Kicker Matt Gay's go-ahead 40-yard field goal with 2:36 left and rookie safety Jordan Fuller's interception 47 seconds later lifted the Rams (7-3) to a 27-24 win Monday Night Football win over the Buccaneers (7-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
The victory moved the Rams into first place in the NFC West and also marked a night of several individual milestones.
Rookies Van Jefferson and Cam Akers each recorded their first NFL touchdown; Jefferson on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Jared Goff midway through the second quarter, Akers on a 4-yard pass from Goff late in the third. Fuller's interceptions were the first two of his NFL career; the first pick set up Akers' score.
Rams wide receiver Robert Woods posted 130 yards on a team-high 12 receptions with one touchdown, while Kupp had a team-high 145 yards on 11 receptions.
Goff, meanwhile, was 39 of 51 for 376 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. His third gave him 103 for his career, moving him past Kurt Warner for fifth on the franchise career passing touchdown list.
Gay made 2 of 3 field goal attempts and all three of his extra point attempts in his Rams debut.
After getting a defensive stop on the opening drive, the Rams' offense – helped by five completions from Goff to Kupp – mounted a near 8-minute scoring drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Woods to take a 7-0 lead with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
The Buccaneers answered on their ensuing offensive drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to wide receiver Mike Evans to tie the game 7-7 early in the second quarter. A 2-yard touchdown run by running back Leonard Fournette midway through the second quarter extended Tampa Bay's lead to 14-7.
With a short-lived second offensive series, the Rams' third went back to what made them successful on their first: A steady dose of Kupp, who connected with Goff three times for 38 yards to help set up a 7-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Jefferson to tie the game 14-14 with 4:31 left in the first half. At this juncture, Kupp already had eight catches for 100 yards.
Taking over after defensive stop with 1:07 remaining in the second quarter, the Rams' offense managed to add points just before halftime. A 35-yard completion from Goff to Woods which brought the Rams to the Bucs 20, then Goff then spiked the ball with two seconds remaining in the first half. This set up a successful 38-yard field goal by Gay as time expired which gave the Rams a 17-14 lead at the half.
Receiving the second-half kickoff, the Rams' opening drive ended on the third play after Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul intercepted Goff's pass intended for running back Darrell Henderson Jr. Although Tampa Bay took over at the Los Angeles 22 after a 15-yard return by Pierre-Paul, L.A.'s defense forced Tampa Bay to settle for a 38-yard field goal by Succop to tie the game 17-17.
The Rams worked downfield to set up a 44-yard field goal attempt by Gay on the ensuing series, but Gay missed it wide right. However, the damage of that miss was mitigated by Fuller intercepting Brady and returning it 37 yards to the Buccaneers 37. The Rams capitalized on the takeaway with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Akers to take a 24-17 lead with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter.
With 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Brady threw an incomplete pass from his own endzone that looked like a fumble. The Rams challenged original ruling, but it was upheld by officials upon further review. However, the incompletion happened on third down, and the Bucs were still forced to punt from their own endzone.
After teams traded punts on three straight possessions, the Bucs threatened a potential game-tying scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter. Forced to go for it on 4th and 1 from the Rams 43, the Bucs were unable to convert after Brady's pass intended for wide receiver Chris Godwin fell incomplete.
However, two plays after taking over on downs, Goff was intercepted by Tampa Bay safety Jordan Whitehead, setting up the Bucs at the Rams 44. The Bucs took advantage of the takeaway on the ensuing series with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Godwin to tie the game 24-24 with 3:53 left.
The Rams responded with an 8-play, 77-yard scoring drive ending with a 40-yard field goal by Gay to take a 27-24 lead with 2:40 left. Forty-three seconds later, Fuller snagged his second interception on a deep Brady pass intended for tight end Cameron Brate.
Though the Rams were forced to punt on the drive following Fuller's second pick, they milked enough clock that punter Johnny Hekker did so with nine seconds remaining to run out the remainder of it and secure the victory.