Buccaneers game day is approaching, and it’s time for the PewterReport.com staff to offer up its weekly game predictions. Let us know what you think in the article comments section and add your prediction, too.

WHEN: Monday, November 2, 2020
KICKOFF: 8:15 p.m. ET
WHERE: Raymond James Stadium
TV: ESPN
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Steve Levy
ANALYSTS: Brian Griese & Louis Riddick
SIDELINE: Lisa Salters
RADIO: 98 ROCK 97.9 FM
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Gene Deckerhoff
ANALYST: Dave Moore
SIDLINE: T.J. Rives
Spanish Radio: 96.1 FM
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Carlos Bohorquez
ANALYST: Martin Gramatica

Join PR’s Matt Matera on PewterReport.com’s Red Board to talk Bucs football for a live game day chat, starting at noon. on Sunday all the way through to the final whistle. Click the link below to access the Game Day Thread on the Red Board.

****PR OFFICIAL GAME DAY THREAD: BUCS VS. RAMS

Scott Reynolds: Bucs Could Get Out-Coached In This One

Sean McVay has done something that Bruce Arians hasn’t, which is to take a team to the Super Bowl as a head coach. Arians has a few Super Bowl rings from his days in Pittsburgh as a wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator, but couldn’t get some talented Arizona teams to the Promised Land. New defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has worked wonders with the talent he inherited and has the defensive line and the secondary playing at a high level. While All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is the star, edge rusher Leonard Floyd is coming off his best game with three sacks, 11 tackles and a fumble recovery against Seattle. Attacking the middle of L.A.’s defense and targeting the Rams’ pedestrian linebackers with wide receiver Chris Godwin and tight end Rob Gronkowski would be wise for Tom Brady and play-caller Byron Leftwich.

Rams WRs Josh Reynolds and Cooper Kupp and TE Gerald Everett
Rams WRs Josh Reynolds and Cooper Kupp and TE Gerald Everett – Photo by: USA Today

McVay’s high-powered offense is putting up a ton of yards this year, but is struggling in the red zone, averaging just 24 points per game, which is middle of the pack this year. The Rams will use three running backs Darrell Henderson, Jr., Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers to give the Bucs defense different looks. Getting to Jared Goff and forcing turnovers is the best way to beat the Rams. Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles needs to bring pressure from the start and not allow Goff to get into a groove. Too often this season Bowles has waited to blitz and play man coverage.

Expect a lot of screen passes to the wide receivers and tight ends with the Rams offensive line getting out on the flanks and blocking down field along with the best group of blocking receivers in the league in Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds and Cooper Kupp, who will present problems for Sean Murphy-Bunting in the slot. I highlighted this match-up in my 4 Match-ups To Watch in this week’s SR’s Fab 5. Check that out in addition to my Rewind-Fast Forward section of the SR’s Fab 5 for more Bucs vs. Rams previews.

Reynolds’ Score Prediction: Rams 27, Buccaneers 24
Reynolds’ Season Record: 7-3

Mark Cook: It’s Time For Bucs To Make A Statement 

We’ve talked about the Buccaneers’ poor showings this season in the national spotlight so far this season, going 1-2 on the prime time stage with the last one being a disaster in a 38-3 loss to the Saints two weeks ago. If I am tired of talking about it, and you are tired of reading about it, imagine how the players feel hearing about it all week. I won’t guarantee a Bucs win, but I think we see a much better performance from the players and the staff this week as they take the field for the iconic Monday Night Football.

Bucs QB Tom Brady and the O-line
Bucs QB Tom Brady and the O-line – Photo by: USA Today

The key to winning this game is the thing that let them down in their three losses – pass protection. If Tom Brady has time to throw he has proven for 20 years there aren’t many teams he can’t beat. The Buccaneers must give Brady time to scan the field and go through his progressions. All the talk is about how great the Rams defense is, and while it does present problems for opposing teams, let’s talk about the talent on the offensive side of the ball for Tampa Bay.

Defensively the Bucs will have to play at their Green Bay level and not their New York Giants level. They need to eliminate the Rams desire to run early, get out to lead and let force the Rams into a one-dimensional team where Jared Goff drops back to pass 40 or more times. If Tampa Bay can do that they can win and get the prime time money off their back. Tampa Bay needs to approach this as a playoff game and this game will give is a much better vision of how far they can go if they reach the postseason.

Cook’s Score Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Rams 23
Cook’s Season Record: 6-4

Jon Ledyard: Rams Schematically Ahead Of Bucs

If you ask me which roster is more talented, I’d choose the Bucs in a heartbeat. But the Rams collection of talent is no joke either, and they also happen to be one of the most well-coached teams in the NFL, with terrific attention to detail. That’ll be tough to overcome for a Bucs team that has been up-and-down this season, and will likely be without Ali Marpet against the Aaron Donald-led Rams defense.

