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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Rams 34, Buccaneers 24

The Buccaneers were handed their first loss of the season by the Rams in Los Angeles. 


The Rams won the toss to begin the game and elected to defer, meaning the ball again started in the hands of the Buccaneers' offense. Quarterback Tom Brady and company wouldn't get far as the two teams actually ended up trading three-and-out starting series.

The Bucs would fall just short of their first, first down of the game on their next drive and end up punting from their own 20-yard line.

Los Angeles finally got a first down on their next series but it wouldn't last long thanks to a lot of pressure by the Tampa Bay defense. On third down, quarterback Matthew Stafford attempted to air it out for Robert Woods but thanks to an excellent pass breakup by Ross Cockrell, it went incomplete and the Rams punted again.

The Bucs would get as far as the Rams' 48-yard line before stalling and having to punt yet again. Punter Bradley Pinion took advantage of the good field position to pin the Rams at their own four.

Stafford would get the Rams out of trouble and all the way down the field on the next drive. It would prove fruitful as Stafford hit tight end Tyler Higbee on a six-yard screen that Higbee took into the end zone. It gave the Rams the first lead of the game, 7-0, with 12:22 left in the second quarter.

This time, the Bucs would come up with an answer of their own. It took 15 plays and 76 yards but it ended with a two-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Chris Godwin on the play fake. It tied the game up at seven-all with just over four minutes left in the half.

The bad news was that the Rams were able to answer yet again. This time, it was a two-yard pass to Cooper Kupp in the end zone from Stafford that gave the Rams a 14-7 advantage with 51 seconds left.

A weird sack-fumble forced by Aaron Donald on Tom Brady would derail the Bucs' chances of getting in the end zone on their final drive before halftime. The ball landed in the hands of running back Giovani Bernard but because it was ruled a forward fumble, the Bucs couldn't actually advance the ball. They'd set up kicker Ryan Succop for a 55-yard field goal but he'd miss as the half expired and the Bucs went into the locker room trailing for the first time this season.

The Rams started with the ball in the second half and almost immediately were in the end zone thanks to Stafford airing it out for former Buccaneer wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The 75-yard touchdown pass made it 21-7 less than a minute into the half.

Brady and the Bucs' offense weren't about to let the Rams pull away that easy. On the next drive, they were able to punch it in from the one-yard line thanks to quarterback sneak by Brady. It cut the Rams lead to 21-14 but also cost them tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was injured on the drive after taking a hard hit.

Unfortunately, the Rams would answer yet again. This time, Stafford drove down the field on a seven-play, 75-yard drive that put the Rams up 28-14 halfway through the third quarter.

Next time the Bucs' offense took the field, they wouldn't get anywhere thanks to a penalty and a sack of Brady that gave them another third and long they couldn't overcome. The ensuing punt was only 15 yards and it put the Bucs' defense in a precarious position.

This time, the defense would hold, forcing the Rams to settle for a field goal. It was former Buccaneer kicker Matt Gay that was good from 48 yards and pushed the Rams' lead to 31-14 with just over three minutes left in the third.

Brady and the Bucs' offense came out swinging on the next drive. They'd make it all the way to goal-to-go but three straight incompletions would force them to settle for a field goal. Succop nailed the 26-yarder and made the score 31-17 with 1:14 to go in the third.

Los Angeles would drive all the way down the field before they were stopped at the two-yard line by the Bucs' defense. They settled for a field goal again, making the score 34-17 with just over eight minutes to play in the game.

The Bucs would get it to about midfield before being faced with fourth down and two. Brady would try to get it to Evans again but it would instead fall incomplete and the Rams would take over on downs with 7:10 left to go in the game.

Los Angeles wouldn't get anything out of their next drive behind the Bucs' first sack of the game. Defensive tackle William Gholston dropped Stafford for a loss of 12 and the Rams would punt yet again.

They pinned the Bucs at their own 12 and the Bucs took over with about four minutes left in the game. They'd make their way down the field, even converting a fourth and two this time. Brady was sacked on the next play, backing the Bucs up to second and 16. They'd get the first down and then some, set up with first and goal at the seven. Brady would throw it to Bernard underneath who got into the end zone for the score, though he was shaken up on the play. It gave the Bucs seven more points, making the score 34-24 with 1:10 left in the game.

Tampa Bay would try for the onsides kick but the Rams would recover and take a couple of knees to end the game with a final score of 34-24, handing the Bucs their first loss of the season.

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