MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW: RAMS @ BUCS (11-23-20)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME OF WEEK PREVIEW
​By Gary Greene
 
DATE: NOV. 23rd, 2020
L.A. RAMS @ TAMPA BAY BUCS
LA RAMS (6-3) ~ (2-3 ROAD) / BUCS (6-3) ~ (3-1 HOME)
TV: ESPN
LAST YEAR: TAMPA BAY WON 55-40 @ L.A. without QB Tom Brady
VEGAS LINE: TAMPA BAY (-4) ~  TOTAL: (48 1/2)
 
TEAM RANKINGS

Buccaneers-

  • Scoring Offense: 7th (29.6 ppg)
  • Total Offense: 14th (368.5 ypg)
  • Passing Offense: 9th (264.6 ypg)
  • Rushing Offense: 23rd (103.9 ypg)
  • First Downs Per Game: 15th (22.2)
  • Third-Down Pct.: t-14th (42.9%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 4th (3.63%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct.: 7th (70.0%)
  • Scoring Defense: 8th (22.6 ppg)
  • Total Defense: 3rd (300.3 ypg)
  • Passing Defense: 9th (223.7 ypg)
  • Rushing Defense: 1st (76.6 ypg)
  • First Downs Allowed Per Game: 2nd (18.4)
  • Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 13th (39.5%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 5th (9.01%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 20th (65.6%)
  • Turnover Margin: t-4th (+5)

Rams-

  • Scoring Offense: 19th (24.0 ppg)
  • Total Offense: 7th (395.6 ypg)
  • Passing Offense: 11th (261.3 ypg)
  • Rushing Offense: 8th (134.2 ypg)
  • First Downs Per Game: 7th (23.6)
  • Third-Down Pct.: 7th (46.0%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt Allowed: 65th (40.5%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct.: 16th (62.9%)
  • Scoring Defense: 2nd (18.7 ppg)
  • Total Defense: 2nd (296.4 ypg)
  • Passing Defense: 3rd (199.7 ypg)
  • Rushing Defense: 5th (96.8 ypg)
  • First Downs Allowed Per Game: 4th (18.7)
  • Third-Down Pct. Allowed: 5th (35.4%)
  • Sacks Per Pass Attempt: 4th (9.90%)
  • Red Zone TD Pct. Allowed: 9th (57.7%)
  • Turnover Margin: t-16th (0)
We have one of the best matchups for this entire Week 11 card with this battle of the Titans and both come in off one of their best efforts all season last week, with each winning pretty easily. This will be the 5th full cross country trip for the Rams to the East Coast where they have won 2 of those 4 games straight up. They played all of them early starts but this game will be on an extra days rest and starting at night so not the same type of tough start for a West Coast team. One thing to not in one of those two losses, at Miami, the Rams dominated the Dolphins gaining 471 total yards and allowing the Fins only 145 total yards. They committed 4 turnovers though and allowed a 78 yrd fumble recovery TD and then soon after a 88 punt return TD too. You will rarely see anyone lose with a 471-145 total yards advantage. The Rams scored 37, 32 and 30 points in their other 3 cross country trip this year.
Tampa Bay has won 4 of 5, with the lone loss a complete debacle blowout loss to the Saints 38-3 two weeks ago. They have scored 46 (last week gaining 544 total yards, 3rd most in team history), 25, 45, and 38 in the 4 wins. Last week was WR Antonio Brown’s second game and he was targeted 8x and finished with 7 catches/69 yards. He is now added to an already loaded WR corps of Mike Evan, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller. Evans has a league leading 7 TD’s in the Red Zone this season. Lucky for Tampa Bay the Rams stud cover CB Jalen Ramsey can only cover one of those 4. This Bucs Offense is tough to stop, especially with RB Ronald Jones starting to take off (192 rush yards last week).

