Clash of the titans as top-ranked Buccaneers face second-ranked LA Rams

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Is it too early in the 2020 NFL season to tout a game as having NFL Playoff implications?  Perhaps. But if there is a game that deserves that level of notoriety this weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveling to face the LA Rams would certainly be atop that list.

In just two weeks time, the NFL has already driven all but seven of the 32 NFL teams from the ranks of the undefeated. Three of those undefeated teams compete in the NFC West. Two of those undefeated teams will be meeting in head to head in SoFi Stadium this weekend: The Tampa Bay and the LA Rams. It’s the type of early season NFL drama that television producers love to feature in wave after wave of advertising and promotions. It’s a televised football game ratings darling, because it attracts even the most casual NFL fans to check it out and see what all the fuss is about.

ESPN power ranking

The latest power ranking at ESPN has created quite the story line for the 2021 NFL season in Week 3. They have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the top-ranked team in the NFL. That makes perfect sense because the Buccaneers on currently riding a 10 game winning streak that carries all the way over from the 2020 NFL season. Right behind them, riding the hot-handed passing of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, sits the LA Rams at 2-0.

While a game like this can certainly be a defining moment in terms of how good the LA Rams at this point in the season, it can also be a bit misleading. After all, how many times has a game with this type of ‘significant bearing’ occurred in the past?  And of those occasions, the winning team follows the win with a losing streak, while the losing team gets a bit ‘miffed’ and uses the loss to start a winning streak?

Or more importantly, the teams that met earlier in the season, meet again in post season play, with the outcome turning out differently?  Somehow, it seems that the winner of this type of early season match up ends up with a steeper climb later in the season. So it creates a bit of consternation when trying to decide whether it’s better for the LA Rams 2021 season to win or not here.

Trending. It’s time for the LA Rams to call DeSean Jackson’s number. light

But wins are wins. The LA Rams would get a huge boost if they could halt the Buccaneers winning streak. And let’s face it, emerging from the month of September 2021 with a record of 3-0 would be a great start to a long 17-game NFL season. But perhaps most of all, winning in Week 3 would finally break the W-W-L pattern that plagued the LA Rams throughout the 2020 NFL season.

Breaking that damnable pattern would be worth whatever it takes to win.