St. Louis Rams Week 2 Predictions Roundup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Sep 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) sacks St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis (9) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Minnesota Vikings defeat St. Louis Rams 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Much like last season, when Jeff Fisher jokingly marked the “new” start of the 2013 season after Week 4, it may be in the best interest of all in Rams Nation to consider the Week 1 bout against the Minnesota Vikings a mulligan. However, considering that blowout loss to a not-so daunting opponent, it is unlike that the St. Louis Rams will get much love as they head down to Tampa Bay this Sunday. With questions surrounding their quarterback situation, Chris Long likely to miss a chunk of the season after ankle surgery, and this being the first “road game” for the young squad, it is not surprising that the Rams are a 6.5 point underdog.

So, considering all of those factors, does anyone have the St. Louis Rams pulling out a victory over the team they handily beat at the end last season?

CBS Sports: 21-13, Bucs

"The Bucs were lifeless in a home loss to the Panthers. The Rams could be the perfect tonic. Both teams had quarterback issues last week. Josh McCown bounces back some to lead the Bucs to their first victory." 17-10, Bucs

"Austin Davis could be the next Kurt Warner. Or he could be the next Tony Banks, Jamie Martin or Kellen Clemens. Either way, if Davis starts for the Rams in place of the injured Shaun Hill, the Bucs will be facing the prospect of falling to 0-2 via consecutive home losses against backup quarterbacks. But it’s doubtful they’ll falter against another understudy after being beaten by Derek Anderson and the Panthers in Week 1.The key for St. Louis will be to get either Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham or maybe even Brett Hull going. Meanwhile, this is the weekend during which Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown should develop some continuity with the trees running the route tree for him out on the field — namely, Vincent Jackson and rookies Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Those three didn’t get 100 yards between them last week. #STLvsTB"

Pro Football Talk: 20-10, Bucs; 14-13 Bucs

"MDS’s take: St. Louis looked so awful in Week One that I’m not sure I’d take the Rams on the road against anyone. The Bucs’ defense is going to make life rough for Shaun Hill.Florio’s take: Two teams with high hopes fell flat in Week One. The Rams remain adrift without an effective quarterback. If the Bucs can’t win this one, they won’t win many this year."

Ramblin’ Fan: 16-14, Rams

"The Rams were hard to watch in Week 1. Early in the game it seemed like the defense would be able to set the tempo and contain a potentially explosive Vikings offense. Then the wheels came off.Offensively the team looked mediocre at best when Shaun Hill was clicking, but then Austin Davis stepped in due to a questionable injury. Offensively the lone bright spot was Brian Quick who flashed true potential snagging seven catches and totaling 99 yards. The offensive line was terrible when it came to run blocking making the offense become one-dimensional.On the defensive side there were more highlights. The Rams showed how fierce their d-line could be and the DB’s showed a willingness to really help in the run game. The Rams will travel to Tampa Bay and play a Buccaneers team that got picked apart by 31-year old backup.The Rams will need to capitalize on a Bucs defense that hasn’t yet been fully molded to Lovie Smith’s liking. The Buccaneers passing game was far from immaculate with Josh McCown tossing two picks and averaging 5.2 yards per competition. If the Rams want to turn around the season this could be the chance."

Some sites prefer to merely throw out their picks, instead of outlining boldly predicted scores. Falling in line with the bolder predictions, the USA Today unanimously voted in favor of the Buccaneers, with all seven analysts picking Tampa Bay over the St. Louis Rams. In the Week 2 “expert picks” for ESPN, 14 out of 14 picked the Bucs to win. In CBS Sports’ “Against the Spread” predictions, five out of eight went with the “favorite,”with choosing the Buccaneers, despite being a 6.5 point favorite. However, with their “Straight Up” picks the votes were a little less divided, with all eight taking Tampa Bay over St. Louis on Sunday.

After their season-opening, dumpster fire performance, it is not surprising that few, if any, are picking the St. Louis Rams to win on Sunday against the Lovie Smith-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The one bright spot for the Rams is that they did beat the Bucs last season with a similar roster in a similar situation (i.e. backup QB vs. backup-caliber QB). Moreover, Tampa Bay did not look particularly intimidating last week, falling to a Carolina Panthers squad that was supposedly depleted on the offensive line, devoid of talent at the receiver position, and essentially starting an entirely new secondary. Hopefully, a solid showing on Sunday evening will get the Rams back in the good graces of the national media.