Bucs DC Todd Bowles
Bucs DC Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

If the Bucs are going to win this game, their defense will have to return to the form in which they began the season, destroying opposing quarterbacks with constant pressure and getting far better play from their young secondary. I’ll be surprised if the Bucs offense piles up yards and points against probably the best defense in the NFL, especially given how well Los Angeles is built to match-up against what the Bucs do best (inside run game and vertical passing). If Bruce Arians doesn’t adjust some of his typical strategic tendencies, the Bucs defense will need to step up against a Rams offense that has moved the ball well this season, but ranks only 18th in scoring.

It’s not that the Bucs can’t win this game, but their most likely path to victory – pressuring Jared Goff into sacks and turnovers – won’t be easy against a Rams offense designed to protect their starting quarterback’s biggest flaws. If Tampa Bay wins, Todd Bowles will probably deserve the game ball, I just haven’t seen enough from the Bucs defense in recent weeks to make that bet.

Ledyard’s Score Prediction: Rams 27, Bucs 20
Ledyard’s Season Record: 9-1

Matt Matera: Bucs Pick It Up In Prime Time

The prime time games have not been so great for the Bucs this season as they’ve struggled each time they were playing in front of a national audience. Much like how they wanted to get a bad taste out of their mouth last week, it’s a similar ideology on Monday night as the Bucs want to show they can come up big on this kind of stage. They come out with a chip on their shoulder.

Even after scoring 46 points last week, the Bucs’ offense didn’t look as sharp as they can be. They face one of their biggest tests this time around, and should be happy they got three of the best receivers in football. Rams corner Jalen Ramsey can only guard one receiver on each play, so if he’s on Mike Evans, it’ll give Antonio Brown or Chris Godwin some great opportunities. One of them is going to have a big game.

Bucs WR Antonio Brown
Bucs WR Antonio Brown – Photo by: USA Today

Tampa Bay’s defense has fallen into a pattern where they start off slow in the first half, but then clamp things down in the second. Last week’s game in Carolina is a great example, where they allowed just six points after halftime. They need to play a full four quarters, and hopefully stay away from the soft zone coverage. If the Bucs get pressure home, it’ll be a long day for the Rams offense, and the Bucs can gain an important conference win in the NFC to help their position on the playoff standings.

Matera’s Score Prediction: Bucs 30, Rams 20
Matera’s Season Record: 7-3

Taylor Jenkins: Bucs Finally Put It Together In Prime Time

As the Bucs behind the Saints in the division, with New Orleans also holding the tie breaker following two decisive head-to-head wins, every game from here on out becomes a playoff game for Tampa Bay.

Bucs QB Tom Brady
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today

After a shootout last season in Los Angeles that resulted in a 55-40 victory for the Bucs, I see the game going much different this year. I don’t exactly think it will be a 13-10 slugfest, but the end result will come down to which team can get a crucial turnover and stifle the opposing offense enough to sway momentum in their favor. Under new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, the Rams have forced 13 total turnovers and are allowing just 18.7 points per game this year, a mark good for second-best in the league. On the other side of the ball, the Rams have a diverse backfield in Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson that are all capable of running and catching the ball out of the backfield. Head coach Sean McVay’s offense also utilizes play action frequently, allowing quarterback Jared Goff manipulate defenders and find one of his talented skill players in Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp or heavily-utilized tight ends in Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. The Rams’ scoring offense sits near the middle of the league at 24 points per game.

The Bucs have one of the most talented rosters in the league and it’s clear just how good they can be when they are at their best. Despite struggling in each of their prime time match-ups so far this season, I think they finally break through and find a way to put it all together on Monday night.

Jenkins’ Score Prediction: Bucs 27, Rams 24
Jenkins’ Season Record: 7-3

 

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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: sr@pewterreport.com
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Ja'crispy

I think the Bucs learned from their embarrassing loss to the Saints. They come out and prove they are a contender. I predict an 11 point victory. Bucs win 31-20.

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BigSombrero

BA, Leftwich, and Bowles beat Mcvay’s Rams last year on the road in front of actual fans in a shoot out where both defenses scored.

That was then, this is now.

Bucs 28
Rams 42

Sombrero 8-2
Sombrero against the spread 7-3

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Last edited 3 days ago by BigSombrero
RW

If Goff gives up four TO’s like last year the Bucs will win.

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BigSombrero

If my uncle had a vagina, he’d be my aunt.

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Dave

Well thank god for Bucs fans that “that was then, and this is now”. Because that was the lone bright spot in another TO filled, embarrassing season for HOF’er Jameis Winston. Give me possibly 11 wins and a playoff spot, over 7 wins, 30 picks, 7 pick sixes, and Jameis looking great for 1 whole week against a team that also didn’t make the playoffs I’m not going to guarantee the Bucs will win, but one thing I’ll 100% guarantee, is the Rams are NOT scoring 42 points lol. I’ll bet any amount of money you want on that. You… Read more »

Last edited 1 day ago by Dave
BigSombrero

I expected a shoot out. I got a weak one. Bucs got two turnovers to keep it closer than I thought they would.

