The Los Angeles Rams return home to face their biggest test yet this season in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's a matchup that's been circled on the calendar since the schedule came out and both teams come into it at 2-0. This also looks like a contest that could be a preview of the NFC Championship Game with how good both teams have looked through the first two weeks. Their last matchup happened in November of 2020 when the Rams went to Tampa Bay and beat them, 27-24.
It's going to be even tougher to beat the Bucs this time around and they'll need everyone's best effort and then some to make it happen. With that said, here are three bold predictions for Sunday's matinee.
Prediction No. 1: Cooper Kupp goes for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns
Kupp has been close to 200 yards in both the Rams' first two games this season, but this is the week he's going to get it. He's been quarterback Matthew Stafford's favorite target thus far and has been able to get open no matter the circumstances. He's also averaging nearly 17 yards per catch after the first two weeks and I don't think cornerbacks Carlton Davis III or Jamel Dean will be able to slow him down. Look for Kupp to take full advantage of that in another matchup that favors him.
Prediction No. 2: Jalen Ramsey registers a pick-six off Tom Brady
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It's not often Brady throws a pick-six, but Ramsey is going to make sure that happens on Sunday while eyeing him. Ramsey is likely to see looks covering Mike Evans when lining up on the outside, though he also will presumably rotate back to Chris Godwin when playing the star position at times as well. His eyes are always on the ball as he's one of the best cover corners in football. Heck, he already has 12 combined tackles and one interception through two games. With a shootout expected in this matchup, the Rams defense will have to step up and make a play at some point to steal some points and Ramsey should be the one to do that while L.A.'s front is dialing up some pressure.
Prediction No. 3: Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette combine for over 150 yards rushing and a touchdown
This one may seem a bit out there but both of these players are due for a big breakout game and play their best when the stakes are highest. L.A. will sell out to stop the pass as much as they can since that's where the Bucs are most dangerous, but that will leave Jones and Fournette unaccounted for which could cause trouble. Yes, L.A. will have Aaron Donald, A'Shawn Robinson, and Sebastian Joseph-Day upfront, but that may not be enough when both backs get to the next level. The Bucs will need both backs to make plays so that the Rams respect the run game as well as the pass and it's going to make it that much tougher for L.A. to pull off the victory.