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Rams at Buccaneers Halftime Report

After two quarters in the books, which aspects of the first quarter have been the most impactful? Here's a look at the Rams and Buccaneers halftime report from the Divisional Round contest.

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers halftime report from Divisional Round weekend:

Halftime score

Rams 20, Bucs 3

Rams first half stats

  • 1st downs: 15
  • 3rd down conversation rate: 3-6
  • Total net yards: 250
  • Rushing yards: 31
  • Passing yards: 219
  • Field goals: 2-2
  • Penalties: 1 (10 yards)
  • Turnovers: 1

Quick analysis

  • Running back Cam Akers received the starting nod over Sony Michel – his first start since returning two weeks ago following an Achillies injury in mid-July.
  • The Bucs right tackle position looks to be a weak link early on without Tristan Wirfs. The Rams have lined up Aaron Donald off that edge to get a favorable matchup.
  • Rams backup tight end Kendall Blanton recorded the first touchdown of his career with a 7-yard grab from Matthew Stafford early in the first quarter. Entering today's game, Blanton had only caught four passes in his NFL career.
  • Cooper Kupp broke free from the Tampa Bay secondary, hauling in a 70-yard touchdown grab thanks in part to a busted coverage.
  • Rams swing tackle Joe Noteboom has fared extraordinarily well stepping in at left tackle for Andrew Whitworth, not allowing much pressure from Jason Pierre-Paul on Stafford in the first half.
  • After running the ball 38 times in last week's win over the Cardinals, the Rams have reverted back to a pass-heavy attack, throwing 24 passes in the first half compared to 12 rushing attempts.
  • Tom Brady was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty – the first of his 22-year career. The flag was thrown after Brady suffered a hit from Von Miller in which Brady was seen after the play bleeding from the lip.
  • Safety Nick Scott picked off Brady inside the two-minute warning, marking Scott's third interception of the season.

Players to note in the first half

Rams

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  • Matthew Stafford: 18/24, 229 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Cooper Kupp: 4 catches, 102 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Odell Beckham Jr.: 4 catches, 42 yards
  • Aaron Donald: 2 tackles, 1TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hits, 1 pass breakup

Bucs

  • Tom Brady: 10/22, 112 yards, 1 interception
  • Leonard Fournette: 6 rushes, 28 yards
  • Mike Evans: 4 catches, 42 yards
  • Vita Vea: 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hits
  • Lavonte David: 8 tackles, 1 TFL

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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick and Ram Digest on Twitter @NickCothrel & @RamDigestSI for more Rams coverage.