Rams K Greg Zuerlein's 38-yard field goal with 0:42 remaining proved to be the winning score as the Bucs fell to 0-2 on the season.
Rookie K Patrick Murray's 36-yard field goal gave the Bucs a 17-16 lead with six minutes left in regulation. RB Bobby Rainey, starting in place of an injured Doug Martin, set the field goal up with a 31-yard run as part of his impressive 144-yard outing.
The Bucs took a 14-10 lead in the third quarter on QB Josh McCown's second touchdown run of the game, a one-yard rollout that completed a 60-yard drive following S Dashon Goldson's recovery of a Zac Stacy fumble. That play was a designed bootleg; McCown had scored the game's first points on a third-down, five-yard scramble in the first quarter.
Only the second two-rushing-TD game by a quarterback in Buccaneer history, this one was accompanied by some sharp passing from McCown, as well. In his second start for Tampa Bay, McCown completed 16 of 21 passes for 179 yards and one interception.
Several big plays on special teams kept the Rams close. T.J. McDonald's block of Michael Koenen's second-quarter punt set up a 36-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein that gave the Rams a 10-7 lead at halftime. On the first play of the fourth quarter, E.J. Gaines blocked Murray's first career field goal try, denying the Bucs a chance to build on their one-point lead. The Rams took the ensuing possession 49 yards to set up Zuerlein's third field goal, a 45-yarder that put the visitors up by two with nine minutes to play.