The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, winning 27-24 in Tampa. They move to 7-3 in the NFC West whereas the Buccaneers move to 7-4 in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay remain one win behind the New Orleans Saints, whilst the Rams are level on wins with the Seattle Seahawks.
Both teams struggled in the run game, with neither team rushing for more than 24 yards in the game. The longest yardage for a single run was just 14 yards. This was ran by was Rams leading rusher on the day Malcom Brown.
Along with the ability to stop the run, it was with the ball at the hands of both quarterbacks where both teams had success.
Jared Goff Impresses
Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He threw for two interceptions along with a 76.5% completion record (39 of 51), his second highest completion percentage of the season.
The 39 passes made by Goff puts him tied second with Tom Brady in 2009 for the most completions made by a quarterback in a Monday Night Football game. This is a record set by former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson who holds the record with the 40 he threw in 1982.
Goff had to throw more due to the lack of production from the running game. However, this shows this faith shown in him from head coach Sean McVay.
Goff’s Down Year In 2019
2016’s first overall pick in the draft had a disappointing rookie year. He made up for it with two great years, reaching Super Bowl 53 in the 2018 season.
Unfortunately, Goff had a bad game in the Super Bowl. The Rams scored just three points against the New England Patriots.
His 2019 season was a real down year for Goff but he appears to be getting back to the Goff we all know. I am still unsure of his ability to perform in big games, but he has had a good season in 2020. This was a win which has shown the world that he is a very capable quarterback.
Sean McVay has mastered the play action plays and this suits Goff, who has so far thrown for 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions this season.
In the Buccaneers win, Goff had two 100 yard receivers. Whilst Josh Reynolds struggled to get into the game, Cooper Kupp recorded 145 yards, including some great yards after catch. This was his third career game with over 100 yards in the first half. Robert Woods scored a touchdown and managed to catch for 130 yards.
Meanwhile, the leading receiver for the Buccaneers was Antonio Brown, who mustered up a measly 57 yards. This was the difference.
Buccaneers Fail To Capitalise On Second Half Mistakes
However, most of the Rams’ offense was successful in the first half. In the second half, their drives ended with the following. An interception, missed field goal, touchdown, punt, punt, punt, interception, field goal, punt.
A drive in the fourth quarter saw some sloppy play from the Rams. There was a bad snap that Goff was clearly not ready for and there was also a delay of game penalty. This was followed with an interception.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers failed to capitalise on these, with Brady throwing two interceptions in the second half. He threw for 216 yards and two interceptions, but their drives in the second half ended in similar fashion to the Rams. They ended their drives with a field goal. They then followed up with an interception, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, touchdown and interception.
The defense of both teams turned up in the second half with just one touchdown scored by either team, compared to the two touchdowns scored by each team.
Jalen Ramsey Once Again Turns Up
Jalen Ramsey did a great job at taking D.K. Metcalf out of the game in the win over the Seattle Seahawks. Metcalf was limited to 28 carries from 4 targets in the game, as Ramsey asserted himself as one of the best corners in the league, if not the best.
Ramsey’s matchup against Mike Evans was highly anticipated and the Rams corner certainly won the battle. Evans was restricted to 49 yards from 9 targets. He did get a touchdown, but this was one of the rare moments of the game where Ramsey was not covering him. Instead it was Troy Hill and last week’s hero Darious Williams.
According to Next Gen Stats, Ramsey allowed 40 yards against Evans in the 33 of the 45 routes where he shadowed him. Evans was restricted to just four receptions from Evan’s lowly 7 targets.
We have now seen Ramsey limit the productivity of two great wide receivers in consecutive weeks. He has had a great year and is proving himself week by week to be arguably the best corner in the league.
How This Impacts Playoff Chances For Both Teams
Rams players will see this as a victory to build on. This keeps them level with Seattle in the hunt for a place in the postseason in a competitive NFC West.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be disappointed to lose but should also look at the positives. They defended well against the run but ultimately fell short. Confidence will be taken from the fact that they are still two wins clear of the current eighth seed in the playoff picture.