Fri, 30 Oct 2020

2020 Offseason Opponent Breakdown: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Los Angeles Rams
31 May 2020, 18:24 GMT+10

Now that the Rams' 2020 schedule is officially out, it's time to resume our offseason opponent breakdowns on theRams.com. Up next is Los Angeles' Week 11 Monday Night Football road opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

2019

After three seasons with Dirk Koetter as their head coach, Tampa Bay parted ways with him and brought former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians out of retirement to succeed him.

The Buccaneers lost six of their first eight games last season, and although a 5-3 record across the second half of the season was enough to earn them a second-place finish in the NFC South, their early slide ultimately prevented them from qualifying from the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year.

Changes

The biggest moves came on offense, moving on from starting quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston and replacing him former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady via a reported two-year deal in late March.

A little over a month later, they brought Brady's top target in New England, tight end Rob Gronkowski, out of retirement by trading a fourth-round pick in this year's draft to the Patriots. The Buccaneers also received a seventh-round pick from the Patriots in the deal.

Other offensive reinforcements included signing former Colts offensive tackle Joe Haeg to a one-year deal and drafting former Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs with the 13th overall pick in this year's draft.

On special teams, they claimed former Carolina Panthers kicker Elliott Fry off waivers earlier this month to compete with incumbent Matt Gay for the starting job.

Head coach

Arians enters his second season as head coach of the Buccaneers after holding the same position for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17. Including playoff appearances with the Cardinals and his stint as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, Arians' overall coaching record is 59-35-1 in six seasons.

What to watch for

Rams offense vs. Buccaneers offense

On paper, the talent on both clubs' rosters suggest fans could be in for a reprisal of 2018's Monday Night Football showdown between the Rams and the Chiefs.

A refresher on the records set that night in November, in addition to being the highest scoring game in Monday Night Football history:

First game in league history in which both teams scored more than 50 points (Rams won 54-51). Third-most combined points scored in a game. Second-most combined touchdowns scored (14).

When the Rams and the Bucs met last September - pre-Brady and Gronkowski - they scored a combined 95 points at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It's possible they reach or surpass that total this November.

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