It was a Wild West shootout the last time the Bucs played the Rams in Los Angeles. In Bruce Arians’ first year as head coach Tampa Bay prevailed 55-40. The Bucs survived 517 yards passing and two touchdowns from Jared Goff, who threw the ball 68 times against a young and inexperienced secondary.
L.A. avenged that loss last year in Tampa Bay, beating the Bucs, 27-24, on Monday Night Football.
Now it’s the Bucs’ turn for revenge. At least that’s the approach Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans is taking heading into this week’s rematch with the Rams in the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
“Sure,” Evans said. “Why not? I mean they’re a good team. They’re in the NFC. We’re in the NFC. We might have to meet them down the road again. We definitely want that win, though.”
Both teams are 2-0 heading into Sunday’s game with the Rams coming off a 27-24 win over the Colts last week. The Bucs beat the Falcons, 48-25, and started the season undefeated at home. Now Tampa Bay hits the road for the first time against one of the teams that is mentioned as a possible Super Bowl contender in the NFC.
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“I mean we played them close last year and they beat us,” Evans said. “I actually wanted to play them in the playoffs just to avenge that loss as well. But, we get to go to L.A. The stadium looks really nice. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new stadium is like and hopefully we can come out of there with a W.”
The Rams traded Goff to the Lions in the offseason in exchange for a more experienced quarterback in Matthew Stafford. In his first two games in L.A., Stafford has passed for 599 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.
Meanwhile, Evans scored his first two touchdowns of the season for the Bucs last week, and has eight catches for 99 yards in two games. Evans had five catches for 49 yards and a touchdown in last year’s game against the Rams, and seven receptions for 89 yards and a TD in L.A. in 2019.
Tampa Bay has the league’s highest-scoring offense, averaging 39.5 points per game. But the Bucs don’t believe they have played a full 60 minutes of focused football yet.
“We’re trying to do something special as an offense this year,” Evans said. “We did pretty [well Sunday] making plays. Obviously, there is still more out there.
“I mean we’ve got to stay engaged. I mean, third-and-1 we didn’t get one time. Fourth-and-1 we didn’t get it. Times like that as an offense we want to be out there. We want to get those first downs and make those plays. We’ve just got to be locked in and engaged at all times if we want to get where we want to go.”
The Bucs are going to L.A. on Sunday with revenge on their mind – and a 3-0 start.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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