Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams 12/17/15 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Rams 31, Buccaneers 23
December 17, 2015
Kicking off the Week 15 NFL action on “Thursday Night Football,” we had an NFC matchup between the Buccaneers and the Rams. Tampa Bay was coming off a seven-point loss to the Saints in their last appearance, while St. Louis got a win over the Lions in Week 14. This could have been the Rams’ last home game in St. Louis, as there are prevalent rumors swirling about moving the team to L.A.
Let’s check out a few of the notable players and stats from this game so we can figure out why things happened they way they did. Afterward, we’ll look ahead to Week 16 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: The Rams started out fast in this one and didn’t let up until halftime. Case Keenum got the team on the board first with a 17-yard pass to Tavon Austin and a 7-0 lead. Connor Barth made a 53-yard field goal for the Bucs’ first points, but Keenum struck right back with a 60-yard TD pass to Kenny Britt. After one, it was 14-3 Rams.
In the second, the only scoring came on a 7-yard Todd Gurley rushing touchdown, which would give St. Louis a 21-3 edge heading into the break.
After halftime, Barth made another field goal, this one from 32 yards out. It wouldn’t help much, though, as Tavon Austin struck back on a 21-yard TD run.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams had a comfortable lead 28-6 but the Bucs were able to close the gap and make a game of it. Jameis Winston hooked up with Luke Stocker for a 3-yard touchdown, and after Greg Zuerlein and Barth exchanged field goals, Winston found Austin Sefarian-Jenkins for a 9-yard score.
In the end, it was a 31-23 victory for the Rams. They won’t be going to the playoffs, but the franchise has much more to focus on this off-season with the possible move to the West Coast.
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The Stars: Gurley had a pretty good all-around game. He rushed 21 times or 48 yards and the score, while catching two balls for another 31 yards.
Austin scored on the ground and in the air, with our rushes for 32 yards and three catches for 41.
On the other side, Mike Evans logged nine receptions for 157 yards, but couldn’t get into the end zone.
The Goats: Neither team should be too proud of its offense. The Buccaneers went just 3-of-11 on third and fourth downs, while the Rams had a crummy third-down conversion rate of just 2-of-10. They also put up just 16 first downs to Tampa’s 30.
Tampa made a pretty sloppy game of this as well. They were flagged nine times for 56 yards.
Winston had a pretty good throwing line, but also contributed to a pair of turnovers.
Injuries: Vincent Jackson was out of action for this game, which removed a top target for Tampa Bay.
DT Akeem Spence was also ruled out due to an ankle injury.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 16, both teams will be back in action on Sunday, December 27. The Buccaneers will get a home game against the Bears (1:00 PM ET on FOX), while the Rams will travel to Seattle to visit the Seahawks (4:25 PM ET on FOX).
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