The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first road game of the season has them travelling out west to face a foe in Week 3 that they have serious history with. The Los Angeles Rams will be the opposition as both 2-0 teams meet Sunday afternoon in Inglewood, California. It will be the Bucs’ first ever visit to So-Fi Stadium, which opened in 2020.
These clubs, while in different divisions, have been no stranger to each other over the years. Especially when it comes to important games.
The previous match-up between the teams was a Week 11 Buccaneers loss 27-24 a year ago in Tampa. However, the last time the Tampa Bay faced Head Coach Sean McVay’s team in the Pacific Time Zone was Week 4 of 2019. That day, the Bucs lit up the scoreboard with a single game team record for points in a 55-40 thumping of the Rams in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
That win was only the second road victory for Tampa Bay against Los Angeles/St. Louis and the initial one against them in Los Angeles. The 2001 Derrick Brooks/Warren Sapp/Ronde Barber era Bucs won the team’s first ever road game against the franchise in St. Louis, 24-17.
The first time the Bucs won a Super Bowl was the 2002 Season. That year’s Week 3 opponent was the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night. The Bucs were victorious in that game 26-14 and the season ended with a Lombardi Trophy.
All time, the two clubs have had 26 total meetings in Regular and Postseason play. Tampa Bay has won only 9 out of the 24 regular season contests against the Rams, be that the Los Angeles or St. Louis versions. The Bucs, unfortunately, are also 0-2 in a pair of memorable and painful NFC Championship Games against Los Angeles.
That first NFC Title Game was a 9-0 loss at old Tampa Stadium during the 1979 Worst to First season. A defensive struggle all day, Quarterback Doug Williams and the offense just couldn’t put any points on the board against a tough Rams Defense, led by future Hall of Fame Defensive End, Jack Youngblood.
Twenty years later, the Buccaneers came oh so close to their first Super Bowl appearance but fell short again. The Bucs were on the wrong end of a 11-6 score at the TWA Dome in St. Louis. This Pewter and Red version of Bucs football also couldn’t find the end zone against the Rams’
Though, as we all know know in retrospect, the infamous and totally wrong Bert Emmanuel call made history for the wrong reason at the end of the game. The call was essential in bailing out the so-called Greatest Show on Turf. The Rams would later hold off the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV that should have belonged to Tampa Bay.
The Bucs and Rams over the years have had huge playoff history between them. Sunday’s tilt could very well determine which team has home field advantage come playoff time as both have Super Bowl aspirations. One thing is for certain, the Bucs plan on checking out So-Fi Stadium in September in advance of a return trip to win another championship in February.