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Ben Gretch breaks down Monday Night Football as the Rams take on the Buccaneers

Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Per PFF, Jared Goff ranks 22nd of 22 quarterbacks with 300 dropbacks this season in passer rating under pressure. Per Football Outsiders, Tampa Bay has the league’s third-best adjusted sack rate.

Monday Night Football brings us a matchup of two of the better teams in the NFC, each known for high-powered offenses but whose defenses have been among the best in the league. Tampa Bay has seemed to run hot or cold this season, looking at times like one of the best teams in the league while living up to their considerable talent, but at other times — like their 38-3 loss to the Saints in Week 9 or even their 20-19 loss in Chicago in Week 5 — looking completely lost.

But the Buccaneers bounced back well last week, doubling up the Panthers 46-23 as they started to establish the ground game again to pair with their star-studded passing game. As I see it, the Bucs have a distinct advantage in this game in that they have so many weapons — the Rams have been able to rely on high-end cornerback Jalen Ramsey to contain the opposing team’s top receiver most weeks, but Tom Brady will be able to find other matchups he likes here among Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski.

For Jared Goff, so much of his ability to be productive relates to the line’s ability to keep him well protected. That’s a big reason the Rams have stayed run-heavy all season, trying not to put Goff in obvious passing situations and instead picking their spots to throw through the play-action game or by utilizing motion. Goff ranks 22nd of 22 quarterbacks with at least 300 dropbacks this season in passer rating when under pressure, but ranks eighth in passer rating when kept clean.

That makes Monday night a real challenge, because Tampa can get after the quarterback. The Buccaneers are third in the NFL in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. And it doesn’t help that Goff is on the road, traveling cross country. Goff’s shown some home/road splits in the past, and his two most recent road starts — including one with a similar travel distance to Miami in Week 8 — have been his worst two showings of the season by passer rating.

The line is moving toward the Bucs, and I think for good reason. These are two very good teams, but Tampa Bay has the right type of defense to negatively impact the Rams’ passing efficiency, while they have the right type of offense to overcome the advantage Ramsey typically offers. I like the Bucs to win and cover.

NFL Expert Picks

Buccaneers -4 @ -110

NFL Free Picks

Week 11 sees us entering the business end of the season. Thursday Night Football is a divisional clash between the Cardinals and Seahawks and two MVP contendeners in Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. With nine teams currently sat on 6-3 records we are likely to see teams begin to seperate themselves from the pack this week. The Titans trip to trip to Baltimore to the Ravens is a big game and one which is sure to feature a lot of rushing, elsewhere on Sunday we'll be keeping an eye on the Saints to see how Jameis Winston does as he steps into Drew Brees' spot because of injury. Sunday Night Football sees the Chiefs face the Raiders, looking for revenge after suffering defeat against Jon Gruden's teams earlier in the season. Monday Night Football rounds off the week as we see the Rams face the Bucs in an intriguing primetime clash.

Our talented stable of handicappers, led by Ben Gretch, Davis Mattek, Alex Kirshner, Richard Johnson, Ben Rolfe and more brings complete written and video NFL analysis to our users week after week. Make sure you check the site daily for picks from them all.

Article Author


Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.


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