The NFL Week 3 Game of the Week features the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0, 0-0 away) heading across the country to battle the Los Angeles Rams (2-0, 1-0 home). Both teams have been impressive over the first two weeks, highlighted by veteran quarterback play. Sunday’s game is the only time these two teams will see each other this season after splitting head-to-head battles in 2020.
The kickoff for Sunday’s contest is at 4:25 p.m. EST inside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. Tampa Bay is a 1.5-point road favorite against the Rams, and the total over-under is at 55.5 points.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay makes their first road trip of the season, looking to notch their first road victory and improve to 3-0. The Bucs haven’t lost a contest since late November of last year, a franchise record for the longest winning streak.
The Bucs are scoring 39.5 points and averaging 394.5 yards of offense per game, ranking fifth in passing offense (319.0 yards). Defensively, Tampa Bay is allowing 27.0 points and 409.0 yards of offense per game but sit in second, surrendering only 57.5 yards on the ground.
Veteran quarterback Tom Brady leads the NFL with nine touchdown passes through two games. That is the most touchdown passes the 44-year-old has ever thrown through two contests. Brady’s favorite target has been his longtime tight end Rob Gronkowski who’s scored a pair of touchdowns in both games this season.
Tampa Bay made the trip without wide receiver Antonio Brown, who will miss Sunday’s contest with an injury.
What to Know – Los Angeles Rams
The Rams appear to have added the missing element holding the Rams back with the offseason addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles has gotten ahead early, leading at half in each of the first two games.
Los Angeles is fifth in the league averaging 30.5 points per game behind 378.5 yards of total offense. The Rams’ defense is holding teams to 19.0 points and 338.0 yards, and both rank in the top half of the league. Los Angeles is fifth in takeaways, with four through the first two games.
Stafford has thrown for 599 yards with five touchdowns and only one interception. His favorite target has been wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who’s been targeted 21 times, hauling in 16 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns. Starting running back Darrell Henderson Jr, who is listed as questionable for the game, is the leading rusher with 123 yards and two scores for the Rams.
The Pick is In
Sunday’s matchup could be a preview of the NFC Championship between these two complete teams later this season. Both teams are evenly matched, creating what is to be expected as a back-and-forth contest.
The Rams’ defense is the difference in this one, creating havoc for Brady and the Bucs offense. Los Angeles wins the turnover battle and the game.