Thursday Night the NFL got off to a hot start with a prime time battle between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys. A match between the Cowboys who the Rams paired with for a joint practice during training camp and the Rams’ week three opponent, the Buccaneers.
Sunday the Rams will open their season against the Chicago Bears, then a road game against the Indianapolis Colts, then they’re back home to face the Bucs. If all goes well for the NFC contenders, both teams will enter the week three match up with a tied 2-0 record.
Here are some things that stood out during the first look at this years Buccaneers team.
Tom Brady was great in a clean pocket but imperfect under pressure. If the Rams can repeat the effect of last season, cover well enough with a full secondary and pressure the QB with four rushers, the chance of creating turnover will increase.
Antonio Brown was more of a factor than Mike Evans. Brown got loose over the top and finished with five catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Last season, with Jalen Ramsey on Mike Evans, cornerback Darious Williams did a good job against Brown.
Rob Gronkowski remains an imposing target. The tight ends ability to use his body leverage and his timing with Brady showed up against the Cowboys.
Defensive Lineman Vita Vea is a bulldozer. Good early test for Rams center Brian Allen and the interior lineman.
The Bucs turned the ball over four times. Running Back Ronald Jones and receiver Chris Godwin both fumbled. Brady was intercepted twice.
The focus for the Rams will be on the Chicago Bears for week one but for the NFC big picture, the Bucs edged out a 1-0 start and the Rams will see them in week three.
And now for today’s links: