The Bucs dropped their first game of the season against the Los Angeles Rams, 34-24. In a game that could have major ramifications when it comes to playoff seeding, Tampa Bay looked undisciplined. Inexcusable penalties, drops and mental mistakes continue to plague this Bucs team. They weren’t able to get home with pressure from the defensive front and gave up too many pressures on Tom Brady, who was sacked three times. The Bucs had no answer for the Rams in the second half, who scored on nearly every possession.
To make matters worse, cornerback Jamel Dean left in the first quarter with a knee injury. He did not return to the game.
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today
Brady crossed the 80,000-yard career threshold in the Bucs’ loss. He finished the game 41-55 for 432 yards passing and one touchdown. The run game was unable to find its’ groove, totaling only 35 yards on the ground, 15 of which came from Brady. Even worse, Tampa Bay’s defense finished with just one sack and no turnovers. Matt Stafford’s 343 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Cooper Kupp, were too much to overcome.
The first quarter of the game was relatively quiet, with both teams punting a combined five times. After a Bucs punt, the Rams finished an 8-minute, 95-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee.
Brady and the Bucs answered right back with an eight-minute drive of their own, capping off a 76-yard march down the field with a Chris Godwin rushing touchdown from the two-yard line. Matt Stafford found a wide-open Cooper Kupp in the end zone on the Rams next possession. L.A. drove 75 yards in just three minutes to take a 14-7 lead just before the half. With 51 seconds left, Brady marched the Bucs into field goal range, but the 55-yard attempt by Ryan Succop was wide right.
The Rams received the ball to open the second half. Stafford wasted no time, hitting ex-Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown. Brady answered right back with a 75-yard drive of his own. Big gains by Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and Cam Brate led to a one-yard touchdown quarterback sneak by Brady.
Stafford then found Jackson on a third down conversion for 40 yards to the 8-yard line. Kupp scored his second touchdown of the game on the next play. The Bucs got the ball back needing to score, but a sack, a penalty and tackle-for-loss forced the Bucs to punt on their next drive. A 15-yard shank by Bradley Pinion set the Rams up at the Bucs 37 to knock in a field goal and extend their lead.
Second-year wide receiver Tyler Johnson came up with two huge receptions on the next drive. But the Bucs couldn’t punch it in from the 8-yard line and had to settle for a field goal. The Rams quickly answered with a field goal of their own to go up 34-17. The Bucs scored with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter. Brady hit Gio Bernard on a 7-yard strike. The score would be too little, too late as the Bucs failed to recover the ensuing onside kick.
J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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