INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald discovered quarterback Matthew Stafford following a decisive win over the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, gave him an enormous hug and stated, “I love you, man!”
In entrance of a star-studded crowd that included four-time NBA champion LeBron James, actor Jason Sudeikis and rapper-producer Dr. Dre, Stafford propelled the Rams to a 3-0 begin as he handed for 343 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 34-24 victory over the beforehand undefeated Bucs at SoFi Stadium.
“He’s playing lights out,” Donald stated. “That’s why he’s here, we expect that from him and I know he’s going to continue doing what he’s doing and even at a higher level.”
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady handed for 432 yards and a landing and rushed for a team-high 14 yards and a rating, however discovered himself underneath constant stress and was sacked 3 times.
“It’s just a good defense,” stated Brady, who has been pressured on a league-low 17.8% of his dropbacks since arriving final season in Tampa Bay, however noticed a move rush Sunday that pressured him 27% of the time. “They have good pass-rush schemes, they have good pass-rushers, they mix things up quite a bit on you so it’s hard to really just to tee off.”
Rams gamers had been hesitant to agree that Sunday’s win over the Bucs offered any kind of measuring stick of their pursuit of Super Bowl LVI, however Donald, a catalyst within the Rams’ 2018 Super Bowl run, stated this crew “for sure” has the make-up to get there.
“It’s only three games, still got a long season, but obviously that’s the ultimate goal, that’s what we’re chasing,” stated Donald, who recorded his first sack in opposition to Brady in 4 conferences. “That’s the only thing I’m chasing.”
Both groups struggled offensively via the primary quarter and the Rams took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
Stafford dialed it up after the break.
Facing third-and-10 from his personal 25-yard line, Stafford went via his development earlier than he finally discovered receiver DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard landing strike to place the Rams up 21-7 on the opening drive of the second half.
“He pushes it down the field so easily,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians stated about Stafford. “You’re right up in his face one time, he finds a guy wide-open down the field and gets it to him. A lot of guys, they see it but they can’t get it to him. He’s a special player.”
Rams coach Sean McVay bolted down the sideline to have fun the lengthy rating with Jackson, who was coming off a Week 2 sport with no targets however was signed to a one-year free-agent contract over the offseason to offer a deep menace that the Rams lacked final season.
“It electrified the stands, the fans, the whole team,” stated Jackson, who grew to become the ninth participant in NFL historical past with no less than 10 75-yard touchdowns and completed Sunday with three receptions for 120 yards.
“I was just being in the moment, having fun,” McVay stated. “There was a lot of good reasons to be excited for our team today.”
Brady responded with a fast nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive that he capped with a 1-yard keeper for a landing that pulled the Bucs inside one rating, however Stafford countered with a landing drive of his personal when he discovered receiver Cooper Kupp for a 10-yard landing and the Rams kicked a 48-yard discipline aim on the following drive to tug away.
Kupp caught 9 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Stafford’s 75-yard landing move accounted for his third passing landing of 50-plus yards this season, tying the variety of 50-plus-yard passing touchdowns the Rams had in 2019 and 2020 mixed with former quarterback Jared Goff.
In three video games in L.A., Stafford has 9 passing touchdowns, which ties him with Hall of Famer Kurt Warner in 1999 for probably the most touchdowns in Rams historical past via three video games.
“I was the new guy coming in and they’ve embraced me, which was awesome,” stated Stafford, who performed 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions and was acquired by way of a blockbuster offseason commerce. “I’m just trying to be myself every single day, bring my best every single day and see where that takes us.”
The Rams will stay at SoFi Stadium subsequent Sunday and can open division play in opposition to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
Brady will return to New England, the place he performed 20 seasons and gained six Super Bowls, to face former coach Bill Belichick and the 1-2 Patriots.
ESPN employees author Jenna Laine contributed to this report.
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