Although the Rams Offense is ranked much higher (5th to 15th) these two Offenses right now are a lot alike. Rams QB J. Goff avg. 261 pypg and TB QB T. Brady avg. 262 pypg. Goff has been sacked 13x, Brady 14x. Goff has been picked off 6x, Brady 7x. Both QB’s have great pieces to work with and when the Rams lose, it’s usually due to their turnovers. Both enter this game knowing this game is big and both need a win to stay at top of their Divisions. The Bucs have KC on deck, then a pretty easy final 5 games. The Rams have banged up SF on deck, then 3 of it’s final 5 games vs. Division opponents. To me it’s a bigger game for the Rams who play in a tougher Division overall.
The Rams lost their top Offensive Lineman, LT A. Whitworth last week to a knee injury. He’s going to be tough to replace. The Bucs have been practicing all week at night instead of in normal morning practice times as they try to prepare their bodies for the late Monday night kickoff start time.
KEY MATCHUP TO WATCH #1:
The Rams Offense relies on rushing ball effectively and they do it extremely well (134rypg). Now they will face their toughest task all season facing the Bucs #1 Run Defense (allowing only 76 rypg)/(3.3 yp carry). Even in the 38-3 loss to the Saints, the Bucs D held the Saints to just (3.7) yp-carry.

KEY MATCHUP TO WATCH #2:
The Bucs Offensive Line is decent, but not elite. Now they will face their toughest challenge all season trying to stop the possible Defensive MVP, A. Donald, who has 9 sacks. But he isn’t the only dynamic pass rusher as LB L. Floyd has been a beast and has 7 sacks himself. Now the Bucs also have to face one of the best unknown CB’s in the league in Rams CB D. Williams. The Rams Defense to me is by far the best “D” in the league. Their corners all can tackle and they have solid LB play.

SLOW STARTERS IN PRIME TIME TV GAMES
Tampa Bay has started extremely slow in all 3 National TV games this season, losing 2 of the 3, and really getting lucky to beat the NY Giants, in their only win of the 3. Hard to think the TV Pressure is getting to the GOAT Tom Brady, but it may be to the other players who aren’t used to playing in these big spot light TV games in front of national watching audience. They start slow here and they won’t come back ….the Rams are not the Giants.

GARY’S FINAL PASS:
These two teams are both loaded. I bet the good teams a lot and so I’ve won lots cash on both this season. I lost badly when the Bucs were blown out by the Saints though and the 3 TV games and how poorly the Bucs have started will keep me off them in this spot. You can’t lay 4 points when your playing the Top Defense in the league as you may be at Home, but you don’t have the full crowd helping make it tough on the opposing QB. The Rams do have some small value here but you will surely pull your hair out watching QB Goff turn ball over at least once at a crucial time. Goff is facing a very talented Defense himself, and I worry if the Rams can’t run the ball well, he may be asked to do more than he’s capable of. He’s a good QB, but he’s not elite.

I fully expect this game to be called much tighter to the vest, with less risks, more punting to hopefully turn the field position back over, and see what team turns ball over at the wrong time. I said Seattle and Arizona was a tough game to bet as it would be close throughout and this game should be as well. I’d side with a lower scoring game over a higher scoring game here as I really love the way both Defenses are playing. Both Defenses are really deep too. It will be a fun game to watch as we will see so many stud wide outs for both teams. I own a third house in Florida, and one thing I know about Florida is it will rain and rain hard at any moment. Be sure to check the weather report come Monday afternoon to see the chances of a harder rainstorm for this big game.

Enjoy this game and may all your wagers this weekend be WINNING ones! Never bet what you can’t afford to lose and if you aren’t winning on your own, I have been red-hot all season and have a great card on tap this weekend with two more “2 UNIT-BEST BETS” (one in CFB and one in NFL) where we are now (7-1) this 2020 season. Jump on board my Money Making Machine and let your bankroll grow this weekend with one of the best Handicappers and Professional Sports Bettors all time.

Stay SAFE everybody. Kick some ass!
GARY GREENE