Los Angeles, CA (CBSLA)- The Los Angeles Rams return home with an unblemished record for a matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
Entering the game, the Rams offense is still looking to find its groove. One of the league’s most potent units last season, the Rams are ninth in points per game through three weeks, averaging a little over 25 per outing. That number has gone down each week, however, with the team scoring 30 in the opener, followed by 27 against the Saints and just 20 last week.
Despite an offense still finding its top gear, the defense has been impressive, stifling opponents so far. That unit, and the promise of the offense returning to form, is why the Rams are currently favored by 9.5 points over the Bucs. Aside from the defense, quarterback Jared Goff has proven to be a more effective player at home this year, leading the experts to believe he may be in for a big day.
“The Rams haven’t been overly impressive, but they keep covering. 7-1 against the number, dating to last season, with the only exception being the Super Bowl,” said SportsLine analyst Larry Hartstein. “You look at Jared Goff’s 112 passer rating at home, only 74 on the road. It was the same disparity last year. He’s going to be at home, look for a big game from Jared Goff.”
It wouldn’t surprise to see Goff go off against the Buccaneers, as Tampa Bay just allowed Giants rookie Daniel Jones to pick them apart to the tune of 330 yards and two passing touchdowns last week. That said, the Bucs should have won that game, had it not been for a pair of missed extra points and a late missed field goal. Bruce Arians has the offense playing well, and the defense has been improved under Todd Bowles. In order to keep the game close and potentially steal a victory, Hartstein says there is one big key to watch.
“It’s all going to come down to Jameis Winston and the turnovers. He has four interceptions and one fumble, most of those happened against the 49ers,” said Hartstein. “But, he’s facing an elite defense in the Rams, an elite secondary. If he can limit himself to one turnover, I think Tampa can make this a ball game.”
The Los Angeles Rams host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, September 29th with kickoff slated for 1:05 Pacific Time.