Predictions: Could the Rams beat Tampa Bay?

by Gary Shelton on September 25, 2021

in general

Pierre-Paul will miss the Rams' game./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 3 a.m.

It wouldn't be an upset. It wouldn't be a catastrophe. It wouldn't mean that hunks of sky are going to fall.

The Tampa Bay Bucs could lose Sunday, and it could just be a miss-step on their journey. Nothing more.

People tend to forget about that. Fans care so much that with every loss, it feels as if the sky is falling and every win forgives all flaws. But in the recent history of the NFL, only one team (the 1972 Dolphins) have gone unbeaten through the regular season and the post-season. There's a reason for that.

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Teams trip. They fall. They lose.

I know, I know. The Bucs finished so strong last season that everyone figured they could run the slate. And who knows? But it isn't guaranteed. And when you break it down, the Rams probably present as good a chance for the Bucs to lose as any team on the schedule.


-- Because they're on the road.

-- Because the Rams are 2-0, too, and talented.

-- Because Jason Pierre-Paul and , possibly, Antonio Brown, may miss the game.

-- Because the secondary is still the weakest part of the Bucs' team.

-- Because the running game hasn't been a threat.

-- Because the Bucs have had trouble focusing.

And, yet, there are some prognosticators who have picked the Rams with the voice-of-God intonations, as if they alone can envision the Bucs' losing. That's a compliment, really. The Bucs are viewed as a strong team, one of the best in the league.

But the Rams are dangerous, with Stafford and Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. If the Bucs aren't sharp, they won't win. And even if they are sharp, they might not. Hey, other teams are talented, too.

That said, it's hard to go against Tom Brady in a big game. But this is a game that leaves you with a bad vibe.

This time, I don't think Brady pulls it out.

Prediction: Los Angeles 30, Tampa Bay 27.

In other NFL games:

New England 23, New Orleans 16.

Kansas City 31, L.A. Clippers 21.

San Francisco 28, Green Bay 27.

And in college football:

Florida 24, Tennessee 14.

Notre Dame 21, Wisconsin 14.

BYU 34, USF 10.

Louisville 30, FSU 21.

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