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Bucs vs. Rams: Scouting report

Projected starters

BUCS

OFFENSE

WR: Vincent Jackson

LT: Donald Penn

LG: Jeremy Zuttah

C: Ted Larsen

RG: Jamon Meredith

RT: Demar Dotson

TE: Dallas Clark

WR: Mike Williams

QB: Josh Freeman

RB: Doug Martin

FB: Erik Lorig

DEFENSE

LDE: Michael Bennett

DT: Gerald McCoy

DT: Roy Miller

RDE: Daniel Te'o-Nesheim

SLB: Adam Hayward

MLB: Mason Foster

WLB: Lavonte David

CB: E.J. Biggers

CB: Leonard Johnson

SS: Mark Barron

FS: Ronde Barber

special teams

PR: Roscoe Parrish

KR: Tiquan Underwood

PK: Connor Barth

P/KO: Michael Koenen

rams

OFFENSE

WR: Brandon Gibson

LT: Rodger Saffold

LG: Robert Turner

C: Scott Wells

RG: Harvey Dahl

RT: Barry Richardson

TE: Lance Kendricks

WR: Chris Givens

WR: Danny Amendola

QB: Sam Bradford

RB: Steven Jackson

DEFENSE

LDE: Chris Long

DT: Kendall Langford

DT: Michael Brockers

RDE: Robert Quinn

SLB: Mario Haggan

MLB: James Laurinaitis

WLB: Jo-Lonn Dunbar

CB: Cortland Finnegan

CB: Janoris Jenkins

SS: Craig Dahl

FS: Quintin Mikell

special teams

PR: Danny Amendola

KR: Chris Givens

PK/KO: Greg Zuerlein

P: Johnny Hekker

Injury report

BUCS Doubtful: DE Aaron Morgan (shoulder). Questionable: CB LeQuan Lewis (knee). Probable: DE Michael Bennett (shoulder), DE Da'Quan Bowers (hamstring), LB Lavonte David (knee), TE Luke Stocker (head, nose), WR Mike Williams (wrist).

RAMS Questionable: CB Cortland Finnegan (thigh). Probable: CB Bradley Fletcher (illness), RB Steven Jackson (illness), LB James Laurinaitis (back), DE Robert Quinn (illness), C Scott Wells (knee)

Prediction

Bucs 24, Rams 23

The Bucs have lost four straight because of subpar quarterbacking from Josh Freeman and an inability to get stops on defense. The Rams are coming off a 36-22 loss to the Vikings in which they were overwhelmed by running back Adrian Peterson. Before that, however, they had won three straight.

Rams' top offensive player

Steven Jackson, right, just became the 27th player to surpass 10,000 career rushing yards. At 6 feet 2, 236 pounds, he's a load to bring down in the open field.

Rams' top defensive player

Linebacker James Laurinaitis, left, is the only NFC player with at least 8½ sacks and six interceptions in each season since 2009. His 153 tackles this season lead St. Louis.

What the Rams do best

Defend the pass. The rush of ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long and the secondary play of corners Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan (questionable with a thigh injury) have helped the Rams allow only 14 passing touchdowns, fourth in the NFL.

How you beat the Rams

Stopping running back Steven Jackson on early downs is key. That puts the game in the hands of quarterback Sam Bradford and a passing game not prone to huge plays.

The Bucs must avoid …

Turnovers hurt the Bucs in New Orleans last week. They committed too many (five) and didn't produce any. That has been a trend of late, reversing a huge turnover advantage earlier in the season.

Bucs vs. Rams: Scouting report 12/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:24pm]
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