The Los Angeles Rams marked their regular season return to California with a surprising 9-3 win over Seattle in Week 2. Can Jeff Fisher's team keep that momentum moving forward when they switch coasts and travel to Tampa Bay for a showdown with Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers?
The Rams will attempt to bully Winston like they did Russell Wilson last week, but an improving Buccaneers offense will put Los Angeles's newest team to the test. You can catch this game online using Fox Sports' live streaming website if you get the game in your local market. Verizon customers can also access the game on mobile devices via the NFL's official app.
These two 1-1 teams will clash on Sunday, and a Rams win would go a long way in helping Fisher avoid the "7-9 bull----" he railed against during the preseason. Los Angeles looked like a lost cause after an opening day 28-0 trouncing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, but last week's victory proved its defense can still create chaos. Seattle managed just 17 first downs as Aaron Donald, William Hayes, and Robert Quinn bullied the Seahawks' suspect offensive line in a touchdown-less game.
However, a big win over a Super Bowl favorite could just be another example of Fisher's ability to instill false hope as a head coach. His record with the Rams is a meager 28-37-1 in his four-plus seasons. While there have been signs of improvement, his inability to coax any sign of stability or consistency from his team's offense could have tanked L.A.'s 2016 season before it even began.
Another agent in sinking the Rams' playoff hopes may be 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and 2014 top overall pick Winston. The former Florida State standout helped his team improve from 30th in the NFL in offensive yards two years ago to fifth in his first season behind center. While the Bucs finished just 6-10 in 2015, that was still an improvement over the 2-14 hatchet job that allowed them to select Winston the year before.
Beating the Rams on Sunday would be another step forward for the young passer and his explosive offense. Tampa Bay has surrounded its young passer with weapons ranging from veteran Pro Bowlers (Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin) to young, dynamic playmakers (Mike Evans and Charles Sims). He's been able to sling the ball for 262 yards per game, but the Bucs' running game hasn't lived up to expectations so far. Tampa's two leading rushers, Martin and Sims, have combined to average just 3.1 yards per carry early in the season. Martin, who left last week's game with a hamstring injury, is expected to miss the next three weeks.
They're set to struggle even more against a Los Angeles team that held Seattle to only 67 rushing yards on 24 carries last week. That means all eyes will be on Winston as he attempts to carve up the Rams' secondary while avoiding a ferocious pass rush that will have him on his heels all afternoon.
How to Watch Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Place: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
Announcers: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale