Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received a lot of positive press after looking strong in their Week 1 victory, but those raised expectations took a steep dive after a terrible performance in Week 2. Winston and the Buccaneers will try to bounce back when they host the offensively challenged Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Winston went from four touchdown passes and one interception in a 31-24 win at Atlanta in the season opener to one TD and four picks in a 40-7 loss at Arizona the following week. "We haven't been tested yet this season in that department," Buccaneers first-year coach Dirk Koetter told reporters about the possibility of his team bouncing back, "but the fact that we're coming into our own home stadium for our home opener, that's definitely going to be what we're working for." The Rams are the only team in the league yet to score an offensive touchdown but were strong enough on defense to pull out a 9-3 win at home over Seattle last week after being shut out by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. "We need more production out of our offense," Los Angeles coach Jeff Fisher told reporters. "All things point to the quarterback position, but I'm expecting Case (Keenum) to continue to get better in this offense, and we're going to win games and score points."
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Buccaneers -5. O/U: 42
ABOUT THE RAMS (1-1): Los Angeles traded up to the No. 1 pick in the draft to get quarterback Jared Goff, but Fisher insists the team only will play him when he's ready. In the meantime, Keenum ranks last in the NFL among 33 qualifying passers with a 57.8 rating and a 53.8 completion percentage and is guiding an offense that's trying to avoid joining the 1976 Buccaneers as the only teams in the NFL to fail to score a touchdown in the first three games. The weakness in the passing game is not doing any favors for running back Todd Gurley, who is averaging 2.7 yards per carry against defenses stacked to stop him.
ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (1-1): Tampa Bay lost leading rusher Doug Martin for the next three weeks to a hamstring injury and will lean on backup Charles Sims, with Jacquizz Rodgers as the backup. Sims managed 24 yards on nine carries last week at Arizona and has some experience with Winston in the passing game after hauling in 51 passes for 561 yards and four touchdowns last season. The Buccaneers' defense is struggling, allowing 64 points in the first two weeks, and has yet to force a turnover.
1. Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson has caught just six passes and has yet to record a touchdown.
2. Los Angeles CB Lamarcus Joyner played through a broken toe in the first two games and was limited at practice this week.
3. Tampa Bay DE Robert Ayers (ankle) left last week's game early and is questionable.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- HamstringQues Sun | questionable
Bunting left the last game due to a hamstring injury, and it is unknown if he will be active Sunday versus the Chargers.
- ShoulderProb Sun | probable
Watson missed the last game due to a shoulder injury, but it is anticipated that he will take the field against the Chargers on Sunday.
- HipQues Sun | questionable
Miller is dealing with injuries to his hip and groin. It has yet to be established if he will be available for Sunday's matchup against the Chargers.
- HamstringOut Sun | out
Godwin exited the previous game due to a right hamstring injury, and he will not suit up for Sunday's contest versus the Chargers.
- AnkleQues Sun | questionable
Fournette is tending to an ankle injury, leaving his availability for Sunday's battle against the Chargers hazy.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Smith is nursing a knee injury, and it has yet to be determined if he will line up Sunday against the Broncos.
- HamstringProb Sun | probable
Motley has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but he is projected to be available Sunday against the Broncos.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
Pierre-Paul is dealing with a knee injury, but it is expected that he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Broncos.
Los Angeles Rams
- IllnessQues Sun | questionable
Reynolds is dealing with an unknown illness, and it remains to be seen if he will face the Giants on Sunday.
- RibsQues Sun | questionable
Akers sat out the last game with separated rib cartilage, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Giants on Sunday.
- ShoulderQues Sun | questionable
Fuller exited the last game with a shoulder injury, and his status for Sunday's contest against the Giants is clouded.
- CalfOut indefinitely | I-R
Noteboom has been added to the injured reserve list with Grade 2 calf strain, and there is no indication when he will be activated.
- AnkleProb Sun | probable
Williams has ankle tendinitis but is likely to take the field Sunday versus the Bills.
- CalfProb Sun | probable
Whitworth exited the last game due to a calf injury, but it is likely that he will play Sunday against the Bills.
- FingerProb Sun | probable
Brown is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured pinky finger, but he is expected to be available Sunday versus the Bills.
- BackProb Sun | probable
Everett is managing a back injury but is expected to take the field against the Bills on Sunday.