Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: ‘Wounded giants’ meet in must-win matchup after early-season struggles | NFL Information

Matthew Stafford's Los Angeles Rams and Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Sunday, live on Sky Sports

Matthew Stafford’s Los Angeles Rams and Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Sunday, stay on Sky Sports activities

Historical past shall be made within the NFL on Sunday – however not the great variety – because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the defending Tremendous Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams have misplaced three of their final 4 to take a seat 3-4 on the season, whereas the Bucs’ plight is much more dire at 3-5 after 5 defeats in six. It is the primary time in NFL historical past that the 2 most up-to-date Tremendous Bowl champions will meet whereas proudly owning dropping information.

So the place has all of it gone mistaken?

Tampa Bay’s points are well-documented. A sure Tom Brady at quarterback opted to lastly name time on his seven-time Tremendous Bowl-winning profession within the offseason, solely to drag a dramatic U-turn a mere 40 days later.

A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense so far this season

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A take a look at a few of the largest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense thus far this season

A take a look at a few of the largest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense thus far this season

Brady at risk of bowing out by way of the again door

There have been issues over simply how ‘all in’ Brady has been, or may be, on the age of 45, whereas the high-profile break down in his marriage to Gisele Bundchen hasn’t helped issues.

His play on the sphere has been okay – Brady is, slightly surprisingly, second within the NFL in passing yards (2,267) thus far this season, beneath solely Joe Burrow and above Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes – however he hasn’t had a lot assist from the Buccaneers run sport, his offensive line, nor their protection as an entire.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 season

Week Opponent End result
One @ Dallas Cowboys W 19-3
Two @ New Orleans Saints W 20-10
Three vs Inexperienced Bay Packers L 12-14
4 vs Kansas Metropolis Chiefs L 31-41
5 vs Atlanta Falcons W 21-15
Six @ Pittsburgh Steelers L 18-20
Seven @ Carolina Panthers L 3-21
Eight vs Baltimore Ravens L 22-27

Brady’s choice to return for one more 12 months was born out of an insatiable urge for food to not solely compete, however to win.

An agonising 30-27 loss within the divisional spherical of final 12 months’s playoffs to the very crew they’re to face on Sunday – Brady having rallied the Bucs from a 27-3 deficit within the third quarter to tie the sport late on – after which having to observe because the Rams went on to raise his Vince Lombardi Trophy was sufficient to persuade him for ‘one final dance’.

A look back to the highlights of last season's epic game between the Los Angeles Rams' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the playoffs

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A glance again to the highlights of final season’s epic sport between the Los Angeles Rams’ and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers within the divisional spherical of the playoffs

A glance again to the highlights of final season’s epic sport between the Los Angeles Rams’ and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers within the divisional spherical of the playoffs

However, not like Michael Jordan’s final run to a championship with the good Chicago Bulls dynasty of the Nineties as he bowed out from basketball (we’ll selected to neglect his latter stint with the Washington Wizards), Brady is at risk of claiming goodbye to the sport with a depressing farewell tour of meaningless dead-rubber matches together with his crew already out of the playoffs.

“It is exhausting to observe,” Sky Sports activities’ Neil Reynolds wrote in his weekly column. “Brady might have walked away after profitable the Tremendous Bowl on the finish of the 2020 season, or on the finish of final 12 months, ending because the NFL’s chief in passing yards and touchdowns.

Tom Brady won his record seventh Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2020 NFL season

Tom Brady gained his report seventh Tremendous Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2020 NFL season

“I’ve been doing a variety of work making ready for the Bucs-Seattle Seahawks sport in Germany [next Sunday] – I will be there for Sky Sports activities – and I am curious to see whether or not Brady will actually be there.”

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms stated comparable on NBC’s Professional Soccer Discuss (Sky Sports activities NFL, weekdays, 6pm): “I believe most of soccer thinks Tom Brady regrets that he’s taking part in soccer proper now.”

Brady has harassed his dedication nonetheless to the crew and recommended he would not stroll away, however time is operating out if he’s to keep away from the very actual chance of this crew not making the playoffs and him exiting the league he has served so properly by way of the again door.

After losing their last three games, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady admits they need to improve soon if they're to turn their season around

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After dropping their final three video games, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady admits they should enhance quickly in the event that they’re to show their season round

After dropping their final three video games, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady admits they should enhance quickly in the event that they’re to show their season round

The Buccaneers are literally just one sport out of first place of their division, with the Atlanta Falcons (4-4) – who Brady and the Bucs beat earlier within the season – presently main the best way within the NFC South, however Tampa are within the midst of a three-game dropping run. Brady has solely as soon as earlier than misplaced 4 in a row in his whole NFL profession manner again when in 2002.

Professional Soccer Discuss presenter Mike Florio stated this week: “The Buccaneers want this win. Despite the fact that they’re in that dangerous division, falling to 3-6 there is a level the place it is exhausting to maintain the blokes believing.

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“I do know it is useful to have Tom Brady. He’ll by no means surrender on something, regardless of how darkish it’ll get – he’ll discover a glimmer of sunshine they will seize upon.

“However, sooner or later, you simply need to win a sport. And it does not get any simpler after this one – they have to pack up the operation, head to Germany and play a Seahawks crew who’re a hell of so much higher than anybody anticipated them to be.”

Brady himself is as decided as ever. “It is powerful getting up right here each week determining how you can not be overly upset in what we’re doing, however we’re combating exhausting and we will attempt to make it higher,” he stated.

“Now we have a variety of soccer left and we have to do a greater job.”

