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The stat-breakdown series is back by popular demand. In fact, there's actually not a lot to breakdown this week since the Rams and Buccaneers actually only have two opponents in common. Never-the- less, what we discovered from the two games against shared opponents may surprise you.
This Buccaneers home game will serve as a contest of pride for both squads. Both teams are nearly statistically eliminated from the playoffs, and are young teams that are building for the future. The easiest thing to directly compare between these two teams is the young quarterbacks. Both Sam Bradford and Josh Freeman have experienced similar NFL journeys. They both broke onto the scene as hot rookies only to have their fires snuffed out by terrible team performances in years 2 or 3. Sam and Josh will be looking to quiet some critics this week, and when comparing shared opponents, it may surprise you which teams offense has been the bell of the ball.
Obviously there is some context to the above stats, but it's pretty amazing to think that the Rams offense outperformed the Bucaneerss offense in these shared games. The Buccaneers have ran hot and cold on offense all year, but in these two games they seemed to have subpar performances while the Rams had some of there best offensive output all season. Again - I get it - there is some context to these stats, but the numbers don't lie. And in this case, it's an interesting note that the Buccaneers showed better defense and special teams scoring while the Rams showed overall better offense. Most of us would probably flip-flop those for both teams when talking about comprehensive strengths and weaknesses.
If we judge this coming game on how well both teams have performed against shared opponents, it would be fair to say that this is a toss up. And that is precisely what it is. This game has also become a mystery to many, as it has been predicted by some to be a shootout, a field goal contest by others, and even another tie.
It will be interesting to see how both teams perform given their recent exits from true playoff contention. Tampa Bay seems to be imploding - but as the Rams learned earlier this year against the Bears - that doesn't mean anyone will be easy to beat. This will beat tough game for both teams, and inevitably I believe it will come down to coaching. I'll let you decide which team has the better staff.