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Destined to be an all-time showcasing of two loaded NFL rosters, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round this weekend.
Anticipating a do-or-die game against the legendary Tom Brady, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey wants to make sure that the 44-year-old reconsiders retirement after four quarters against Los Angeles’ defense.
Ramsey acknowledged the GOAT’s bid for the Super Bowl this postseason, which is off to a promising start after a 31-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in last week’s Wild Card round.
“I’m sure he’s going to bring it,” Ramsey said, via the Los Angeles Times. “I’m sure his team’s going to be ready.”
Brady’s command of the Bucs offense has produced stronger momentum this year than his 2020 championship run. He threw for 43 touchdowns (+3) and 12 interceptions (-), which helped muster two more regular-season wins (13).
“He’s a great leader, the way he’s able to get his team to rally around him, the way he’s able to get his team to all believe that they’re great and able to make all the plays possible. I’m sure we’ll get their best effort,” Ramsey commented.
The 27-year-old Ramsey still wants to challenge the defending Super Bowl champs — riding the highs of his consecutive Pro Bowl season (third selection), the Rams’ 12-5 record and a Wild Card win over the Arizona Cardinals.
“You know how I feel about challenges: I welcome them,” Ramsey added, “and I’m excited for that challenge however many times that may or may not happen.”
Helping prep Ramsey for success is first-year Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
Morris had a tall request to fulfill when former Rams DC Brandon Staley led the league’s best defense in 2020, eventually leaving to accept the Chargers’ HC job.
Morris, the former Bucs head coach (2009-2011), led the Rams defense to the second-highest sack total (46) in 2021.
Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and in-season acquisition Vonn Miller will pose an advanced challenge to Brady’s offense compared to Philly’s sluggish pursuit of the quarterback.
The Rams defense also produced the third-most interceptions (19) among NFL defenses but will face new adjustments this weekend after ruling out safety Taylor Rapp (4 INTs) per concussion protocols.
Los Angeles braces for the all-time great in Brady, while the Buccaneers welcome Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford’s potent offense to Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
In their Week 3 contest from SoFi Stadium, Stafford threw for 343 yards and four touchdowns as the Rams went on to win 34-24. Brady completed 41-of-55 passes for 432 yards and a touchdown.
Morris, Ramsey, McVay and a loaded roster of defensive playmakers could prove to be Brady’s greatest obstacle left in the NFC.
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela