard scoring power for an early 6-0 edge:
Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL
Workers and Coop connect again 🤝 pic.twitter.com/rkgpTO5xxu
That effort ended with Higbee corralling a excessive Stafford plod and working into the discontinuance zone from six yards out on third-and-3:
The Rams’ subsequent power culminated with Kupp’s fourth touchdown of the year:
Kupp had seven catches for 108 yards and one procure in Week 1 and 9 receptions for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 2. No wide receiver is having the next season than Kupp by three weeks, and it is laborious seeing him gradual down all that noteworthy. He now has 25 receptions for 367 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports gave his steal on the Stafford-Kupp duo:
One pairing that hadn’t labored as properly was as soon as Stafford and Jackson, as the 2 missed on three deep targets within the first half of.
The fourth time was as soon as a charm, though, as Stafford hit Jackson for 75 yards and a 20-7 lead:
Credit rating goes to Jackson for setting up heaps of separation:
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Matthew Stafford & DeSean Jackson (75-yard TD)
Jackson had 7.0 yards of separation from #32 Mike Edwards when the ball arrived, Jackson’s most separation on a TD reception within the NGS era (since 2016).
Stafford learned Jackson for one other explosive play every other time on the next power, hitting the deep threat for 40 yards to attract up 1st-and-purpose at the 10-yard line. One play later, Kupp caught a 10-yard plod for his 2d procure.
The Rams ended the evening with a pair of discipline dreams earlier than the Bucs added a slack touchdown.
The NFL season is just not even three weeks dilapidated yet, nevertheless Stafford is taking a watch adore an NFL MVP lawful now, especially after crushing the defending Neatly-organized Bowl champions.
Buccaneers Protection Struggles for third Straight Week
The Buccaneers defense anchored Tampa Bay en path to its dominant 31-9 steal over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Neatly-organized Bowl LV.
The unit aspects a group of splashy and assured playmakers who dominated one of many handiest offenses within the historical past of soccer, led by a conventional-season and Neatly-organized Bowl MVP in quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
That defense returned all 11 starters (plus defensive coordinator Todd Bowles) in 2021 and had excessive expectations every other time, nevertheless the unit looks nothing adore what it showed in 2020.
In Week 1, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns, nevertheless the Bucs offense did barely ample for a 31-29 steal.
In Week 2, the Atlanta Falcons, who scored 23 mixed aspects in Weeks 1 and 3, dropped 25 in three quarters at Tampa Bay. The defense showed up within the fourth with a pair of put off-sixes, nevertheless Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan mute carved up the Bucs with 300 passing yards.
In Week 3, Stafford was as soon as nearly flawless. The Bucs offense fared properly, nevertheless it certainly wished an A-plus effort to beat L.A. That didn’t happen, as the defense gave the offense no margin for error.
Granted, the Bucs had been facing accidents.
Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul was as soon as out with hand and shoulder accidents. Cornerback Jamel Dean left midgame with a knee harm. The team was as soon as already with out Sean Murphy-Bunting, who’s on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow.
The shorthanded secondary build the onus on the plod bustle to safe to Stafford on Sunday, nevertheless as head coach Bruce Arians noted (h/t ESPN’s Jenna Laine), that didn’t happen.
Bruce Arians had no updates on Jamel Dean’s knee. I requested if his harm made their need for corners more pressing and he pointed to Pierre Desir and Rashard Robinson, who had been every signed to the follow squad. He also emphasised that their plod bustle HAD to safe home. It didn’t.
Stafford was as soon as solely sacked as soon as. The Bucs like not had more than one sack per game this year. They seriously had 10 in their four-game 2020 postseason by myself.
There are some serious concerns with Tampa Bay’s defense at this point, and Jon Ledyard of Pewter File identified the severity of the divulge:
The Bucs defense has a seemingly “safe-lawful” game coming up subsequent Sunday against the Unusual England Patriots, whose offense build up perfect 13 aspects against the Unusual Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Nonetheless, Tampa’s defense desires to fare seriously better against elite opponents. The Bucs have not handed these assessments up to now, nevertheless there’s heaps of time to repair these complications with the season perfect three weeks dilapidated.
On Sunday, Brady will return to Unusual England for the first time since he left the Patriots in free company within the route of the 2020 offseason.
The 44-year-dilapidated, who gained 9 AFC titles and 6 Neatly-organized Bowls within the route of his 20 seasons there, will lead the Bucs in a Sunday Night Football matchup that begins at 8: 20 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.
The Rams will welcome the Arizona Cardinals into town for an NFC West fight at 4: 05 p.m.