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First Look: Rams head to Tampa Bay for Monday Night Football clash with Buccaneers

The Los Angeles Rams (6-3) are back in primetime this week with a Monday Night Football road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3). Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. pacific time – watch locally on ABC7, also available on ESPN.

In advance of the contest, here is your first look at Rams-Buccaneers on Nov. 23, including notable Buccaneers additions, some of Tampa Bay's top statistical performers in Week 10 and key storylines:

Notable Buccaneers additions

  • Signed former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to a two-year deal in late March. His resume and success well-documented by now, the 43-year-old Brady has completed 254 of 385 pass attempts (66 percent) for 2,739 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions through the first 10 games of his 21st NFL season. He joined Tampa Bay after 20 seasons in New England.
  • Signed former Steelers, Raiders and Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown to a one-year deal on Oct. 27. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro during his nine seasons with the Steelers, Brown joined the Bucs as he was finishing up an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Since regaining eligibility in Week 9, he has recorded 10 receptions for 100 yards in two games.

Top performers in Week 10

Brady completed 28 of 39 pass attempts for 341 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Bucs' 46-23 win over the Panthers, also adding a 1-yard rushing touchdown to his stat line.

RB Ronald Jones carried Tampa Bay's backfield with 23 carries for 192 yards and one touchdown, the touchdown run going for 98 yards.

WR Chris Godwin and WR Mike Evans each posted six catches; Godwin had a team-high 92 receiving yards while Evans tallied 77 and one touchdown. Brown had the most catches with seven, adding 69 receiving yards. TEs Rob Gronkowski (2 for 51) and Cameron Brate (3 for 31) accounted for Brady's other two passing scores.

OLB Jason Pierre-Paul posted one sack and one interception defensively, while LBs Lavonte David and Devin White led the unit with six tackles a piece.

On special teams, K Ryan Succop made all four of his field goal attempts and all four of his extra point attempts.

Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams

Perhaps the most fascinating matchup Monday night will be the Buccaneers' wide receivers vs. the Rams' defensive backs.

Defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has shown defensive backs are interchangeable parts in Los Angeles' secondary, not bound to one specific spot. Sometimes viewers and observers have seen Jalen Ramsey playing star (the hybrid nickel defensive back position) with Troy Hill and Darious Williams playing the boundary cornerback spots. Other times, it's been Hill at star and Ramsey and Williams on the outside. Those two examples are not an exhaustive list of every combination, just a couple to illustrate the point.

With that in mind, how will Staley choose to deploy them?

Ramsey's size and length might make him the best option for defending Evans, who has been a favorite redzone target of Brady's. Hill could potentially shadow Godwin, which would leave Williams on Brown.

Also impacting that strategy is the fact that the Bucs are deep at the position. When Godwin was injured and Brown still suspended, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson and Justin Watson proved to be trustworthy options for Brady.

Similar to those aforementioned combinations, there's no clear answer to the above question. But how the Rams plan to defend those Bucs' main trio receivers – and potential four-wide receiver sets with one of those reserves – will certainly be on Staley's mind as he puts together this week's gameplan.

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