Rams were 4.5 point underdogs that outright won and the Over hit, so, be glad you didn’t lose money betting on the Bucs.

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fl0nase

42 points from the screen pass team?

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BigSombrero

I’m now 9-2 and 8-3 ATS. How bout them apples?

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fredster

Bucs run the ball and play the run well on D. Bucs win 30-20

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Rating: +4. From 8 votes.
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Last edited 3 days ago by fredster
Pete Wood

For the life of me, I do not understand why everybody is so damned afraid of this Rams team. They have an easy schedule and have beaten one team with a winning record. They have a worse record than us. We beat them last year. We’re playing at home for God’s sake.
It’s time that we stopped being such fraidy cats and started thinking like champions.
We got this.
Bucs win. Bucs win big.

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scubog

You’re right about that Pete. We’ve all been conditioned over the years for some of us Bucs fans to want to protect our fragile psyches by reducing our expectations. When they predict the loss, they shield themselves from the disappointment by getting the chance to repeat the words they love to utter to fellow Bucs fans, “I told you so”. Me? I’ve witnessed every game in Bucs history. Most I knew in my brain that the Bucs were unlikely to win, but in my heart, I always believed there was a chance at an unexpected victory. Seems folks have declared… Read more »

BigSombrero

How is the other #99 gonna stop this offense? By getting pressure up the gut.

How can the Bucs win? Getting it to Godwin, Brown, Fournette, and RoJo early and often. Evans and Miller are unlikely to have much impact.

The Bucs defense will play zone again, nearly guaranteed. It will be the top gripe on Tuesday.

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Dave

And how do you negate a good pass rush…get the run going. The Rams, since the day Aaron Donald got drafted, have either been a putrid or league average at best run defense. Every single season. No different this year. 12th worst in rushing yards allowed, 14th worst in YPC, and tied for 5th worst in rushing TD’s allowed. New season, same story. Donald may be an elite pass rusher, but in his entire career, he’s not improved this run defense a single ounce. The blueprint has been out on this defense for 5 years now. Hasn’t changed. Time to… Read more »

BigSombrero

Turn your resume in to the Bucs. I think you’ve got the goods kid.

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fredster

I hear ya but the Saints games and Bears (another team with better record then they are imo) games showed if you get to Brady it’s over. Not Brady’s fault he’s not mobile and Arians game plan of bombing it deep even when teams are just pinning ears back is not very smart imo. So reason Rams worry me more than say panthers is the Rams D line. I think if we run ball and keep close we can negate the pass rush and take over second half. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating+10 Rating: +1. From 1 vote. Please… Read more »

RW

Watch for Brady to throw a lot of quick passes to negate the Rams pass rush. Godwin and Brown will end up with at least 15 catches, 200 yards and 2 TDs collectively. Overall Bucs O will rack up 400 yds total offense. Rams will move the ball but make enough mistakes to have Bucs win 31-24.

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Rating: +9. From 11 votes.
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seat26

Bucs get beat. It hopefully will be close. But injuries are starting to sting

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Naplesfan

The Bucs are very good, and the Rams are OK but their 6-3 record benefited greatly from the NFC West drawing the historically bad NFC East this year, so beating up on those teams says little about how good the Rams really are. There seems to be a consistent thread, expressed by SR, that the Bucs coaches simply don’t have it in them to out coach McVey. But McVey did not do all that much with a more talented team last year than did the Bucs, finishing only 9-7 including a big blow-out loss at home to the Bucs. So… Read more »

PatrioticChief

I see this primarily as a coaching matchup, which doesn’t bode particularly great for the Bucs. Still, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they find a way to get the W, mostly because I’m an optimistic. I also think if the Bucs can’t change their offense to matchup against the Rams then they probably won’t ever adjust and I don’t want to believe that.

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twspin

Agree with Mark here. You wanna make a statement to the NFL? Here it is Bucs fans. LA is a young upstart team with a great young coach and a hella defense on the upswing. This will be a great game. Bucs 28 RAMS 24

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Dave

Young upstart team? It’s essentially the exact same team that went to the SB 2 years ago, and nearly got shut out. Then went out the next year and missed the playoffs. This is the same Rams we’ve seen the past 3 years. Except a lot less explosive on offense. And yeah their pass rush is good, as is their pass defense. But their run D is below league average, as it is every single year

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Last edited 1 day ago by Dave
EastEndBoy

I do agree with you guys – amazing how this game is seemingly stacking up to be a game of Coordinators. The players almost seem irrelevant – or rather, they will perform as good as their Coordinators allow them to. MCvay vs Bowles looks to be a good matchup….I’m more worried about Staley vs Leftwich: there’s two fairly obscure names and the guy on our side hasn’t been stellar – no idea how the guy on their side will perform.

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JC

As long as the coaches learned their lesson and they get the ball out of Brady’s hands quickly and don’t play defense on a receivers 15 yards off the ball they have a shot.

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