The Rams continue postseason play traveling to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in the Divisional Round, in the third-ever playoff meeting between the two teams. Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. is scheduled for 12 p.m. pacific time on NBC, Peacock and Universo.
Ahead of the game, theRams.com examines 3 Keys to Winning for the Rams, powered by The Wallace Firm:
1) Make Buccaneers QB Tom Brady uncomfortable
Brady led the NFL with 43 touchdown passes this season against 12 interceptions, so doing that is easier said than done.
The Rams had three sacks and eight QB hits against Brady in Week 3, and while he threw for 432 yards, he had only one passing touchdown and averaged only 7.9 yards per pass attempt on 55 attempts.
Even more pressure will be needed in the playoffs.
2) Limit Buccaneers WR Mike Evans and TE Rob Gronkowski
With Chris Godwin – healthy in Week 3, but out since late December with a season-ending torn ACL – and Antonio Brown gone, the Bucs' aerial attack has been counting on Evans and Gronkowski more to come up with big plays in the passing game.
Both answered the call in the Wild Card round, as Evans posted a team-high nine catches for 117 yards and one touchdown, while Gronkowski added five catches for 31 yards and one touchdown – each on the receiving end of Brady's two passing touchdowns.
How the Rams deploy versatile defensive back Jalen Ramsey against both players in coverage will be fascinating to watch, and play a pivotal role in the outcome of Sunday's game.
3) Protect QB Matthew Stafford
Besides having a physical front, the Todd Bowles-led Buccaneers defense is also known for its aggressive playcalling in terms of the blitzes and pressures Bowles dials up.
For the Rams to leave Tampa with a victory and advance to the NFC Championship, they'll need to keep the pocket clean for Matthew Stafford and ensure that pressure doesn't disrupt the timing and rhythm of their passing game.
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