INGLEWOOD, California (AP) – Matthew Stafford passed 343 yards and four touchdowns as he handed over Tom Brady and led …
INGLEWOOD, California (AP) -Matthew Stafford passed 343 yards and four touchdowns as he outscored Tom Brady and led the Los Angeles Rams to a 34-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
The loss cracked defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers’ 10-game regular season and playoff winning streak back to last season.
Stafford was out of goal on five of his first six attempts before getting into a groove as the Rams (3-0) scored on their next six drives. His best pass of the game came early in the third quarter when he connected with an open DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard score to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 21-7.
Jackson passed Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis III on a go-route, caught it on the Buccaneers 30 and then zig-zagged his way the last 10 yards and into the tunnel, where he was eventually greeted by Ram’s coach Sean McVay. It’s Jackson’s ninth touchdown of at least 75 yards that binds him to Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the most part in NFL history, according to Elias.
Stafford – who completed 27 of 38 – have three touchdown passes on at least 56 yards this season. Cooper Kupp had nine catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns, while Jackson finished with three receptions for 120 yards.
Brady – who completed 41 of 55 passes for 432 yards and two touchdowns (one pass, one rushing) – joins Drew Brees as the only quarterback to throw in more than 80,000 yards.
Mike Evans finished with eight receptions in 106 yards for the Bucs (2-1).
Stafford went 8 of 8 for 74 yards on a 14-game, 95-yard drive that was shortened by Tyler Higbee’s 6-yard TD reception on a quick pass to give the Rams a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Tampa Bay equalized it on the ensuing drive when Chris Godwin took a jet-sweep 2 yards around the right end, but the game would not last even long.
The Rams took a 14-7 lead at the break as Kupp caught a 2-yard TD with 54 seconds left.
After Jackson’s scoring, the Brady got the Buccaneers within 21-14 on a 1-yard keeper, but the Rams put it out of reach with 10 straight points. Stafford threw his fourth TD of the game, 10 yards to Kupp, and Matt Gay added a 48-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the third to give the Rams a 17-point lead.
After teams scored field goals, Tampa Bay added a touchdown with 1:10 left as Giovani Bernard scored on a 7-yard Brady reception.
FAST AND NEUTRAL?
Tampa Bay’s running game was largely non-existent again with 35 yards. Brady ended up being the Bucs’ leading rusher with 14 yards.
Sony Michel, acquired from New England during the preseason, made its first Los Angeles start and had 20 carries on 67 yards. Michel got started with Darrell Henderson Jr. inactive due to a rib injury.
Tampa Bay cornerback Jamel Dean had a knee injury during the first quarter and did not return. Tight end Rob Gronkowski took a shot to the ribs during the third quarter and was out in a series before returning.
Los Angeles linebacker Justin Hollins sustained a chest injury during the fourth quarter and did not return.
The Buccaneers are in New England next Sunday night as Brady returns to Foxborough for one of the most anticipated matchups of the season.
The Rams host Arizona next Sunday in an NFC West game with undefeated teams.
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