The Los Angeles Rams (2-0) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) at SoFi Stadium in Week 3, looking to stay undefeated on the season with a victory over the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Ahead of the game, theRams.com examines 3 Keys to Winning for the Rams, powered by The Wallace Firm:
1) Make Tom Brady a spectator
Similar to any elite quarterback in the NFL, the easiest way to prevent Bucs quarterback Tom Brady from making an impact is to keep the ball out of his hands via controlling time of possession and creating takeaways.
Last year, the Rams won 27-24 at Tampa Bay thanks to having the ball for nearly six and a half minutes longer than the Bucs and a pair of timely interceptions from safety Jordan Fuller.
Along those lines, if the game comes down to the wire – or final two minutes – don't leave Brady with a ton of time. He needed only seven plays and 60 seconds to put the Bucs in position to kick the game-winning field goal against the Cowboys in Week 1 after the Cowboys gave the Bucs the ball back with 1:24 remaining.
2) Have sound execution in the passing game
As detailed in another article this week, the Bucs return every starter from last year's top-ranked run defense, so getting the ground game going against them won't be easy. That consequently places a premium on playing as close to mistake-free as possible in the passing game.
The Tampa Bay secondary is an opportunistic one, as seen by the pair of fourth-quarter pick-sixes by safety Mike Edwards last week against Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Factor in that the physical front seven that contributes to the stout run defense also contributes to an aggressive blitzing unit, and not missing any pass protection assignments becomes just as important as Matthew Stafford playing a clean game.
3) Strong communication in the secondary
Between tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – and Antonio Brown, if he's available – among others, Brady has no shortage of reliable targets in the passing game.
The Rams will have to be aware of where they line up at all times, which places an increased emphasis on strong, effective communication among their defensive backs to prevent one of them from making a big play.
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