TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – This week, the Buccaneers have an opportunity to snap two losing streaks— one for this season, and one against the Rams.
Los Angeles has won the last three meetings with Tampa Bay and the Bucs have dropped their last three games this season.
On top of that, you have the added layer that the Rams ended the Bucs’ hopes of winning back-to-back Super Bowls. They came into Raymond James Stadium in the divisional round of the playoffs in January, and after the Bucs erased a 24-point second-half deficit, the Rams kicked a walk-off field goal to end Tampa Bay’s season 30-27. It was a game that players haven’t forgotten.
“It was more just the emotional rollercoaster part of the game knowing that we had our lows, our high and our lows,” said Bucs cornerback Jamel Dean. “I remember the huge comeback we made to show that this is how we can play when we actually fight for one another. Then of course the last series when it was just the end of the season for us.”
“It may bring up some memories seeing them in the stadium again,” said Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis III. “So we definitely have a chip on our shoulder. Right now, we’re just trying to get a win – stack the wins.”
With the Bucs coming into this game on a three-game losing streak, their emphasis as a team has been focusing on the fundamentials, in hopes of executing better on game day.
“As the season goes on you just tend to like, lose it,” Dean said. “You’re just so stuck on game planning that you just lose track of the basics.”
“I think you always need it,” said Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles. “It’s part of the reset process. Sometimes you get away from it as the season goes. Some of the things on film show the fundamentals were missing in certain guys – whether it was a missed tackle or filling the alley the right way so we got back to some fundamentals.”
“Especially the young guys,” said Bucs running back Rachaad White. “You kind of don’t realize that until you come in and you start seeing how games are won and then how they’re lost. It is what coach is talking about.”
In taking a closer look at this Bucs versus Rams series in recent years, the last three meetings the Rams won have been decided by an average of 5.3 points. The point differentials have been 3, 10 and 3.
“It feels like a rivalry game between us because every time we play against them, it’s always a close game,” Dean said. “That’s pretty much the scenario going into this week. We know what type of game it’s going to be.”
The Bucs’ last win over the Rams came in the 2019 season when they won in L.A. 55-40, which also means Tom Brady has yet to beat the Rams during his stint in Tampa.