When the Los Angeles Rams defense takes the field, few offenses can match them in star power. One of the brightest stars on the Rams’ defense is All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, whose play is instrumental in their Super Bowl odds.
This week he’ll defend passes from the quarterback with the most postseason success in NFL history: Tom Brady. The Rams head to Florida to play the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The last time these two players faced off in the playoffs was the 2017 AFC Championship, where Brady’s New England Patriots got the best of Ramsey’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s see if Ramsey can help lead his team past Brady’s this time around.
Rams at Buccaneers (-3)
Here are the details to know about this game:
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 23rd
- Time: 3:00 P.M. EST
- Venue: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
Jalen Ramsey and the Rams Defense
Jalen Ramsey had a career year, and his career-high stats weren’t because of the added 17th game, as he only played in 16 this season.
The Rams cornerback tied a career-high in interceptions with four and finished with 16 passes defended, which was one short of his single-season high set in 2017. He had his highest single-season tackle total and increased his career tackles for loss total from eight to 17.
He also recovered a fumble for the first time in his career.
The Los Angeles defense hounded the Arizona Cardinals all game on Monday. They held them to 183 total yards and 0-9 on third down. They also recorded two sacks, five QB hits, two interceptions, and a touchdown.
When the Rams beat the Bucs in Week 3, the front seven made their presence known. They held Tampa Bay to 35 yards rushing and sacked Tom Brady three times.
The Buccaneers Offensive Outlook
Tampa’s offense gained the most yards through the air this year while also allowing the fewest sacks.
The Rams’ defense allowed the 24th-most yards passing this season. In the Week 3 game between these teams, Tom Brady threw for 432 yards.
However, Tom Brady managed just 271 yards last week and was sacked four times by the Eagles’ defense. Injuries seemed to be an influence.
Tampa Bay’s leading receiver this season, Chris Godwin, is injured and unavailable for this weekend’s game. Last week, Mike Evans finished with 117 receiving yards, but no other player could reach 40. If Ramsey shuts down Evans, the other pass-catchers will need to pick up the slack.
On the offensive line, All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs sprained his ankle on Tampa Bay’s opening drive against the Eagles. That injury is massive, especially if he’s unable to play this week. They struggled to keep Philly pass rushers off of Brady, even though Philly had the second-fewest sacks this season.
The Rams’ defense finished with the third-most sacks this season. They got three against Brady with Wirfs playing and Von Miller still in Denver in Week 3.
Can The Rams Slow Down Brady?
If Los Angeles can neutralize the run and get pressure as they did in the first meeting, they have an excellent chance to win again. Jalen Ramsey trailing Mike Evans and disguising coverages are two ways they can make Brady hold the ball longer and make mistakes.
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