Both of these teams advanced out of the Wild Card round with incredible ease, grabbing huge leads early and never looking back. The Rams dominated the Cardinals, 34-11. Los Angeles’ defense flummoxed Kyler Murray all night long and limited Arizona to fewer than 200 total yards. They came away with two turnovers, including a pick-six. That left little for Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense to accomplish. Stafford threw for 202 yards and a couple of touchdowns on just 17 passes. Running back Sony Michel ripped off a big run early, but it was really Cam Akers, just six months removed from his Achilles tear, who was most impressive out of the backfield. The second-year back ran for 55 yards on 17 carries and caught a 40-yard pass from Odell Beckham Jr. The Rams did just about anything they wanted to do.
The story was similar for the Bucs, who romped over the Eagles, 31-15. That score is not indicative of how much of a blowout the game really was; Tampa Bay led 31-0 entering the fourth quarter. Tom Brady threw touchdowns to Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski while RBs Giovani Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn each notched a rushing score. The Bucs’ defense forced three takeaways and allowed just 179 yards through the first three quarters. They will now look for some revenge against the Rams, who won their Week 3 meeting in L.A., 34-24.
Current point spread: Bucs -3
Current point total: 48.5
Current moneyline: Bucs -145, Rams +125
Early O/U pick: Under 48.5
There will be offensive stars all over the field in Raymond James Stadium, but the matchup of the day will come in the trenches. The Buccaneers’ offensive line was the best in pass protection during the regular season, but the Eagles sacked Tom Brady four times, and the task won’t get any easier with Aaron Donald and Von Miller coming to town. With All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs likely a game-time decision due to an ankle injury, the Bucs’ aerial attack may be grounded often.
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