By Max Luckan
As has been the norm for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, they got destroyed by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday just one week after defeating the Buffalo Bills by a score of 27-6. This kind of inconsistency will likely cost head coach Greg Schiano his job at the end of the season, unless he somehow manages to win the last two games on the road, and even then, there’s a decent chance that he will still be fired.
This week, the Bucs will head to St. Louis to take on the Rams. The team will certainly be looking to rebound after a touch loss in their last home game of the season.
Rams Season Record
Believe it or not, the Rams have actually played some very good games this season. But much like the Bucs, the team has been marred by inconsistency on both sides of the ball. If they were more consistent, the Rams could be in prime position for a playoff run.
However, they currently hold a 6-8 record, but are coming off a huge victory over the New Orleans Saints last week. The Rams also have big victories against the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts this season. Then again, St. Louis has been crushed twice by the San Francisco 49ers and once by the Dallas Cowboys.
Rams on Offense
The Rams might be better than their record indicates. However, they rank near the bottom of the entire NFL in many offensive categories, including 20th in points per game, 26th in yards per game, and 27th in passing yards per game.
The running game is average for the Rams, as they have been averaging 115 yards per game, which is good for 16th in the league. Quarterback Sam Bradford has dealt with some injuries this season, and of course, the team lost running back Steven Jackson to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. Still, the running game appears to be one strength for the Rams on offense this season.
Rams on Defense
Currently, the Rams are ranked 21st in the NFL in total defense, allowing an average of 362.9 yards per game this season. That number is not very impressive, but it may be a bit misleading because the Rams have played teams such as the New Orleans Saints, who have a very high-powered offense.
St. Louis is definitely one of the better pass rushing teams in the league, with players such as Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, and Chris Long anchoring that defensive line. The Bucs will not have an easy time running or throwing on the Rams this Sunday.
Rams Players to Watch
Robert Quinn: Quinn has an astonishing 15 sacks so far this season and there are still two games left. He’s by far the team’s best player on defense.
Cortland Finnegan: Finnegan has the ability to shut down Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson, and will likely do so.
Zac Stacy: Stacy has emerged as a consistent back for the Rams, and the Bucs will have to find a way to slow him down.
Both of these teams likely won’t make the playoffs, but the Bucs have a lousy 8-12 record all time against the Rams. These two teams met last season, and Greg Schiano’s crew lost that game 28-13.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.