Rams 27 Bucs 24

Tommy looking very Pinkie like.

Jim Rome
November 24, 2020 - 9:13 am
Tom Brady

USA Today

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There are two ways to look at the Rams 27-24 win over Tampa Bay last night. And the easiest, hot-takiest, lava-iest way would be to focus on how over-hyped, overrated under-performing the Bucs and Tom Brady are. 

Focus on the fact that while Brady has had a few good moments, there are times where he’s never looked worse, and you’re left shaking your damn head, wonder what the hell the guy is doing. Or seeing. Especially given all the weapons he has to work with. I mean, easier take ever. But it’s all true. How easy would it be for me to crack open this mic, looking into one of these camera and rant about how “Tompa” Bay came up so small again on the big stage: that they failed in prime time yet again. That Brady is entering the Pinky Manny stage, that his deep ball is embarrassing and that he got nothing out of all those illegal workouts in the city park before the season, because clearly he’s not on the same page with all those playmakers they surrounded him with. I could do all that, and that lot of you would rush right in, saying, see! See! He’s not the GOAT! And he’s nothing without Bill Belichick. I would just put my feet up, fire up the lines and remind everyone that father time is undefeated and that it’s kicked Brady’s ass right now.  Then read a few emails about how he’s huge bust in Tampa and play his creepy laugh.

I could that. It would be easy. And probably fun, because it, how many of you who hate him, love seeing him get his ass kicked. Easy show. All day. But that’s lazy. And it would be wrong.

There’s definitely room to talk about Tompa Bay looking about as terrible as that nickname, and I’ll get to it, but first off, answer this question – whose house?

Answer: Rams house.

Let me ask it another way – did you all forget about Sean McVay and the Rams? Because I think you kind of did. In fact, I know you did. 

Did you forget about the coach who wins nearly 70% of his games? Did you forget about the coach who went to a Super Bowl in his second season? Did you forget about him and his team after they went 9-7 last season?

Hell yes, you did. All of you did. 

What I’m saying is, show some respect to the Los Angeles Rams. Because they have earned it. And I don’t even need a Phil Jackson drop to get that point across.

They just beat the Bucs last night. They beat the Seahawks the week before. They are in first place in the NFC West. When you are running down the list of contenders in the NFC, you better have their name near the top. Seriously.

I know their run game isn’t where they want it to be. And they haven’t always been perfect. And their schedule the rest of the way is rough, but again, they’re in first place in the toughest division in football, so they’ve earned the respect. They didn’t fluke their way into this.

So we’re not talking about what they might do, we’re talking about what they have done and what they just did.

And what they just did was have Jared Goff carve an allegedly top tier defense: saw Goff pass for 376 yards and have Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods go for better than 130 yards each against the defense that’s third in efficiency.

One of the talking points going into the game was how the Bucs defense shuts down opposing ground games. And the Rams didn’t fight that. They only ran the ball 20 times for a total of 37 yards.

Instead, they put the game in hands of Jared Goff and with the exception of what he called “some dumb decisions, honestly” he was pretty damn good, honestly.

He was a perfect 10 for 10 with 146 yards and a touchdown against the blitz in the first half. And he did that against guys like Shaq Barrett and JPP without his regular left tackle.

There was the touchdown to Woods in the first quarter.

The touchdown to Van Jefferson in the second.

And the one to Cam Akers in the third

And while Brady still is on the same page with his playmakers, Robert Woods says Goff couldn’t’ be an more dialed than he is right now:

“Really, you go into games hoping for games like this every single night. Making plays, the ball’s finding you, Jared’s zippin’ it. You’re in that rhythm, you can’t be touched no matter what coverage, who is lined up in front of you…When you’re really in rhythm, it doesn’t matter who is in front of you. You’re just going out there and it turns into route-versus-air when you’re in a rhythm like that.

And for all the talk of the Rams not being able to run the ball, Kupp and Woods were YAC’ing it up. Kupp had 79 yards after the catch, Woods had 72 yards. So they found room to run with the ball in their hands.

I know the NFL is about the flavor of the month when it comes to offensive schemes, and maybe Sean McVay doesn’t seem quite as radical now as when he first took over, but the guy didn’t forget how to coach.

He just went up against one of the best defenses in the league, without a dominant running game, and he schemed his way to a win. He knew the way was to get Kupp and Woods in space with the ball in their hands.

And he did that. By having Kupp and Woods run 13 different route types.

And all of this Rams love is before we even talk about the Rams defense. Because that crew was bringing it last night. Tom Brady’s struggles weren’t just about not about Tom Brady and the offense, it was about the Rams defense too punching him in the face and going upside his head. 

Because these dudes somehow snuck two by fours onto the field. And for all the talk about Tampa Bay’s weapons, Jalen Ramsey held Mike Evans to four catches for 40 yards when they were matched up. Antonio Brown was pretty much a non-factor, despite the fact that Brady was force-feeding him.

Rob Gronkowski had two catches. And they picked off Brady twice and made him look old as hell.

What I’m saying is, the Rams are pretty damn good. And you should be saying it as well. 

After last night, Sean McVay is 32-0 when the Rams lead at halftime. In a league designed for parity, and a division with guys like Pete Carroll, Kyle Shanahan, and Kliff Kingsbury, that is crazy. That is completely ridiculous.

Last season might have been a step back at 9-7, but that is a step up for just about every other team in the league. They’ve lost three games this year, all three on the road, and only one by more than one score.

Oh, and they might have found their kicker in Matt Gay, who went four of five on kickoff touchbacks, hit all of his extra points, and bounced back from a missed field goal to hit the game winner. And he apparently kills it in the weight room.

As McVay said to the media: “The kicker’s pretty jacked, man.” And then according to The Athletic, McVay passed Gay as he left the room and told his kicker, “bleepin’ jacked for a kicker, man. Good job, buddy.”

They’ve got a bleepin jacked kicker and a bleepin’ good football team. Whose house? Rams house. Sure, this is in part about the Bucs didn’t do: but mostly about what the rams did to them.