The Los Angeles Rams head into week 11 at 6-3 and are prepared to take on the 7-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that could have some major playoff implications moving forward. The odds are favoring the Buccaneers by 2.5 points according to Sports Betting Dime.
By the numbers
Points per Game: #6 Buccaneers (29.6) > #19 Rams (24.0)
Average Scoring Margin: #6 Buccaneers (+7.0) > #9 Rams (+5.3)
Points per Play: #6 Buccaneers (0.458) > #22 Rams (0.352)
Touchdowns per Game: #8 Buccaneers (3.4) > #15 Rams (3.0)
Yards per Game: #7 Rams (395.6) > #14 Buccaneers (368.5)
Passing Yards per Game: #9 Buccaneers (264.6) > #11 Rams (261.3)
Rushing Yards per Game: #8 Rams (134.2) > #23 Buccaneers (103.9)
Yards per Play: #10 Rams (5.8) > #14 Buccaneers (5.7)
Yards per Pass Attempt: #11 Rams (7.3) > #19 Buccaneers (6.9)
Yards per Rush Attempt: #15 Rams (4.3) > #17 Buccaneers (4.2)
Passing Attempts per Game: #5 Buccaneers (38.6) > #16 Rams (35.7)
Rushing Attempts per Game: #5 Rams (31.1) > #24 Buccaneers (24.6)
Plays per Game: #4 Rams (64.2) > #12 Buccaneers (64.6)
1st Down’s per Game: #6 Rams (23.6) > #15 Buccaneers (22.2)
3rd Down Conversions per Game: #4 Rams (6.3) > #13 Buccaneers (5.4)
3rd Down Conversion Percentage: #7 Rams (45.97%) > #15 Buccaneers (42.86%)
Average Time of Possession per Game: #6 Rams (31:47) > #17 Buccaneers (29.42)
Red Zone Scoring Attempts per Game: #2 Buccaneers (4.0) > #6 Rams (3.9)
Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: #4 Buccaneers (2.8) > #11 Rams (2.4)
Red Zone Touchdown Percentage: #7 Buccaneers (70.00%) > #16 Rams (62.86%)
1st Quarter Points per Game: #8 Buccaneers (6.5) > #10 Rams (6.4)
1st Quarter Time of Possession Share Percentage: #16 Rams (50.19%) > #21 Buccaneers (47.61%)
2nd Quarter Points per Game: #12 Buccaneers (8.5) > #25 Rams (5.8)
2nd Quarter Time of Possession Share Percentage: #2 Rams (57.72%) > #13 Buccaneers (51.87%)
3rd Quarter Points per Game: #4 Buccaneers (6.6) > #8 Rams (5.6)
3rd Quarter Time of Possession Share Percentage: #6 Rams (54.73%) > #21 Buccaneers (48.01%)
4th Quarter Points per Game: #11 Buccaneers (8.0) > #29 Rams (6.2)
4th Quarter Time of Possession Share Percentage: #16 Buccaneers (50.56%) > #19 Rams (49.30%)
Opponent Points per Game: #2 Rams (18.7) > #8 Buccaneers (22.6)
Opponent Yards per Game: #2 Rams (296.4) > #3 Buccaneers (300.3)
Opponent Passing Yards per Game: #3 Rams (199.7) > #9 Buccaneers (223.7)
Opponent Rushing Yards per Game: #1 Buccaneers (76.6) > #5 Rams (96.8)
Opponent Yards per Play: #1 Rams (4.8) > #3 Buccaneers (4.9)
Opponent Touchdowns per Game: #2 Rams (2.1) > #13 Buccaneers (2.7)
Opponent First Downs per Game: #2 Buccaneers (18.4) > #3 Rams (18.6)
Opponent Third Down Conversion per Game: #6 Rams (4.4) > #11 Buccaneers (4.9)
Opponent Red Zone Scoring Percentage: #9 Rams (57.69%) > #20 Buccaneers (65.62%)
This game is big-time. It’s prime time for a reason. We knew this would be an important game as soon as the schedules were released but this is even more important than many could have imagined. By all accounts, the Rams are going up against one of the best teams in the league and maybe the best in the NFC. If you can’t get to Tom Brady in this one he will have the opportunity to carry the Buccaneers with his arm. It’s worth noting that these are the stats when Brady is under pressure according to PFF:
No Pressure: 298 Dropbacks, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 2,349 YDs, 71.7 CMP%, 110.2 RTG
Under Pressure: 105 Dropbacks, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 390 YDs, 46.6 CMP%, 61.3 RTG
Not Blitzed: 311 Dropbacks, 17 TDs, 4 INTs, 2,193 YDs, 67.8 CMP%, 102.7 RTG
When Blitzed: 92 Dropbacks, 6 TDs, 3 INTs, 546 YDs, 59.8 CMP%, 86.7 RTG
The Buccaneers are going to want to throw all game long and test this defense because that is what they do and that is what Bruce Arians as always done. However, against a secondary that dons perhaps the best cornerback tandem in football and two safeties in John Johnson III and Jordan Fuller, I’m not sure that’s the best idea. The Rams are trending upward and their defense is coming off their best game of the season when they needed it most. Brady will have all his weapons healthy in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scott Miller, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette. It’s a tall task for the Rams but this is the same defense that kept DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and of course, Russell Wilson in check.
Here’s an interesting thing to point out, according to PFF the Buccaneers are 20th in pass-blocking efficiency rating and the Rams are sixth in pass rush. We watched the Rams best game of the year out of the defense come without a sack from star defensive lineman Aaron Donald. It’s hard to imagine that will remain the same as last week but the Rams did show that even without their star producing others were able to contribute.
The big loss for the Rams is obviously on the offensive side of the football due to the injury to Andrew Whitworth. However, Joe Noteboom looked fairly solid in relief for him last game and the Rams do are 2nd in pass-blocking efficiency rating. With that being said, the Buccaneers do have a very potent pass rush that is headlined by last year’s breakout sack artist Shaq Barrett. Tampa’s defense is a significant test for the Rams but this team hasn’t struggled to move the ball against anyone, it’s been a matter of finishing drives in the end zone.
With the Rams offense getting better slowly but surely, their defense firing on all cylinders and the Buccaneers being as reliant as they are on the passing attack. The Rams should be able to win this game close in Tampa Bay. It’s not easy for the Rams who are 2-3 on the road, traveling across the country yet again, however, the Rams should be able to maintain control of the game as they have one of the highest time of possession’s this season.
When it’s all said and done I do expect the Rams to be able to throw and run on this very talented defense but I think they will be well-calculated in their approach. The Buccaneers will pressure Jared Goff and will make him uncomfortable during times in this game but Sean McVay and the Rams will gameplan around that using screens and designed check-downs to make the pressure easier to manage for Goff. The Rams defense will be able to pressure Brady into making mistakes and Aaron Donald should be able to be the catalyst of that whether he’s taking on a quadruple team or punishing Brady himself.
The matchups between both secondaries and both wideouts are interesting but in the end I do think the Rams secondary will hold the Buccaneers receivers in check and force them to take chances. This game could very well end on a Darious Williams interception to seal the game. Regardless, this game for both teams is a must-win as the two eye not just a division title but the number one seed in the NFC for sole possession of home-field advantage and a bye.