Bucs defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returned a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to clinch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 55-40 victory over the Los Angeles Rams Sunday in Los Angeles.
Suh, who went to the Super Bowl with the Rams last season before signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent, picked up Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s fumble, forced by another ferocious rush by Bucs defensive end Shaquil Barrett, and ran into the end zone to cap the highest-scoring game in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history.
Matt Gay’s big day
Update: 2:35, fourth quarter: Matt Gay didn’t miss this time.
Gay, who boomed a 58-yard field goal early in the second half, made a chip-shot 21-yarder with 2:35 to play. Ronald Jones’ 24-yard run was the big play on the drive.
Gay, you may have heard, missed a 34-yarder as time expired last Sunday in a 32-31 home loss to the New York Giants.
Gay was 8 for 8 on kicks Sunday.
Update, 8:25 fourth quarter: Rams cornerback Marcus Peters ruined Jameis Winston’s almost-perfect day.
Peters picked off a Winston pass intended for Bobo Wilson and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s two-point conversion pass went incomplete, but Peters’ interception pulled the Rams to within 45-40 with most of the fourth quarter still to play.
To that point, Winston had four touchdown passes without an interception.
Reminder: The Bucs led this game 21-0 in the first half.
Reminder: The Bucs led 28-10 at halftime of last week’s 32-31 home loss to the New York Giants.
Cooper Kupp breaks free
Update: The Bucs could only slow Cooper Kupp for so long.
After holding the Rams’ top receiver to one catch in the first half, Kupp broke loose for a 29-yard touchdown reception to pull the Rams to within 45-34 with 9:12 to play in the fourth quarter. Cupp’s TD catch gave him seven catches for 105 yards.
Update, 11:35 fourth quarter: Today, Jameis Winston has an answer for everything.
Winston answered a Rams’ fourth-quarter touchdown drive with his fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 67-yard bomb to Mike Evans, to give Tampa Bay a 45-27 lead at the 11:35 mark of the fourth quarter.
Evans left the game early in the second half after injuring his hand when it was caught in between a collision of two Rams defenders. But he returned to do this:
Gurley scores second TD
Update, 12:31 fourth quarter: Todd Gurley has only five carries through three-plus quarters Sunday, but his two touchdowns are keeping the Los Angeles Rams in it.
Gurley’s 5-yard TD run with 12:31 to play pulled the Rams to within 38-27 and capped an eight-play, 75-yard answer to Jameis Winston’s third touchdown pass. The Rams went no-huddle throughout the drive, hurrying to the line after Robert Woods’ 19-yard reception to set up Gurley’s scoring run.
Another Bucs interception, another Bucs TD drive
UPDATE, 14:55 in the fourth quarter: Jameis Winston threw his third touchdown pass, a 13-yard strike to tight end Cameron Brate, on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 38-20 lead over the Los Angeles Rams.
The scoring drive was set in motion by the Bucs’ third interception of Rams quarterback Jared Goff, this one by linebacker Shaquil Barrett. All three interceptions gave the Bucs possession near midfield. All three proceeded touchdown drives.
Matt Gay’s big kick
UPDATE: Matt Gay matched kicks with one of the NFL’s best Sunday, booting a 58-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to increase the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ lead to 31-20 over the Los Angeles Rams.
It was Gay’s first field-goal attempt since missing a 34-yarder as time expired last Sunday in the Bucs’ 32-31 home loss to the New York Giants.
Greg Zuerlein kept the Rams within striking distance, booming a 58-yard field goal late in the first half and added a 44-yarder on the first possession of the third quarter as the Rams pulled to within 28-20.
Bucs open big first-half lead again
UPDATE: Ronald Jones’ 6-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds left in the first half capped an explosive half that gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 28-17 lead over the Rams Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Bucs saw a 21-point lead shrink to one score before answering the Rams, scoring their fourth touchdown on their fourth trip into the red zone to go up 28-14.
Chris Godwin had nine catches on 10 targets for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the half. Jameis Winston completed 18 of 27 passes for 203 yards, the two scores and no interceptions. Winston threw three first-half touchdown passes to Mike Evans last Sunday, boosting the Bucs to a 28-10 lead the eventually blew in a 32-31 home loss to the New York Giants.
Rams leading receiver Cooper Kupp, who had 11 catches last Sunday against Cleveland, was held to one catch for seven yards in the first half Sunday.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a 58-yard field goal two seconds before halftime to make it 28-17.
Goff bounces back
UPDATE: Rams quarterback Jared Goff rebounded from two second-quarter interceptions that helped put Los Angeles in a 21-0 hole to hit Gerald Everett on a 5-yard touchdown pass late in the first half. Everett’s catch, set up by Goff’s 37-yard throw to Robert Woods, pulled the Rams to within 21-14 following a fast start by Tampa Bay.
Godwin looks healthy today
UPDATE: Chris Godwin was a limited participant in Bucs practice Friday with a hip injury. But the third-year receiver came out strong Sunday. Godwin’s touchdown receptions of 3 and 9 yards in the second quarter following Buccaneer interceptions had Tampa Bay lead the Rams 21-7 late in the first half.
Godwin’s 3-yard TD catch from Winston capped a 50-yard drive set up by Jordan’s Whitehead’s interception for the Bucs second score. Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett, whose eight sacks coming into the game led the NFL, hit Goff as he threw to send the ball floating in Whitehead’s direction.
Linebacker Lavonte David picked off Goff on the next Los Angeles possession, returning it to the Rams 9, where Godwin scored on the next play.
Winston was 11 of 15 passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Here’s Godwin touchdown No. 1:
UPDATE: Winston came out on fire, hitting 3-of-3 passes for 48 yards to fuel a 60-yard drive that Peyton Barber capped with a 3-yard touchdown run. Winston twice hooked up with Chris Godwin, the final an 18-yarder to give the Bucs a first-and-goal.
Rookie kicker Matt Gay’s point-after kick was good, off the left upright. Gay missed one PAT, had another blocked and missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired in the Bucs’ 32-31 loss last week to the New York Giants.
This story will be updated.
This story will be updated