The Los Angeles Rams will look to avoid going 1-2 for the first time in five years, as they travel coast-to-coast to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 of the 2016 season.
In doing so, they’ll also look to best the Bucs for the fifth straight time in as many years.
Does the team, with more questions than answers, have what it takes to get to 2-1 for the first time under the Jeff Fisher regime?
The TST staff make their predictions...
The Rams will finally find the end zone, and it will be schemed to ensure Gurley regains confidence as a playmaker. The Bucs scare me a bit on the outside, with Evans and Jackson, and Winston is equal parts gunslinger and turnover machine. The Rams were unable to get to Winston last year, but I think they hit pay dirt enough to cause him to make mistakes.
Prediction: Rams win, 13-10
Rams finally score a TD. Two to be exact. Case Keenum had his best game vs these Bucs last year on TNF and I think he finds a little more success this time as the Rams will snap their week 3 losing streak and beat the Bucs for the fifth year in a row. The defense will be tough once again against an offense that will be forced to pass with Doug Martin out. This is a potential trap game for the Rams as Arizona lurks around the corner but I think Rams get to 2-1.
Prediction: Rams win, 20-17
Considering the Rams have not yet scored a touchdown, it's tough to see how the Rams outscore the Buccaneers this week. The Rams have an excellent defense, yes, but Jameis Winston is a bright young quarterback, Mike Evans is a freak of nature at wide receiver and Charles Sims is going to step into the starting running back role just fine. Touchdown-less through two games and now on the road this week, the Rams probably fall back under .500.
Prediction: Bucs win, 24-13
The Rams feast on a newly shaken Jameis Winston. I don't know who it will be, but a Rams defensive lineman is going to have a "3-fer" day, and the defense as a whole will add two more. The Rams secondary will get off the "Schneider" in the INT column, and pick Winston off twice. Soooo.... Sounds like I'm leaning heavily on the Rams defense in this one, eh? Well, in truth, I just don't see much to truly count on with the Rams offense just now. I think they'll FINALLY score a touchdown, but Greg Zuerlien could very well be the highest scoring Rams this weekend. Final score: 20-13
Prediction: Rams win, 20-13
The Rams are 4-0 against the Buccaneers under Jeff Fisher but the team has also started 1-2 every year under Fisher as well. I'll go with the latter.
The defense will look to prove week one was a fluke so Alec Ogletree & Co. will be on point. The offense will continue their struggle, however.
Prediction: Bucs win, 20-13
Elijah Kim (@TST_Eli)
The Rams travel to Tampa Bay to play Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers after a tough defensive battle and victory with Seattle. Winston is coming off of his worst game as a professional, throwing four interceptions and fumbling the ball once. Sadly, the Rams have never been able to shake a 1-2 start with Jeff Fisher at the helm, but the Bucs have also lost four straight against the Rams. One of these streaks will have to end and it'll be the Bucs getting a coveted win over LA. Look for Winston and Co. to rebound after a horrendous game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams will finally score a touchdown but will painfully enter Week 4 of the NFL season at 1-2, again.
Prediction: Bucs win, 21-10
Eric Nagel (@Eric_nagel)
I'll wait to predict the Rams scoring a touchdown becuase they haven't yet. I think the Bucs have slightly too much offensive talent to not score a touchdown, so here we are.
Prediction: Bucs win, 10-9
Mike Dietrich (@dvond)
After each of the Rams wins vs. the Hawks they have pulled a typical Jeff Fisher and got blown out, disappointing in the next game. The Bucs have a very good run defense and since that is the best talent the Rams have on their offense, I cannot see them scoring more than 1 TD. The Bucs’ pass offense will be a problem...especially with a UDFA in Hill at CB.
Prediction: Bucs win, 27-10
Jameis is going to light this secondary up. Specifically the right side where Troy Hill and Coty Sensabaugh will be lined up. Mike Evans is going to have a big day. However, the run game for the bucs will be virtually non-existent and the pass rush for the Rams is going to take over. I predict Jameis going down about 5-6 times in this one. With Robert Quinn having two of those, and Aaron Donald getting the party started. This game will be similar to last year's game. Rams will jump out early, and the bucs will come storming back. However it will not be as high scoring. And finally...Todd Gurley will get off. 130+ yards on 22 carries.
Prediction: Rams win, 23-20
Case Keenum throws for 380 yards, 4 TD’s, but it’s Johnny Hekker tossing the game winner to Tyler Higbee off a fake FG in the 4th period who will lead the Rams to a dramatic victory over the Bucs.
Prediction: Rams win, 35-31
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
Yanno.... I'm 0-2 so far this year. I'll pick the Bucs in the hope that I'm wrong again and the Rams get to 2-1.
Prediction: Bucs win, 24-10
There are always a few such people who demand the utmost of life and yet cannot come to terms with its stupidity and crudeness.
Prediction: Bucs win, 20-3
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
I’m picking the Bucs this week for the same reason I picked the Rams last week.
The Rams, seemingly always, play up/down to their competition...which typically leads to the rollercoaster-type results we’ve already experienced in the first two weeks of this season.
I mean, face it. You’re not surprised they lost to the woeful 49ers and then beat a team that many expected to make a deep run into the playoffs, are you? Yeah, me neither. Doug Martin is out? The stars are aligning! That is until Charles Sims balls out...
I’m as hype as the next person about the win over the Seahawks. But the whole “we’ve owned the Bucs for the last four years” thing has to come to an end at some point. Sadly, I think it’s 2016.
It’ll be a long trip to Tampa. And a longer one back home.
Prediction: Bucs win, 16-10