TAMPA, Fla. — Once again, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not put together a full 60 minutes, but it did not matter against the Falcons.
The 3rd quarter lull was combated with Mike Edwards returning two interceptions to the house and the Bucs walked away with an easy victory against Atlanta inside Raymond James Stadium.
Here is what we know about the offense:
It is good.
Scoring 79 points in the first two games of the year is a franchise record. The Buccaneers rank first in the NFL in points, passing touchdowns (9) and red zone touchdowns (7).
That red zone success is something that has carried over from last season.
We have also learned something about the defense:
Teams are scared to run the ball against them.
Dallas and Atlanta threw the ball 104 times while both ran the ball a total of 38 times. Sure, welcome to the NFL in 2021, but that is still an egregious disparity.
"I thought our front four played really, really well. We got a lot of pressure, tipped a lot of balls. We got three interceptions, two of them off-tipped balls. I think it's just the volume of passes that we're seeing," head coach Bruce Arians said. "We kept them in front of us for the most part. [We] missed a couple tackles..we've got to tackle a little bit better but, no, those numbers, I think for 100 and whatever passes we've seen now in a couple weeks, yeah, we're going to give up some yards."
As we turn our attention to the Rams, head coach Sean McVay is loving life with Matthew Stafford as his quarterback. That is no shade to Jared Goff, but Arians admitted they're a team going 'downtown' more because of Stafford's arm.
Los Angeles has found success with explosive plays in the first two games. If the Bucs can force the Rams to methodically move their way down the field, they might be able to force Stafford into some bad decisions along the way.
On top of that, running back Darrell Henderson is nursing a rib injury, so once again, the Buccaneers probably do not have to prepare for ground and pound football.
McVay started his career with the Bucs in 2008, but he is not the only local connection on the Rams. Jacob Harris and Tyler Higbee go up against their hometown team while Florida State fans have Jalen Ramsey and Florida fans have Van Jefferson.
On this week's WTSP Wednesday with the Locked on Bucs team, James Yarcho and Evan Closky discuss:
- The victory of the Falcons
- The possibility of bringing cornerback Richard Sherman to Tampa Bay
- The feasibility of an OJ Howard trade with Jacksonville
- Predictions and analysis of the upcoming Rams game