Los Angeles vs Tampa Bay Preview
Updated: Jan 23
January 23, 3 pm ET, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Los Angeles- 4 Seed (NFC West) 13-5 overall
Tampa Bay- 2 Seed (NFC South) 14-4 overall
Why Los Angeles will win-
After dropping the regular season finale at home to San Francisco and falling to the 4 seed in the NFC the Rams rebounded in a big way beating the Cardinals 34-11. QB Matthew Stafford picked up his first career playoff win passing for 202 yards and 2 TD’s while also rushing for a one as well. The defense was sensational holding Arizona to under 200 yards of offense and intercepting Kyler Murray twice. The Bucs will again be without RB Ronald Jones II (ankle) and how effective will Leonard Fournette be coming off a hamstring injury. The receiving corps is down another man with Breshad Perriman (hip/abdomen) being ruled out.
Why Tampa Bay will win-
The Bucs come into Sunday’s game winners of 8 of their last 9 and are 8-1 at home on the year. Despite missing key weapons QB Tom Brady at age 44 continues to shine completing over 78% off his passes the past 2 games while throwing 5 TD’s and no interceptions. Brady gets Fournette aka "Playoff Lenny" back after spending 3 weeks on IR with a hamstring injury. The defense which ranks third in the league in takeaways forced three turnovers against the Eagles and will look to do the same against Stafford and Co.
Key to the Game-
Who can get production in run game? Both teams are in the bottom third of the NFL in rushing yards per game and are both facing top 5 run defenses. The Bucs only managed 35 yards rushing in the first meeting with Jones and Fournette. Sony Michel rushed for 67 yards but the Rams received little production elsewhere.
Eye Test Analytics Predicted Score- Tampa Bay by 2.67 points