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Rams use air assault to sink Buccaneers

TAMPA: Chris Godwin #14 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scores on a 13-yard pass during the fourth quarter in the game against the Los Angeles Rams on November 23, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. – AFP

LOS ANGELES: Jared Goff passed for three touchdowns and 376 yards as the Los Angeles Rams showed their offensive versatility on Monday with a 27-24 victory over Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Goff completed 39 of 51 passes including a combined 23 completions to his favourite targets Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in front of a pandemic-limited crowd of 33,600 in Tampa Florida.

Woods had a dozen catches for 130 yards and Kupp caught 11 passes for 145 yards as the Rams shelved their traditional running game to beat the Buccaneers with an air assault. “It is about time we started to click a little bit,” said Goff of his receiving corps. “It was a fun night. This shows we are versatile. We have been running the ball all year, and we had to throw it tonight.” Matt Gay booted a 40-yard field goal with 2:36 left and Jordan Fuller grabbed his second interception of the game less than a minute later in the battle between two of the top teams in the NFC.

“We got back to ourselves on the last drive and put some points on the board,” said Goff. “Our defense stepped up and did a great job. That’s a good offence we played today.” The Rams improved to 7-3 to keep pace with first place Seattle Seahawks, while the second place Buccaneers lost some ground to the New Orleans Saints in their division. The contest featured an all-Black officiating crew for the first time in NFL history. Leading the way was Jerome Boger, who is in his 15th season as a referee and 17th overall as an NFL official.

Brady’s Buccaneers lost for the second time in three games and the NFL’s all-time touchdown pass leader had a rough night, throwing two interceptions. “He misread the coverage,” Tampa coach Bruce Arians said of Brady’s second interception with just under two minutes left which clinched the win for Los Angeles. Brady completed 26 of 48 passes for 216 yards with two touchdowns. The two TD passes lifted Brady’s career number to 566, allowing him to pass injured New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (565) for the most in league history.

Bengals woes mount
Meanwhile, Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, the US media reported on Monday. Burrow, who started 10 games for the last place Bengals this season, was injured early in the third quarter of a lopsided 20-9 defeat to Washington on Sunday. Burrow was officially placed on the Bengals’ injured list on Monday. An MRI on the knee indicated there could be some other structural damage in addition to the torn ACL and MCL. Bengals coach Zac Taylor added that the Bengals “expect him to make a full recovery”, but Taylor did not provide details on when they expected him to return, the NFL.com reported.

Burrow went down after getting hit below the waist while another defender hit him high from the opposite side on a throw. Burrow, the overall top pick in the 2020 entry draft, had completed 22 of 34 passing attempts for 203 yards and a touchdown with one fumble against Washington. The Bengals are 2-7-1 this season in the AFC North Division, having failed to win a game on the road. They are 2-2 at home. Burrow has completed 264 of 404 passes for a 65 percent completion ratio. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes but has been intercepted five times and sacked 32 times. – Agencies

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