Rams vs. Buccaneers: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info, Game Time and More

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Rams vs. Buccaneers: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info, Game Time and More
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The battle between the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn’t the most meaningful Week 16 matchup on the schedule, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be entertaining.

While the Bucs boast must-watch playmakers in Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson, their pitiful 32nd-ranked pass defense will make all of the Rams receivers look like studs. Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s showdown.

 

Will Tampa Bay cover the spread?

Submit Vote vote to see results
Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.

When: Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox and DIRECTIV: 708 NFL Redzone or online at Game Rewind

Listen: Sirius XM Radio: 148 or online at Audio Pass

Betting Line: Tampa Bay by 3, according to Bovada

 

What’s at Stake?

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Not much is at stake besides giving the fans their money’s worth on an afternoon they could be entertaining themselves elsewhere on a 70-degree day. St. Louis is mathematically still alive with a 6-7-1 record, but it’d need a Christmas miracle to sneak into the postseason.

 

Rams Injury Report (via ESPN, as of Dec. 18)

None 

 

Buccaneers Injury Report (via ESPN, as of Dec. 18)

None 

 

Fantasy Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em and Sleeper

Start: Sam Bradford

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Any quarterback against the Buccaneers is a must-start. Their secondary is so pathetic that it made Nick Foles look like Peyton Manning, as two weeks ago the Philadelphia Eagles’ passer racked up 381 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa.

Bradford is hot after recording 377 yards and three touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings last week, too.


Sit:
Steven Jackson

While the Buccaneers field the worst pass defense in the league, they're ranked first in stopping the run. They allow just 83.0 yards a game and Jackson hasn’t been that dominant this season to begin with.

 

Sleeper: Dallas Clark

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Clark had a season-high eight receptions last week against the New Orleans Saints. Either he’s starting to grow on Josh Freeman or his numbers increased due to the fact that Tampa had to pass the whole game in a 41-0 blowout.

 

What They’re Saying

Buccaneer legend Derrick Brooks is urging fans to stay patient despite the team’s disappointing season:

On the other sideline, St. Louis still technically has hope, but as Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated noted, it’s complicated:

 

Rams Player to Watch: Janoris Jenkins

David Welker/Getty Images
The fact that Jenkins fell to the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft should give every fan hope that one day, they could be calling the shots on a professional football team.

It’s a travesty Jenkins fell that far and he’s showed why this season. The former Florida Gator and North Alabama cornerback has four takeaways this season, three interceptions and a fumble recovery, and he turned three of them for touchdowns.

He simply makes things happen when he gets his hands on the ball.

 

Buccaneers Player to Watch: Doug Martin

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
In this rookie edition of Players to Watch, here’s another NFL draft steal.

Martin has gained 1,647 yards from scrimmage this season and 11 touchdowns while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. If it weren’t for Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson defying the odds as first-year QBs, he’d be the Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner.

 

Key Matchup: Vincent Jackson vs. Cortland Finnegan

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Throw the league’s feistiest cover corner across from one of the league’s most-gifted wideouts, and fans have themselves a reason to show up to Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

Finnegan has flourished in his first season in St. Louis and Jackson has done the same as a new face in Tampa Bay. The wideout has reeled in 62 receptions this season for 1,226 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s capable of taking over a football game, so Finnegan’s ability to shut him down—and catching passes from the mediocre Freeman, Jackson can disappear at times—is huge.

 

On the Hot Seat: None

J. Meric/Getty Images
Jeff Fisher and Greg Schiano are both first-year head coaches who managed to improve their respective football teams. Their disappointing finishes won’t influence their job security.

 

Prediction

Tampa Bay is on a four-game losing streak while the Rams have won three of their last four. On top of their momentum, St. Louis also has more to play for. Combine those factors with a superior defense, and it’s the Rams’ game to lose.

St. Louis by 6

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

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