This weekend the 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming to town to take on the 2-0 Los Angeles Rams in what will be the biggest game of the season for the Rams thus far. Both teams seem to be firing on all cylinders through the first two weeks so it’ll be a good assessment on seeing where both teams are actually at. The Rams were favored earlier in the week but now that line has moved to -1.5 for the Bucs. Seems that Vegas isn't even sure what will take place in this one.
LA beat the Buccaneers 27-24 in Tampa just this past year but right after that is when the Bucs got hot and started to gel and be more cohesive as a team. The LA Rams have a much different look this season with quarterback Matthew Stafford under center and he has the team playing well. There’s a good chance that these two teams will see each other again later this year, but what needs to happen to get a win in this one?
1 - Control time of possession
In the first two weeks of the season, the Rams have yet to come out on top in time of possession. In Week 2 they had the ball on offense for 28:28 as opposed to the Colts who maintained possession for 31:32. In Week 1, the Bears had the ball on offense for 35:14 while LA had the ball for 24:46.
That's not something you can let happen with this Tampa team, as Tom Brady will nickel and dime you down the field. The offense needs to control the clock in this one to keep Brady and their offense off the field as much as possible. The run defense for the Bucs is spectacular but they need to try and get something going on the ground in this one to make that happen. When you win the time of possession battle, it also helps tire out the opposing teams defense. That would be an ideal case scenario as they’re already missing multiple starters on defense.
2 - Pressure Tom Brady
I know it sounds cliché, but its the truth when it comes to playing Brady. Getting him off his mark is key in this one, as he tends to not do well with pressure in his face. The defensive line has a tough test against a strong offensive line but they need to be up to the task to force Brady to make bad decisions through the air. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris needs to dial up new looks, different blitzes, anything to get him to start panicking in the pocket.
They need to hit him early and often. Aaron Donald will most likely be double or triple teamed, so Leonard Floyd, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Terrell Lewis, Justin Hollins, and the rest of the line need to take advantage of their one-on-one opportunities.
3 - Stay disciplined
The Rams cant afford to give away any free yards in this one with how explosive their offense is and avoiding holding penalties is crucial on offense as they’re drive killers and this is a defense that will take advantage of that all day.
So far this season, Sean McVay has had the team playing disciplined football. They have the second least amount of penalties with six right behind the Indianapolis Colts who have five. Keeping the pattern going into this one is important for the team to come out on top in this one.