The Rams and the Buccaneers squared off on Monday night in a battle for NFC supremacy. Both teams started the night with three losses and the Bucs left with their fourth. The Rams now trail only the Saints in the NFC. Tom Brady entered the league as the No. 199 pick and the rest is history. The 199th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, Jordan Fuller, intercepted Brady twice and propelled Los Angeles to their 27-24 win.
A Week of "Brady Washed?"
The story coming out of this game will be the failure of Brady. At 43 years old, the G.O.A.T. showed signs of a potential decline versus the Rams. He was intercepted twice and routinely failed to connect on his deep attempts. Both of his turnovers came on inaccurate deep throws. One ball sailed on Brady and the other was underthrown. That makes five interceptions and five touchdowns in his past three contests. Brady has dipped below a 60 percent completion rate in two of his past three games. His recent performances are worrisome but they represent a drop in the bucket of Brady's career. It's simply too soon to say anything other than his current struggles are a blip on the radar. His Week 12 game versus Kansas City and the greatest offense in the league will say a lot about his abilities right now.
Brady threw the ball 48 times which allowed all of the Tampa Bay receivers to post notable days. Antonio Brown led the team with 13 targets. He caught eight of those looks for 57 yards. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin hovered around 50 yards and each scored on nine and ten targets respectively. Their production might come in peaks and valleys but all three should end the year with solid stat lines.
The Dynamic Duo
Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods combined for 23 catches and 275 yards versus Tampa Bay. The Rams locked up both on contract extensions ahead of this season and their preemptive moves are paying off. Both receivers are on pace for more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage. Jared Goff's style of quick and accurate strikes meshes incredibly well with his dynamic duo, both of whom can punish defenses with their ability to generate yards after the catch. When given a clean pocket, Goff works well within the infrastructure Sean McVay has created. They are coming off wins over the two NFC teams with seven wins. The Rams may not have the best quarterback in their division but they could be argued to be the most complete team.
The biggest question for LA going forward will be what the team does with its running backs. They were up against a stout run defense this week and chose to unleash Goff with 51 throws compared to just 20 rush attempts. Darrell Henderson led the team with eight carries while 2020 second-round rookie Cam Akers saw just five carries. Los Angeles has leaned on their running game frequently this year but it has rarely been the same player in consecutive weeks. For now, Henderson appears to have a tentative grip on the leading role.
Fantasy Slant: Ronald Jones led the Bucs with 10 carries but did not see a target. He needs to break long runs in order to have successful fantasy outings. That makes him a highly volatile RB2 going forward. Fournette only logged seven carries but was targeted four times. He secured just one of his looks in the passing game but Brady has a reputation of connecting with his running backs. As the primary pass-catching back, Fournette is a viable RB3. All three Tampa Bay receivers will be WR2 options in their presumed shootout with the Chiefs next week. Josh Reynolds came back to Earth this week after seeing at least eight targets in three consecutive games. He was targeted six times and only brought down three of his looks for 32 yards. Reynolds remains a deep FLEX play at best.
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The Ravens placed Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins on the reserve/COVID-19 list after both backs tested positive for the virus. That leaves Gus Edwards and Justice Hill as the next men up. Hill hasn't recorded a carry this year while Edwards has four games with double-digit carries on the season. Hill could work in as a pass-catcher but expect Edwards to get the bulk of the carries in the Ravens' Thanksgiving showdown with the Steelers.
Randall Cobb is reportedly a candidate to be placed on injured reserve because of a toe injury he suffered in Week 11. Kenny Stills is also dealing with a quad injury but his ailment isn't considered to be serious. Keke Coutee could be an interesting option off the waiver wire if both players sit this coming week.