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Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Bucs: Uncharted Territory

It's week three of the 2016 season and the Rams are coming off a historic win in the Coliseum. The Rams have opportunity and history on their side to do something they've never done under Jeff Fisher.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Last week's game vs Seattle was fun right? Well if you love defense it was fun. The Rams defense was clearly motivated and delivered the type of performance we've seen little of but promised for years now. It was great. Surely you're aware that the offense still has some things to figure out and touchdowns to score. This Sunday in Tampa Bay the Rams will have a chance to put it all together again and cross off a couple of "firsts" since Fisher came on board.

Rams After Week 2
Year Record
2012 1-1
2013 1-1
2014 1-1
2015 1-1

If every year in the recent past starts off feeling like "this might finally be the one" it could have something to do with the Rams quietly beginning 1-1 each year. Another year and the Rams find themselves in a familiar spot as 2016 has begun. The Rams have a record of 1-1 once again. Week three has been the proverbial monkey on their backs.

The Rams have not won a game in week three of any season since 2010.

And under Fisher those week three losses have been more towards the lines of complete letdowns. Whether it be a no-showing of offense or blowing 21 point leads at home, it hasn't been pretty. Is it lack of preparation? False confidence?

Rams in Week 3
Year Opponent Result
2012 at CHI L 23-6
2013 at DAL L 31-7
2014 vs. DAL L 34-31
2015 vs. PIT L 12-6

That's a small problem for a team that's eternally looking to stay above .500 and is consistently .500 after the first two games of the year. 2016, episode three, is different though. This year the Rams play the Buccaneers, a team they've faced in each of the last four seasons. A team whom the Rams have had great success against.

Rams vs. Bucs
Year Week Result
2012 16 at TB Rams 28-13
2013 16 at STL Rams 23-13
2014 2 at TB Rams 19-17
2015 15 at STL Rams 31-23

That's four up, four down. And the only game that was really competitive was in 2014 when former Rams QB Austin Davis led them to victory down in Tampa Bay. And if you're keeping score, the 2015 matchup, led by QB Case Keenum, was the Rams' second highest scoring output for the 2015 season. This year's matchup will feature a 3rd different head coach for Tampa Bay with Dirk Koetter.

Much like the Rams coming off their Monday Night Football embarrassment, the Bucs got a spanking of their own in week two in Arizona. We know first hand the motivation that a loss like that can bring to a team looking to put on a good showing for their home opener. That's not a circumstance to just gloss over. Tampa Bay has no shortage of reasons to come out eager to put forth their best effort. The Rams have reason to feel confident about their opponent, no matter when or where its being played.

Something must give for the Rams this Sunday. Do they continue to let week three matchups result in bad losses? Or do they continue their winning streak against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? They can't do both.

Is a week three matchup against Tampa Bay the missing ingredient to an elusive 2-1 start for a Rams season? We'll find out soon enough.