The St. Louis Rams put 17 points on the board early, but they just couldn’t get downfield in the second half, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ steady barrage of field goals finally culminated in a final-minute touchdown that put them ahead 18-17.
The Rams’ offensive woes can be traced to quarterback Sam Bradford’s struggles; he finished the game just 13 of 26 with 126 yards and two touchdowns. A brief revival in the final minutes of the fourth quarter wasn’t enough to put additional points on the board, and the Buccaneers’ offense finally broke through the Rams defense when quarterback Josh Freeman connected on six passes in the final two minutes.
With 10 seconds on the clock and the ball at the 23 yard line the Rams were unable to get the ball downfield, and time ran out with the ball on the 33.
The Rams’ running game was one bright spot. Steven Jackson, who took the Rams’ all-time rushing record from Eric Dickerson with his 32nd rushing yard of the game, finished with 22 carries for 110 yards and caught two passes for 35 more. Danny Amendola, who also caught a touchdown pass, took his first carry of the year 21 yards downfield, and backup Kenneth Darby rushed three times for 18 yards.
But the Rams offense couldn’t get the ball downfield after the second quarter, and their defense lost ground in fits and starts, and the lead, finally, wasn’t enough. The Buccaneers, whose terrible point-differential continues to betray their winning record, improve to 4-2. The St. Louis Rams fall to 3-4.