The Week 3 matchup between the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the LA Rams was something that the Fox Sports producers salivated over as soon as the NFL Power Rankings became available. The top-ranked Buccaneers, and their 40 points per game offense, were facing the Rams at SoFi Stadium, and their own bit of offensive innovation.
This one was expected to be a high scorer, and it didn’t disappoint. Well, it didn’t if you cheer for the LA Rams, that is. The Over was 55.5 points, and the final score was 58. Close, but still over.
This game was touted as an early-season test for both teams. Of course, that was partially true, and partially a marketing ploy to help drive up viewership for the game. Eventually, playoff berths will matter, and the complex and numerous series of NFL tiebreakers will eventually be a topic of some rather passionate and animated discussions for some future point in time.
But for now, this is a win. Just one win. The Rams now have won three games, with 14 more yet to be decided. For all intents and purposes, the team must believe that it will take 12 wins this season to earn a playoff berth. To win the NFC West Division? 13 wins or sweeping the division. That means that the LA Rams need 9 or 10 more wins to end up where they want to this year.
But let’s not diminish the reality here either. The LA Rams have defeated three very well-coached teams that all made the 2020 NFL Playoffs just months earlier. In doing so, they faced three very stout defenses, three successful head coaches, and overcame adversity in the process.
This is early for the LA Rams. This is a team that has remodeled the offense, retooled the defense, and is giving the special teams units a complete makeover. This was never about being a plug-n-play roster. 2021 is about slow deliberate growth of all phases of the team, and peaking at its crescendo just as the playoffs begin. In the meantime, we are all learning about this team. Lessons, for lack of a better term. So what did we learn about the team in Week 3?