Rams easily beat Bucs, 34-24: Everything we know from Week 3 win

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In what might’ve been the biggest game of the 2021 season so far, the Los Angeles Rams made a win over the defending Super Bowl champions look easy. They beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, 34-24, improving their record to 3-0 on the year.

The offense moved the ball against a strong Bucs defense, while the defense stepped up and got pressure on Tom Brady, preventing Tampa Bay from doing much of anything on that side of the ball. The score isn’t representative of how big of a blowout this game was, either, considering the Rams were up 34-17 before a garbage-time touchdown by the Bucs with 1:10 left.

And so the Rams leave Week 3 with another win, flexing their muscle as possibly the team to beat in the NFL right now.

Final score: Rams 34, Buccaneers 24

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Keys to the game

The Rams didn't get off to the hottest start on offense, but Stafford settled down and found a groove after the first couple of drives. They were especially good on third down, converting 10 of 15 times in the game, which allowed them to sustain drives and maintain possession. They had two drives of at least eight minutes. Pressuring Tom Brady is always crucial when playing the future Hall of Famer and the Rams did just that on Sunday. They sacked him three times and he was under pressure throughout the game, forcing him to get rid of the ball earlier than he wanted. Sony Michel got a healthy helping of touches with Darrell Henderson Jr. out. He carried it 20 times for 67 yards, which isn't a great average but he picked up yards against a dominant run defense when the Rams needed to. And more importantly, he was great in pass protection. Cooper Kupp continues to rack up the yards and touchdowns with Stafford as his quarterback. He caught another two touchdown passes and had 96 yards on nine receptions, making big play after big play. The offensive line was once again a strength of this team. The Buccaneers didn't generate much pressure at all and only got one late sack on Stafford that was allowed by Rob Havenstein, doing a phenomenal job protecting the quarterback. To close out the game, the Rams scored on six consecutive possessions, which was the first time McVay's offense has ever accomplished that. Even when the Bucs showed signs of life, the Rams offense responded.

It was over when...

...Matt Gay made a 26-yard field goal to cap off a 13-play, 67-yard drive that ate up eight minutes of clock. That put the Rams up 34-17, making it a three-score game with only 8:14 left in the game. It didn't completely seal the win, but the Buccaneers weren't going to come back from that deficit with the way Los Angeles was playing on defense.

3 stars of the game

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

No. 3 star: DeSean Jackson – 3 catches, 130 yards, 1 TD No. 2 star: Cooper Kupp – 9 catches, 96 yards, 2 TDs No. 1 star: Matthew Stafford – 27-for-38. 343 yards, 4 TDs

Play of the game

After Stafford missed Jackson deep on two passes in the first half, underthrowing the speedy receiver each time, the two finally connected on a 75-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Jackson got behind the defense after the safety slipped, coming wide open down the right side. Stafford had enough time to go through his progressions and come back to Jackson, throwing a perfect pass for a 75-yard score. https://twitter.com/RamsNFL/status/1442250557045948422

What's next?

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Rams will stay at home for Week 4 after beating the Bucs, hosting the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday afternoon. This is the second week in a row that the Rams will play a game between two unbeaten teams, as the Cardinals also sit at 3-0 following their blowout win over the Jaguars. The Rams have won eight in a row against the Cardinals, seeking their ninth straight over Arizona.

1

1