Rams vs. Buccaneers Preview and Predictions

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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.

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.

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Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida, USA.
Capacity: 65,890

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Last Injuries

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Sean Murphy-Bunting

    Ques 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.

  • Justin Watson

    Prob 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.

  • Scotty Miller

    Ques 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.

  • Chris Godwin

    Out 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.

  • Leonard Fournette

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Fournette is tending to an ankle injury, leaving his availability for Sunday's battle against the Chargers hazy.

  • Donovan Smith

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Smith is nursing a knee injury, and it has yet to be determined if he will line up Sunday against the Broncos.

  • Parnell Motley

    Prob Sun | probable

    Motley has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but he is projected to be available Sunday against the Broncos.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul

    Prob 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

  • Josh Reynolds

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Reynolds is dealing with an unknown illness, and it remains to be seen if he will face the Giants on Sunday.

  • Cam Akers

    Ques 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.

  • Jordan Fuller

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Fuller exited the last game with a shoulder injury, and his status for Sunday's contest against the Giants is clouded.

  • Joe Noteboom

    Out 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.

  • Darious Williams

    Prob Sun | probable

    Williams has ankle tendinitis but is likely to take the field Sunday versus the Bills.

  • Andrew Whitworth

    Prob Sun | probable

    Whitworth exited the last game due to a calf injury, but it is likely that he will play Sunday against the Bills.

  • Malcolm Brown

    Prob Sun | probable

    Brown is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured pinky finger, but he is expected to be available Sunday versus the Bills.

  • Gerald Everett

    Prob Sun | probable

    Everett is managing a back injury but is expected to take the field against the Bills on Sunday.