Tampa Bay at L.A. Rams
Time: 3:05 PM CST, FOX
Spread: LA -9
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Los Angeles Rams are 3-0 after dispatching the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, New Orleans Saints in Week 2, and the Cleveland Browns in Week 3. It will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 9-point favorites in Week 4 NFL Odds, with an over/under set at 49 total points according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes. The game will air at 3:05 PM CST on FOX.
The Rams improved to 2-0 on the road last week as it knocked off the disappointing Cleveland Browns. Jared Goff threw 24 of 38 for 268 yards, but his two interceptions matched his two touchdowns. The Rams also averaged just 3.8 yards-per-carry on its 24 attempts, while failing to rush for any touchdowns. Credit L.A.’s defense for the win: It held Baker Mayfield to 50 percent passing and under 200 passing yards, while limiting the Browns rush attack to 95 yards, with all of those coming from Nick Chubb.
The Rams top-two receivers, though, did work, as well. Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp each totaled over 100-receiving yards and Kupp managed both of the Rams’ receiving touchdowns. The stars of the Rams’ defensive unit were John Johnson with his nine tackles, and Clay Matthews with his two sacks and three TFLs. The Rams had three sacks and five TFLs in the victory while getting decent play from the special teams. Kicker Greg Zuerlein hit 2 of 3 field goals and both his PATs, while punter Johny Hekker fared decently with his two punts for 39.5 yards each. The Rams will hope for a similar effort from its defense to stop the Bucs in Week 4.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 1-2 on the season after falling to the NY Giants las week 31-32. It defeated the Carolina Panthers in Week 2, and it lost its season opener to the S.F. 49ers 17-31.
The Bucs have got mixed results from starting QB Jameis Winston. While he has completed 59 passes for 782 yards and a solid eight yards per attempt, he has also thrown four interceptions to his five touchdowns. And he has been sacked 3.3 times per game for a total lost yardage of 64-yards. Fortunately for Tampa, its backfield has been strong. The Bucs are getting 4.1 yards-per-rush, with Ronald Jones II having averaged 5.4 per on his 31 carries. Only Peyton Barber (44 carries for 163 Yards) has a touchdown to his credit, though, and Winston has been ineffective while rushing. Winston averages just 1.9 yards-per-carry on his mere three attempts. It is not his strength, but it must improve even so.
The Bucs have done most of its passing damage through its top-two primary targets. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both have 279 and 214 yards, respectively, and the pair is responsible for all five of Winston’s TD-passes. Tight end OJ Howard has caught seven passes for 98 yards, but he has yet to transform into the major target and end zone threat the Buccaneers are anticipating him to be. The next three in receiving yards are the Bucs’ trio of running backs, with Dare Ogunbowale being more of a receiver at any rate (he has no carries on the season). Tampa Bay has the making of a good offense, but it has to rely on its strengths and Winston has to stop zeroing in on his top targets and telegraphing the passes. With the avoidance of those costly interceptions, his play would be a whole tier higher, at least, in overall greatness this season.
Winston has started to fulfill some of his vast promises, but the blemishes are what is responsible for the Bucs’ losing record at this point–if all is to be fairly honest and disclosed. Tampa Bay, though, does have enough talent at the skill positions that it should be able to put up the offensive numbers to lie the pressure on its defense.