Predictable Rams getting near ‘must-win’ territory

Additionally desperately scrapping away to remain related this season are the Rams, having thus far endured a bleak defence of their Tremendous Bowl win from a 12 months in the past.

The Rams’ decline has maybe not been as violent because the Buccaneers’, struggling not more than two losses in a row at any stage this season, but it surely has been simply as stunning. This was the expensively assembled squad of superstars that helped make the ‘F them picks’ method to the draft and team-building catch hearth across the league. The Rams had been seen as the mannequin to construct a winner.

Watch all of the highlights from the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams in Week Eight of the 2022 NFL season

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Watch the entire highlights from the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams in Week Eight of the 2022 NFL season

Watch the entire highlights from the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams in Week Eight of the 2022 NFL season

However, a 12 months on, they’re in simply as a lot hassle as Tampa Bay, possibly much more, with the energy of their division, the NFC West, far superior to the South. The Seahawks (5-3) presently prepared the ground, however there’s additionally their fearsome foes, the San Francisco 49ers (4-4) – who beat them final week and twice already this season – to fret about.

Los Angeles Rams 2022 season

Week Opponent End result
One vs Buffalo Payments L 10-31
Two vs Atlanta Falcons W 31-27
Three @ Arizona Cardinals W 20-12
4 @ San Francisco 49ers L 9-24
5 vs Dallas Cowboys L 10-22
Six vs Carolina Panthers W 24-10
Seven Bye Week
Eight vs San Francisco 49ers L 14-31

A wild card berth is maybe L.A.’s most certainly avenue into the postseason, however the success of the NFC East, and each the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants sitting 6-2 behind the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles (8-0) complicates issues.

It might probably go away the likes of the Rams, the 49ers, the Inexperienced Bay Packers (3-5) and possibly even the Buccaneers, had been they to fail to say their division, combating over one solitary remaining wild card berth.

Simms added on Professional Soccer Discuss: “I do not know if both crew [Rams or Buccaneers] is finished. However it’s getting near that.

“But when you are going to make me decide one which is extra determined, I’ll decide the Rams, as a result of they’ve fewer avenues to get into the playoffs.

“Because it sits proper now, the Rams have gotten to be terrified of the NFC East, and if the Giants dangle round, and the truth that Seattle proceed to play properly. Plus, everyone knows what the 49ers are able to of their division.

“This can be a huge sport, definitely.”

Three-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald is still a game-wrecker on defense for the Los Angeles Rams

Three-time defensive participant of the 12 months Aaron Donald remains to be a game-wrecker on protection for the Los Angeles Rams

The defending champs can a minimum of nonetheless depend on a fearsome protection for Sunday’s crunch conflict. The unit, anchored by three-time defensive participant of the 12 months Aaron Donald, ranks fifth total within the NFL in yards allowed per sport (310.9). The issues lie on offense.

The tables fairly actually activate the alternative aspect of the ball, with quarterback Matthew Stafford’s offense fifth from backside in scoring (16.9 factors per sport).

The 34-year-old Stafford has been banged up with an elbow harm on his throwing arm all season, having had a non-surgical process through the offseason to attempt to ease the ache. However he nonetheless appears to be like bothered by the problems, throwing thrown eight interceptions – tied for second-most within the league – to solely seven touchdowns.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport discusses the elbow injury that has been troubling Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford

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NFL Community insider Ian Rapoport discusses the elbow harm that has been troubling Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford

NFL Community insider Ian Rapoport discusses the elbow harm that has been troubling Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford

Not serving to Stafford, not serving to Brady’s plight this 12 months has been the whole lack of a run sport. Tampa Bay sit all-time low within the NFL with a paltry 61.9 yards per sport and Los Angeles aren’t significantly better in thirty first with 68.4.

Stafford too has had his personal safety points sitting behind a much-changed offensive line, with the lack of four-time Professional Bowler Andrew Whitworth to retirement most clearly felt. Stafford has been sacked 24 occasions already, tied for fourth-most within the league.

Additionally, the offense has change into a bit predictable, with their ‘throw it to Cooper Kupp’ ploy starting to catch on with defenses, particularly with minimal different offensive weapons for them to fret about.

Following on from his extraordinary 1,947-yard and 16-TD 12 months in 2021, Kupp has 35 per cent of all of the Rams’ receptions this season, 38.6 per cent of the receiving yards and a staggering 71.4 of their receiving TDs (5, with the remainder of the crew mixed tallying solely two). Opposition groups know that in the event that they cease Kupp, they basically cease the Rams.

Cooper Kupp scored his longest career touchdown with this stunning 75-yard effort against the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the season

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Cooper Kupp scored his longest profession landing with this beautiful 75-yard effort in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys earlier within the season

Cooper Kupp scored his longest profession landing with this beautiful 75-yard effort in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys earlier within the season

And never serving to L.A. is the truth that Kupp is now nursing a slight ankle harm after a clumsy deal with in final week’s defeat to the 49ers. He’s match sufficient to go on Sunday, however it’s symptomatic of the issues which have plagued each the Rams and the Bucs all season.

“Right here we’re with two wounded giants this season,” Reynolds stated of this Sunday’s sport stay on Sky Sports activities.

“I do not need to say it is ‘should win’ as a result of the groups of their respective divisions additionally aren’t operating away with issues – there’s loads of time nonetheless to show it round, however they have to quickly!”

Issues will look so much rosier for the winner come Sunday night, however there may be just one. For the opposite, the gloom presently enveloping these NFL juggernauts will solely deepen. It units up for a very fascinating contest.

Watch Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sky Sports activities NFL as a part of the Sunday evening triple-header of stay motion which will get beneath manner from 5pm; kick-off in Tampa is at 9.25pm