3 Bold Predictions For The Buccaneers vs. Rams in Divisional Round

NFL Analysis Network

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a great showing during Wild Card weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles. They manhandled the Eagles, as the Buccaneers led 31-0 heading into the fourth quarter before surrendering two touchdowns and leaving victorious, 31-15.

Now, they will face a step up in competition with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams destroyed their NFC North rivals in the Arizona Cardinals in their Wild Card game, winning 34-11.

Los Angeles presents a difficult matchup for Tampa Bay. They are heading into the matchup this weekend with some confidence, as they already have a win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in the regular season.

The Rams paid a visit to the Buccaneers in Week 3 and left with a 34-24 victory. What can we expect to see from Tampa Bay this weekend as they look to exact some revenge? Here are three bold predictions for the Buccaneers in their Divisional Round matchup against the Rams.

3. Force Multiple Matthew Stafford Turnovers

Matthew Stafford got off to a hot start this season in his debut with the Los Angeles Rams. However, as the season wore on, Stafford ran into some issues with turnovers.

Through the first eight games of the season, he threw only four interceptions. In the final nine games of the season, he threw 13. That includes his stretch at the end of the season when he had multiple in each of the last three games.

Stafford was able to play a clean game against the Cardinals Wild Card weekend and didn’t turn the ball over against the Buccaneers in the regular season. But, that will change this weekend.

Tampa Bay will get some pressure on Stafford and force him into some errant throws. The Buccaneers will force multiple turnovers, as Stafford will throw at least one interception and lose at least one fumble.

2. Cooper Kupp Has Season Low Yardage

If there has been one constant for the Rams this season it is that Cooper Kupp will produce some big numbers. He had only one game all season that he didn’t have at least 92 receiving yards in and that came against the Cardinals in Week 4.

Against the Buccaneers, Kupp was unstoppable. He caught nine targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns to help get the Rams a win. However, the Buccaneers were quite shorthanded that time around and are in a little better shape in their defensive secondary this time.

That will help immensely, as the Buccaneers will find a way to slow Kupp down. The standout wide receiver will record his season-low yardage, which came in the Wild Card game against the Cardinals.

Kupp had only 61 yards on five receptions with a touchdown in that game. The Buccaneers will hold him under 60 yards and without a score in the Divisional Round matchup.

1. Ke’Shawn Vaughn Breaks Out

The Buccaneers are without some of their skill position players this postseason. Chris Godwin suffered a season-ending knee injury, while Antonio Brown was released for his antics on the sideline.

Tom Brady at least still has Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski to rely on in the passing game. The backfield, however, has been hit hard as well. Ronald Jones is on IR while last year’s playoff standout, Leonard Fournette, is battling an injury as well.

That has provided a chance to second-year running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn to handle a lead-back role. He will have that opportunity once again against the Rams and will make the most of it.

He will combine for at least 100 total yards and two scores, quickly immersing himself as a main cog in this offense for their playoff push. Providing a consistent run game for Brady to rely on will help them advance in the postseason.