One of the more intriguing story lines of Sunday’s divisional round game between the Buccaneers and the Rams is the individual matchups, with both teams having Pro Bowl players on both sides of the ball.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay’s top receiving threat, figures to command plenty of attention in the absence of Chris Godwin, the Buccaneers receiver who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the regular season. Evans had 108 receiving yards on eight catches when the teams met in Week 3.
Jalen Ramsey, the Rams’ All-Pro defensive back, is likely to match up at times against Evans, in contrast to the regular-season meeting when the two paired on a few snaps (the Buccaneers had more healthy playmakers to cover at the time). The Rams’ defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris, moves Ramsey around a lot, so he may also be involved with coverage on the inside against Tampa Bay’s tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate.
Odell Beckham Jr. was still catching passes from Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield when Los Angeles last played Tampa Bay, but he has grown more comfortable in the Rams’ offense in the past few weeks, catching a touchdown pass in four of his last six games.
Beckham, who is known for his athleticism and short-area quickness, has been quarterback Matthew Stafford’s No. 2 option behind Cooper Kupp, who dominates out of the slot.
Sean Murphy-Bunting, Tampa Bay’s best slot defender, is nursing a hamstring injury, however, and didn’t play last week. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
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