What We Saw: Week 3

Mike Williams is finally the guy we all wanted him to be, and the rest of What We Saw in Week 3

Buccaneers @ Rams

Final Score: Buccaneers 24, Rams 34

Writer: Callen Elslager (@callen_elslager on Twitter and Reddit)

In a potential preview of the NFC Championship, the Rams proved truly how legitimate of a contender they are this season with a convincing win over Tampa Bay. The offenses ended up putting up the fantasy production we were hoping for from this matchup. With both offenses clicking pretty well throughout, there is plenty to take away from it, with the vast majority being from these two impressive passing games.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers




Tom Brady: 41/55, 432 yards, 1 TD | 3 carries, 14 yards, 1 TD


Tom Brady was quickly forced into a game script where he needed to throw the ball more than he had all season. He took advantage of that opportunity by completing the majority of his passes. While most of these passes were a little closer to the line of scrimmage, he did open the field up a bit when need be, while still dumping it off to his backs as well. These dump-offs came in handy and were how he threw his lone touchdown pass to Giovani Bernard. He also ran in a touchdown from the goal line on the run that, even at 44, he still does better than anyone in the league.


Running Back


Ronald Jones II: 5 carries, 11 yards

Leonard Fournette: 4 carries, 8 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions 26 yards

Giovani Bernard: 10 targets, 9 receptions, 51 yards, 1 TD


The game script quickly called for the Buccaneers to abandon the run and move to throw the ball the vast majority of the time. When they were running the ball, however, there was not much success, as Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette were stopped quickly by the Rams defensive line. There were chances to score at the goal line, however, after being stuffed, the Buccaneers pivoted to goal line carries by both Tom Brady and Chris Godwin. As mentioned before, the game script had to be flipped, allowing Giovani Bernard to be used more often than he had all season, which he for sure took advantage of with the lone touchdown reception of the game.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Mike Evans: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 106 yards

Chris Godwin: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 74 yards | 1 carry, 2 yards, 1 TD

Tyler Johnson: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 63 yards

Rob Gronkowski: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 55 yards

Cameron Brate: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 35 yards

O.J. Howard: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards

Scotty Miller: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards


Even with the threat of Jalen Ramsey’s coverage, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both managed to get open in space and have productive days. Godwin had his day capped off by a touchdown run at the goal line, but he managed to take off for some yards after the catch to continue his productive day. Rob Gronkowski had a brief moment where he left the game after taking a shot to the midsection. He would eventually return after one drive and go back to being as involved in the game plan as he had been. His stat line could be even better had he not dropped a pass over the middle on an important third down early in the game.

When Gronkowski left the game, Cameron Brate took advantage of the opportunity to receive Gronkowski’s usual share of the work and converted on key opportunities.  It was nice to see that Brady had confidence in him and decided not to look elsewhere after the injury. Speaking of injuries, with Antonio Brown out due to the placement on the COVID-IR, Tyler Johnson emerged to receive the targets that likely would have gone his way. While he did not have as productive a day, as the two were slightly not in sync, he was impressive in space when he did catch the ball and got opportunities to run.


Los Angeles Rams




Matthew Stafford: 27/38, 343 yards, 4 TDs | 2 carries, -2 yards


Matthew Stafford continued his hot start to the season with arguably his most impressive game yet. His numbers could have been even better if he hit on one or two more of the deep balls which he just underthrew. It is hard to complain about four touchdown passes, including both a deep bomb to DeSean Jackson and short passes down at the goal line to Cooper Kupp, along with a screen ran in by Tyler Higbee. It really is hard to find a quarterback performance from this week that was more impressive, as Stafford did not let the matchup against a tough Tampa Bay defense affect him, though one pass could have easily been picked after being tipped by the receiver and falling in and out of the hands of the Tampa Bay defender.

Running Back


Sony Michel: 20 carries, 67 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 12 yards

Jake Funk: 1 carry, 6 yards


With the injury to Darrell Henderson Jr. last week, we were wondering how the run game for Los Angeles would look. While it was very interesting to see Jake Funk get the first carry of the game, it was the only carry he would get, as Sony Michel then carried the workload and even was involved with some dump-offs out of the backfield. It was hard to expect much against one of the best run defenses in the league, but Michel looked pretty solid pushing the line forward, as the Rams’ lead would allow him to get a few more touches late.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Cooper Kupp: 12 targets, 9 receptions, 96 yards, 2 TDs

DeSean Jackson: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD

Van Jefferson: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 42 yards

Tyler Higbee: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD

Robert Woods: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards


I’m running out of things to say about Cooper Kupp, as once again he was the clear number one in the offense, who Stafford looked to in crucial situations. He received two touchdowns by the goal line, capping off what was already a very impressive game.

Matthew Stafford showed off his arm strength on Sunday, taking shots deep downfield, with DeSean Jackson being the beneficiary of this. We’ve been waiting for the two of them to hook up on one of these passes downfield, and we saw Jackson burst past the defense and catch the ball in stride and dance his way into the endzone. Stafford also took some shots deep downfield for Van Jefferson that were just slightly underthrown, but that did not discourage Stafford from coming back to him for some shorter routes as he continued his development into a nice role in this offense.

Once again, it was a quiet game for Robert Woods, as he only saw three receptions and he does not look as in sync with Stafford as his other receivers. Woods mainly saw these targets a little later in the game, and could not do too much with those targets.

After a rough game last week, the Rams went right back to getting Tyler Higbee back into this offense with some quick targets early. While he did fumble the ball early in the game, luckily recovering his own fumble, that did not stop Stafford from looking to him throughout the game, including at the goal line for this screen taken into the endzone, with some other endzone targets as well.

— Callen Elslager (@callen_elslager on Twitter and Reddit)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.