Both Kupp and Woods hauled in double-digit receptions in the win
By Cody Benjamin & Tyler Sullivan CBS Sports
The Los Angeles Rams are now in first place in the NFC West following a 27-24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on “Monday Night Football.” Jared Goff’s offense came out strong to begin this game, marching 80 yards down the field to open up the scoring. The first half featured both the Bucs and Rams trading touchdown blows, but Los Angeles was able to put together a tremendous two-minute drill to head into the halftime locker room up a field goal.
While the first half was clean for both offenses, the defensive units stepped up in the second half to create multiple turnovers. Tom Brady’s two interceptions proved to be the most costly, however, especially his final pass of the night that fell into the arms of Jordan Fuller. Brady was trying to hit tight end Cameron Brate deep to keep Tampa Bay’s comeback hopes alive, but Fuller was able to pick off the 43-year-old for the second time in the Week 11 finale. From there, Los Angeles ran out the clock to move to 7-3 on the year.
Jared Goff finished with 376 yards passing to go along with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp were his go-to receivers on the night as they both turned in double-digit receptions. Woods finished with 130 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches while Kupp hauled in 11 passes for 145 yards.
Here are some instant takeaways from Monday night’s showdown:
Why the Rams won
They absolutely shredded Tampa Bay through the air. Sean McVay’s offense didn’t always finish, and the coach himself could’ve been more aggressive at times, but Jared Goff had little trouble picking apart a typically stout Bucs “D” throughout the night. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods (combined 23 catches for 275 yards) were downright uncontainable out wide, routinely beating a secondary that lost Jamel Dean to injury. McVay didn’t even need the ground game, because Tampa Bay had no answer for their third-down passing. On the other side of the ball, L.A. was arguably just as impressive, keeping everything in front of them — all three of the Bucs’ top receivers averaged fewer than 10 yards per catch — and getting in Tom Brady’s face enough times to make the QB visibly uncomfortable. Just an all-around physical and efficient performance that would’ve been nearly flawless if not for the red-zone hiccups and intermittent Goff errors.
Why the Buccaneers lost
Their loaded offense refused to break a trend of prime-time letdowns. The defense was a consistent concern, yes, but at least that unit provided enough impact plays — the Jason Pierre-Paul pick, Jordan Whitehead’s late interception — to keep the Bucs in contention. The most blame lies with Tom Brady and Co. Let’s start with Tom: The ageless vet fared fine for much of the first half, but there were at least three plays where he either completely misread or just poorly executed passes, resulting in easy giveaways or penalties. That cannot happen. And the vaunted receiving corps? Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown all had their moments, but none broke loose. And don’t even start with the running game, which remains a slow-moving afterthought. If the Bucs want to be taken seriously, their firepower has to be apparent against good teams on big stages.
Monday’s game was close throughout, but things really started to feel out of Tampa Bay’s reach when Tom Brady missed Chris Godwin on a fourth-and-one pass at the Bucs’ own 43-yard line. Brady finished the team’s previous drive with an illegal double pass that forced the Bucs to punt it away, and while Jared Goff would be picked off by Jordan Whitehead not long after the turnover on downs, it took valuable time off the clock and halted what appeared to be Tampa’s best last chance to go ahead for good. Brady, of course, helped knot the game up later in the quarter on a TD to Godwin, but the Rams responded right afterward with a final score of their own.
Play of the game
His team didn’t win, but Mike Evans gave the best effort of the night on the Bucs’ first TD, in which he plowed through a trio of Rams defenders to find the end zone:
The Buccaneers (7-4) will be at home once again in Week 12, but with maybe the NFL’s hottest team as their opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), who are fresh off a prime-time win over the Raiders. The Rams (7-3), meanwhile, will return to Los Angeles for an NFC West rematch with the San Francisco 49ers (4-6), who are coming off a bye.