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Todd Bowles on Bucs showdown with Rams: We’re just trying to win a game

Mike Florio, Jason Garrett and Ahmed Fareed take a deep dive into the first two months of the season to discuss the top storylines so far, which team has surprised the most and more.

The Bucs have fallen from 3-2 to 3-5. They desperately need to get a win on Sunday against the Rams, who have a 3-0 record against the Tom Brady edition of the franchise since 2020.

“I think they executed better than us down the stretch,” coach Todd Bowles said regarding his team’s struggles against the Rams in recent years. “I think they executed certain situational football things better than we did at the time we played them. Hopefully, we’ll get better at that when we play them this time.”

They definitely executed a situational thing better in the 2021 playoffs. After the Bucs eliminated a 24-point deficit, Bowles (then the defensive coordinator) dialed up a cover zero blitz, which the Rams beat with a long pass that set up the game winning touchdown.

Bowles scoffed at the idea that the loss in January provides extra motivation in November.

“I think we have [had] a bad taste in our mouth the last three weeks,” Bowles said. “We don’t have time to worry about the bad taste [from] the Rams. We’re trying to win a ballgame -- that’s all we’re worried about.”

How critical is this weekend against the Rams?

“They’re all critical,” Bowles said. “They’re all critical. We lost three in a row -- you’ve got to get the next one in to feel better about yourself.”

They’ll definitely feel better if they beat the Rams and Sean McVay.

“He’s the head coach, it’s his offense,” Bowles said. “They have a very good offense, he has a very good scheme that he runs. He’s a very intelligent guy. . . . It makes it tough to play when you have a signal caller that tries to keep you off balance all the time.”

That will require Tampa Bay’s players to be ready to go. Bowles attributed defensive breakdowns to “a brain fart here or there.” He acknowledged, “We’ve got to get better at that.”

They need to be better than 3-5. To do that, they’ll need a win that sends the Rams to 3-5.