Rams Outlast Buccaneers and Lightning to Win 37-32
L.A. Makes Defensive Stance to Secure Road Victory
September 22, 2016
It boiled down to the last play of the game but the defense prevailed in the red zone as the Los Angeles Rams came away with a much-deserved 37-32 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, September 25, 2016.
The game had a strange ending as it was suspended for over an hour due to lightning that moved into the Tampa Bay area with just two minutes remaining and the Rams hanging onto a slim 5-point lead with the ball but facing a 3rd-and-11 situation at their own 5-yard line.
The Rams threw a deep incomplete pass when the game restarted but a pressure-packed Johnny Hekker punt from the back of the end zone boomed past midfield. The Bucs drove from their own 44-yard line but stalled at the Los Angeles 5-yard line defensive end Robert Quinn tackled Winston around the 5-yard line as time expired.
An unexpected scoring duel broke out but it was a defensive play that turned the tide of the game. Quinn's forced fumble on Buc quarterback Jameis Winston resulted in defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks picking up and returning the ball 77 yards into the end zone early in the 4th quarter.
Case Keenum threw 43 yards to Tavon Austin to give the Rams the insurance score with 4:38 in the 4th quarter to improve L.A.'s season record to 2-1, tied for the NFC West Divison lead with the Seattle Seahawks. The Buccaneers scored a touchdown with 2:55 in the game to pull within five points.
Los Angeles scored its first touchdown of the season on the opening drive as Case Keenum threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Brian Quick capping the 8-play, 75-yard drive. Tampa Bay tied the score, 7-7, when Keenum was intercepted by Kwon Alexander, who returned the ball 38 yards for a pick-six.
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53-yard field goal gave the Rams a brief lead before the Bucs scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to take the lead. Los Angeles cut the lead to 20-17 just before the half on a 1-yard run by Todd Gurley.
The Rams retook the lead, 24-20, just before the end of the 3rd quarter as Gurley scored his second touchdown, again from the 1-yard line. Tampa Bay responded with a touchdown with 8:55 remaining in the game but missed the two-point conversion attempt.
The Rams complete their two-game road trip against the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday, October 2. Stay tuned for the full story in the coming issue of the Culver City Observer.