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Week 4 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 55, Los Angeles Rams 40

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston and the passing game clicked as Tampa Bay's defense forced multiple turnovers that the offense was able to capitalize on. Tampa Bay intercepted Jared Goff three times and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Winston found Godwin twice and Evans and Brate once each for touchdowns. He did throw an ugly pick six late in the 4th quarter on what could have been a miscommunication with receiver Bobo Wilson. Both backs scored, but Ronald Jones appears to be pulling ahead of starter Peyton Barber in the backfield, being featured almost exclusively in the 2nd half. Receiver Breshad Perriman left the game in the 1st with a hamstring injury and did not return.

Los Angeles Rams

On the positive side, the Rams put up 40 points and found their rhythm with Todd Gurley at the goal line (two touchdowns) and the passing game (seven receptions). However, their stat lines were largely padded by playing catch up to a multiple-score deficit for much of the game as the Rams defense could not get off the field in the shootout loss. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were largely uncoverable on short-to-intermediate routes and Jared Goff threw an unreal 68 passes in the catch-up effort as six Rams players saw at least seven targets.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Jameis Winston, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 41 - 385 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0
Winston had his best game of the year in a tough matchup with the Rams. He and Godwin were particularly hot this week, hooking up on 12 of 14 targets for two touchdowns. Winston set the Bucs' first touchdown up with a deep post route to Godwin that the receiver took down to the four yard line, two plays before Peyton Barber punched it in with a short run. Winston and Godwin hooked up again in the second quarter on a post route that Godwin took to the 3 yard line. Winston narrowly missed Evans on a corner route before hitting Godwin on an out route for Winston's first touchdown of the day. Winston and Godwin connected for a score again on the next drive, capitalizing on great field position after Lavonte David returned an interception to the Rams' 9 yard line. Winston hit Godwin on a bubble screen behind the line of scrimmage, and the receiver did all the work from there, darting up the sideline and blasting a tackler on his way past the front pylon. Winston found Cameron Brate at the end of the 3rd quarter on one of the seam routes that the two of them have had so much success connecting on. Winston saved his biggest play of the day for the 4th quarter, hitting a wide open Mike Evans with a beautiful deep ball for a 67 yard score.

Winston threw an ugly pick six late in the 4th quarter, looking for Bobo Wilson on a deep comeback down the left sideline that could have been a miscommunication with the young receiver. A defender saw the pass coming and jumped the route, returning it 32 yards for a score.

RB Ronald Jones II, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 70 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
Barber scored on a short run on the opening drive, but the backfield was all Jones after that, save for a few carries by Barber and a few targets for Ogunbowale. Jones exploded up the middle for a 25 yard gain in the 2nd quarter, showing off a nifty spin move, but the play was called back for an illegal shift penalty. He scored from a few yards out at the end of the 2nd quarter, carrying off right tackle. Jones was featured heavily in the 2nd half. He had another big run down called back for a holding penalty in the 3rd quarter. Jones caught a short out route in the 3rd quarter to pick up a 3rd down conversion. Jones appears to be pulling ahead of Barber for backfield duties with Ogunbowale still working in some situations like the two minute drill.

RB Peyton Barber, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 19 - 1 (1 targets)
Barber capped the opening drive off with a touchdown after Chris Godwin was brought down at the four yard line, but quickly relinquished backfield duties to Jones, who was featured almost exclusively in the second half. Barber got stuffed on his first attempt, but scored off left tackle on his second attempt. Barber got another goal line carry from the 3 yard line in the 2nd quarter, but couldn't convert as Chris Godwin eventually caught a touchdown pass to seal the drive. He finished the day with just 9 carries and no catches on one target.

RB Dare Ogunbowale, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)
Ogunbowale continues to work exclusively in passing down situations. He first worked into the rotation in the two minute drill at the end of the first half, snagging a few checkdown passes from Winston underneath prevent coverage.

WR Chris Godwin, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 12 - 172 - 2 (14 targets)
Godwin drew the winning matchup this week as Winston peppered him with 14 targets total, twice as many as Mike Evans or any other receiver. Winston hit him up the seam on the first play of the game. Winston hit him on a deep post later in the drive and Godwin was tackled inside the 5 yard line. Godwin caught a bubble screen behind the line of scrimmage and turned in into a nice gain in the 2nd quarter. Godwin was tackled inside the red zone again in the 2nd quarter when he took a deep post all the way to the 3 yard line, but he did manage to cap that drive with a touchdown catch two plays later on an out route from Winston. Godwin scored again on the next drive after Lavonte David returned an interception of Jared Goff down to the 9 yard line. Godwin caught a WR bubble screen behind the line of scrimmage and lowered his shoulder to blast a defensive back on his way to a touchdown at the front pylon. Godwin secured 12 of his 14 targets, posting the best stat line of his career.

WR Mike Evans, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 89 - 1 (7 targets)
Evans was having a slow day until he saved his fantasy day with a big touchdown late. Chris Godwin won the matchup lottery this week and drew twice as many targets as Evans, scoring twice in the first half. Winston first looked Evans' way on the second drive, hitting him up the seam to convert 3rd down. Winston and Evans just barely missed scoring on a back corner fade route in the end zone in the second quarter. Evans finally broke loose in the 4th quarter, burning his defender on a deep ball from Winston that picked up 67 yards and a touchdown.

