Of the numerous games with playoff implications on Sunday, one of the least interesting and most meaningless games occurred in St. Louis between the Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 1999 NFC Championship Game this was not, as the Bucs limped into the Edward Jones Dome with a sad 4-10 record while the Rams were only marginally better at 6-8.
Lost seasons on both sidelines didn’t keep this one from being entertaining though as surprisingly enough, both teams showed a certain amount of pride with the Rams sticking out what ended up being a close game. The defense for St. Louis was on display as they managed to keep Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon well under 200 yards on the day and stuffed Bobby Rainey for under 50 yards rushing.
But despite the defensive dominance by the Rams, the Bucs hung tight the entire way through, trailing just 14-10 at half-time and 17-13 heading into the final quarter of the game. Both of these defenses looked great in the second half and actually looked like the elite units they could be if they could just get things together.
It was a field goal affair in the final half of the game as Greg Zuerlein powered home two huge kicks to keep the Bucs at a distance and help the Rams secure the win. There’s really no way to make the Rams feel bad about the win as even though it drops them in the draft order, they own the Washington Redskins pick this year which will be in the top 10 if not the top 5.
For the Bucs, the loss is yet another game that slipped away and fans are running out of patience. Greg Schiano’s job is safer now than it was at the beginning of the season but the 4-11 Bucs are looking to the offseason for improvement and it’s yet to be determined if Schiano is part of the solution or part of the root cause of the problem.