By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
To open the season the Rams were off to a 2-0 start with a twenty-point win over a bad Bears team and a three-point win over an unknown Colts team. It seems the biggest test to the young season would come against the current a World Championship Tampa Bay team that had all 22 starters return and the greatest quarterback that’s ever set foot on an NFL field.
The Rams ran and passed their way pass the Bucs with a 34-24 win in front of 73,205 screaming fans during Spanish Heritage Month.
After a scoreless first quarter Mathew Stafford engineered a 14-play, 95-yard drive that took 8:05 as they converted three third down plays on the drive that was capped by a Stafford to Tyler Higbee six yard TD.
Later in the same quarter Stafford hit a wide-open Cooper Kupp on a short two yarder that finished an 11 play, 75-yard drive and put the Rams up 14 -7 at the break. Under McVay they are 38-0 when leading at the half.
Stafford went 27 of 38 for 343 yards and no interceptions-I doing so he connected with big windows and little windows to six different Rams receivers.
“We have so, many different talented guys ,“ said Stafford. I think Sean (McVay) does a great job of just calling plays and just letting us go out there and let us play and let me get through progressions.”
DeShaun Jackson had a big moment hauling in a 75- yard pass, then racing his way to the endzone then pulling a Cadillac move (running along the goal line) before crossing it.
“I’ve done some bone-head move earlier in my career,” said Jackson the former Long Beach Poly star. “You have to know you can out run that guy behind you before you do something like that.”
That was the 9th TD reception of 75 yards or more made by Jackson’s career. It also was Matt Stafford longest since 2013 in Detroit (Calvin Johnson 79 yards) That score put the Rams up 21 -7 early in the third.
Jackson finished the day with 3 catches for 128 yards.
The catch also made McVay race down the side lines and chasing Jackson off the field and all the way into the tunnel.
“I think my hamstrings are really sore,” said McVay. ”I probably pulled both of them, it’s just pure excitement. I’m not really thinking about those things in the moment. Just enjoying it with these guys.”
The defense did a lot of bending and made some clutch plays as Tom Brady was 41 of 55 for 432 yards but they were 6 of 13 on third down. ”It’s a loud stadium very loud, its one of the louder ones we’ve been in “said Brady who on this trip has play in Los Angeles for the first time in his career.
One thing on Brady 44 years or not, he still has a very live arm. The G.O.A.T will be headed to Foxborough, Mass next week to take on his old team the Patriots.
He was sacked three times once by Donald and twice by LB Kenny Young. “Honestly I just sacked probably one of the greatest players of all-time, “said Young who had 8 tackles on the day. “That’s pretty dope, but I tried not to get a flag for over celebrating.”