WR Justin Watson, 2 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets)
Watson was used sparingly in the wide receiver rotation. He lined up in the right slot in a 4WR set, catching a deep curl on his only target for his first reception of the season.

WR Breshad Perriman, 5 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Perriman injured his hamstring in the 1st quarter and did not return.

WR Bobo Wilson
Wilson worked into the receiver rotation a bit after Perriman's injury, hauling in a seam route in the 3rd quarter.

TE O.J. Howard, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (3 targets)
Howard had another slow day as Winston peppered receiver Godwin with most of his targets. Winston hit Howard on a curl route in the 1st quarter. Howard's most impressive play was a catch and run on a tight end screen in the 2nd quarter. He got close to the end zone in the second quarter, but was brought down inside the 10 yard line on his final catch of the game. Howard had a costly holding penalty that negated a huge Ronald Jones run in the 3rd quarter. Howard still has yet to score this season, while fellow tight end Brate has found paydirt three times.

TE Cameron Brate, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 36 - 1 (3 targets)
Brate made a tough contested catch up the seam on the first drive of the game. He caught an out route for a solid gain late in the 3rd quarter. Brate found the end zone at the end of the same drive, running one of his signature seam routes and making a tough contested catch. Brate hasn't generated much in the way of stats, but he's found the end zone three times this season, which is three more than OJ Howard has accounted for.

Los Angeles Rams

QB Jared Goff, 98 offensive snaps, Pass: 45 - 68 - 517 - 2 TD / 3 INT
Goff stuffed the stat sheet with an unreal 68 pass attempts against the Buccaneers, a mark not seen since Jon Kitna’s 68 passes all the way back in 2001. Goff was in constant comeback mode as the Rams defense struggled to stop Tampa Bay throughout and the Rams abandoned the run game to the tune of a mere 10 running back carries. Goff made several big-time throws, especially on intermediate routes, but trailed most of the game by multiple scores. Goff tallied three interceptions with one a result of his arm being hit and a fourth being a near interception late in the game. Goff delivered timely laser throws at times, including a red zone touchdown to Gerald Everett and an impressive deep out to Robert Woods for nearly 40 yards. However, the turnovers and two long touchdown misfired throws to Brandin Cooks and Gerald Everett were missed opportunities in a game where the Rams offense had minimal margin for error as the defense struggled to make a stop.

RB Todd Gurley, 74 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 16 - 2, Rec: 7 - 54 - 0 (11 targets)
Gurley’s run game volume took a massive hit in the shootout loss to the Buccaneers as the Rams passed an unreal 68 times. On the plus side, Gurley amassed 11 targets in the comeback mode game script, including early-game receptions which eluded Gurley in the first three games of the season (four receptions total). Gurley did log two drops as missed opportunities, but also drew a defensive pass interference penalty as he was wide open on a wheel route. Among Gurley’s meager five carries were two impressive red zone touchdowns, both through contact. The Rams defense will need a quick turnaround to provide the Rams run game more volume in Seattle for Week 5.

RB Malcolm Brown, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 14 - 0 (1 targets)
Brown sparsely played against Tampa Bay in the shootout loss. The reserve running back saw no snaps until the second quarter where he saw back-to-back carries. Once the game turned into serial comeback mode for the Rams, Todd Gurley dominated passing game work and Brown was relegated to sporadic snaps and a mere one target despite the team throwing 68 passes.

WR Robert Woods, 96 offensive snaps, Rec: 13 - 164 - 0 (15 targets)
Woods nearly set a new career high for receiving yards with a monster 164-yard performance against the Buccaneers. The Rams threw an unreal 68 passes in the comeback effort and Woods was unstoppable on intermediate routes. Woods’ highlight catch came on a laser throw by Jared Goff on a deep out route for nearly 40 yards. Despite the 13 receptions, Woods did not sniff the end zone and remains curiously scoreless on the season despite 26 catches overall.

WR Cooper Kupp, 92 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -2 - 0, Rec: 9 - 121 - 1 (15 targets)
Kupp surged in volume, along with the rising tide of the Rams voluminous passing game against Tampa Bay, to a season-high 15 targets and 121 yards. Kupp was uncheckable by defensive backs and produced three massive plays for 20 or more yards, including two for chunks of yards-after-the-catch and a long touchdown. Kupp has three 100-yard games in a row and if the Rams defense continues to struggle like they did against the Buccaneers, Kupp’s elite target level will be stable going forward.

WR Brandin Cooks, 88 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 71 - 0 (9 targets)
Despite the huge passing game pie for the Rams against Tampa Bay (more than 500 yards and 68 passes), Cooks had a comparatively tepid game with only nine targets and 71 yards. Cooks had a long touchdown opportunity, coming wide open on a post route, but Jared Goff missed the speedster with one of his inaccurate throws on the game. Cooks logged a drop and had a reception called back, preventing a push for a 100-yard effort.

TE Gerald Everett, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 44 - 1 (8 targets)
Everett logged more targets this week than the first three games of the season combined. The Rams threw the ball around a massive 68 times in the comeback effort and Everett had two notable plays. Everett exhibited strong hands on a Jared Goff laser red zone throw for a score and the other Everett accrued yards-after-the-catch with multiple moves typically reserved for wide receivers, not a tight end of Everett’s size. Everett separated on a deep corner route, a likely second touchdown, but Jared Goff overthrew the tight end. Everett is clearly the preferred receiving tight end for the Rams compared to more blocking-centric Tyler Higbee.