Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TJ's Take: Keys to Beat Rams

Bucs sideline reporter and Buccaneers.com contributor TJ Rives provides his three keys to a Bucs win against the Rams this Sunday.

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With injuries effecting the DE position, a lot will fall on the shoulders of DT Gerald McCoy

Questions to Be Answered on Defensive Line
First and foremost: Who is healthy and can contribute this game? With Adrian Clayborn going on IR this week and Michael Johnson out with an injured ankle, there is increasing pressure on others to step up. Is this the week where William Gholston and Daquan Bowers make their regular season debuts? How much can they contribute as defensive ends? As I wrote in this space last week in the aftermath of the loss to the Panthers, this defense must get pressure with the front four to be successful. Stay tuned.Run the Ball Effectively Early
Something that never got established against the Panthers is a ground attack. The Rams defense is no less formidable, but the Bucs have got to get something going on the ground first. Doug Martin carrying the ball for only 9 yards on 9 carries last week is not enough to keep the defense off balance. To compound things, Martin has been slowed by injury in practice and it may be Bobby Rainey that will see a lot of the early action. Whomever it is toting the rock, they have to have holes and have to pick up positive yards, first downs and sustain drives.Finally, Give the People a Reason to Be Loud Early
Even though the defense did get an immediate three and out last week, the moments where the RJS fans could get into the game were few and far between in the first half. Lovie and some of the players have talked this week that they must give the fans a reason to be involved from the beginning. The Bucs must make it hard for the Rams offense to hear and feed off their home crowd themselves. This potential advantage will be another large factor.

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