The good news about the Los Angeles Rams’ 55-40 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Sunday is that is behind them. It’s in the past. The future for the coach Sean McVay and his Rams is the Seattle Seahawks, the hated NFC West Division rival they will face this Thursday.
“Yeah, I think it’s a blessing because that’s the only thing that we can really control is that we play again on Thursday,” McVay said. “We’re going to find a way to look at ourselves and see if we can play better. We get an opportunity on Thursday and I think that’s a blessing for us.”
From both an offensive standpoint and defensive makeover, it was not an entirely good look for the entire team. Of the 55 points that Tampa Bay scored, 48 of those points were surrendered by the Rams defense, burned continually by Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, who completed 28 of 41 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns.
“I think it’s really a wake-up call for everybody. Ultimately, it’s about finding a way to win football games,” McVay said. “We didn’t do that today, we make no excuses for it and we relish the opportunity to move forward the right way.”
Winston’s lone mistake in the game nearly overshadowed his outstanding performance against the Rams. Deep in Tampa Bay territory in the middle of the fourth quarter with the Buccaneers nursing a 11-point lead at the time, Winston floated a pass near the sideline that Marcus Peters picked off and took it to the house for a 32-yard Rams touchdown. With the extra kick, Tampa Bay just its lead cut to 45-40 with 8: 11 remaining in the game.
However, Winston would redeem himself by engineering a time-consuming drive and lead Tampa Bay to a field goal opportunity to make it a 48-40 ballgame. Ndamukong Suh’s 37-yard fumble return against his former team clinched the road win for Tampa Bay.
“We finished,” Winston said. “The defense played great again. We created some turnovers in the first half and we answered. When they gave us good field position, we got the ball in the endzone. We did better on third down and scored touchdowns in the red zone. To God be the glory, we finished.”
Finishing is not something the Rams offense was able to do. After putting themselves in a hole, thanks to three first half interceptions by quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams offense finally got untracked and nearly overtook Tampa Bay. Goff had a big hand in that, passing for 517 yards and two touchdowns. The problem is that Goff put up those numbers on 68 pass attempts. And it was his fourth turnover of the day (Suh’s fumble return) that finally did in the Rams.
“They did a great job defensively applying that pressure and keeping it on all day – they did a good job,” Goff said. “We’ve got to be better regardless, but they did do a good job bringing pressure.”
Dennis is editor and publisher of News4usonline. A news and sports reporter, Dennis has written about civil rights, education, government, crime, and social justice. Dennis covers the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and NCAA. He is a graduate of Howard University. HU!!