The St. Louis Rams appear to know all about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ struggles against the run—their second drive has seen Steven Jackson, Mike Karney, and Kenneth Darby all get in on the action, even as Sam Bradford struggles to complete passes. Jackson’s pushed through for rushes of eight and 12 yards early, and also caught a third-and-two pass from Bradford for 14 more.
Backup running back Kenneth Darby was in on the action, too—after an eight yard rush early in the drive he put the Rams in the red zone after catching a short pass from Bradford and taking it 19 yards to the Tampa Bay 15. A false start on third-and-nine pushed the back to the 19 yard-line, and Bradford’s second complete pass to Jackson left them just short of the last first-down marker. A Josh Brown field goal to open the second quarter tied the game at three all.
Through one quarter even the passing attack is ground-centric—aside from Brandon Gibson and Danario Alexander once each, Bradford has targeted the running backs and tight ends almost exclusively. Jackson has five rushes for 22 yards and two receptions for 26 more.