LA RAMS (6-3) at TAMPA BAY (7-3)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
OPENING LINE - Buccaneers by 3½
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Rams 5-4; Buccaneers 5-5
SERIES RECORD - Rams lead 16-9
LAST MEETING - Buccaneers beat Rams 55-40, Sept. 29, 2019 in Los Angeles
LAST WEEK - Rams beat Seahawks 23-16; Buccaneers beat Panthers 46-23
AP PRO32 RANKING - Rams No. 8, Buccaneers No. 5
RAMS OFFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (8), PASS (12).
RAMS DEFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (5), PASS (3).
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (23), PASS (11).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (3), RUSH (1), PASS (9).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The Rams are making their fifth East Coast trip in nine games. They’ve gone 2-2, losing to playoff contenders Buffalo and Miami. ... Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh was on the Rams’ Super Bowl team in 2018-19, playing his best football of an up-and-down season in the playoffs. ... The Buccaneers beat the Rams 55-40 at the Coliseum last season, embarrassing Los Angeles’ defense and possibly setting in motion coach Sean McVay’s eventual decision to hire defensive coordinator Brandon Staley this year. Staley has produced one of the NFL’s elite defenses, ranking second in yards allowed (296.4) and first in points allowed (16.3). ... The Rams are 31-0 when leading at halftime under McVay. ... LA’s defense has allowed only 29 points in the second half this season, including just two touchdowns, both scored by Buffalo in Week 3. ... The Rams have allowed an NFL-low nine touchdown passes, including just one TD throw in their six victories. ... McVay’s first NFL coaching job was under Jon Gruden as an offensive assistant with the Bucs in 2008. ... McVay’s 39-18 record to begin his head coaching career is the third best among all NFL coaches hired in the 21st century. He trails only Jim Harbaugh (41-15-1) and Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians, who started his head coaching career 41-16 with Indianapolis and Arizona. ... Left tackle Andrew Whitworth injured his knee last week and will miss only his second game since joining the Rams in 2017. Third-year pro Joe Noteboom takes over. ... Rams WR Josh Reynolds is stepping up to a larger role. He had career highs of eight catches for 94 yards last week against Seattle. ... The Rams continue to use three running backs regularly. Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers all had at least six carries and 28 yards rushing last week. ... Bucs QB Tom Brady is 18-7 in 25 career starts on “Monday Night Football,” including a 25-23 victory over the New York Giants three weeks ago. ... Brady has thrown for 23 TDs. He’s two shy of becoming the second QB in NFL history to throw 25-plus TD passes in 15 seasons. Peyton Manning did it 16 times. ... Bucs LB Jason Pierre-Paul joins the Rams’ Aaron Donald as the only players in the league with at least seven sacks each of the past five seasons. ... Bucs RB Ronald Jones is coming off rushing for a career-best 192 yards, including a 98-yard scoring run, against Carolina. ... The Bucs lead the NFL in run defense (76.6 yards per game) and are tied for first with 17 takeaways. ... Fantasy tip: Bucs WR Chris Godwin had a career-best 12 receptions for 172 yards and two TDs against the Rams last season. WR Mike Evans has averaged 106.8 yards and scored twice in four career games against Los Angeles.
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