TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After winning their first two games on their home turf, the Bucs have their first road test of the young season on Sunday when they play the Los Angeles Rams. It’ll be a match-up of two 2-0 teams who are both expected to be Super Bowl contenders this season.
“Every game is important,” said Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski. “That’s a fact. But there are games that definitely feel more important, even though each is just a single game. There are games that feel more important, and I would say this is one of those games. You kind of have that bitter taste. They came in here and beat us in the last couple minutes on a game-winning field goal. They’ve got a very solid team. They’re 2-0, so there is a lot more hype. Sometimes you go into a game and there’s just no hype to the game. And then there is games where there is a lot of hype and this is one of those games that’s going to be a lot of hype, even though from a game with no hype to a game with hype, it’s still one game. That’s the difference – it kind of gets the jitters going with games like this. It’s going to be a good one.”
“This week is really challenging because they’ve got good players in the secondary,” said Bucs quarterback Tom Brady. “They have a good front and we lost to them last year. They’re one of the top-rated defenses in the league. They have one of the greatest defensive players of all time. Everything about this week is challenging – really good defense, really good offense, we’ve got a long way to travel. It’s a big game for both of us.”
SoFi Stadium just opened for the 2020 season, so many players have yet to play there. But it’s safe to say that most veteran players have played in Los Angeles before. That’s not the case for Tom Brady, who’s never played a game in L.A. in his 22-year NFL career. He does however have several ties to the area.
“I have a lot of family from there,” Brady said. “My sister lives down there and my niece goes to school at UCLA, so I have a lot of family and friends coming to this game. It’s pretty cool. I’ve never played in L.A. It’s the first time I’ve ever played there. It’s pretty amazing to have never had the opportunity in all of my years of sports to kind of be on the field there, but I’ve done a lot of practice out there and done a lot of workouts out there. And I obviously know a lot of people there, so it should be a great atmosphere. I’ve heard great things about the stadium.”
SoFi Stadium, which is home to both the Rams and the Chargers, seats 70,000 fans and is going to be at full capacity. Playing on the road in front of this many fans is something the Bucs haven’t done since the 2019 season. That said, they know it will be loud, but shouldn’t affect their execution.
“We do crowd noise all the time, so it’s all on the offense,” said Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians. “We’re very, very capable of handling the noise so that won’t be an issue whatsoever.”
“We’ve all got to be on the same page and communication is a real premium,” Brady said about their offensive adjustments to a loud crowd. “You’ve got to be able to communicate between all 11 players and a lot of it is non-verbal communication. There is a lot to everyone kind of being on the same page, but communication is key.”
The kick-off between the Bucs and the Rams is 4:25 p.m. ET.