Tom Brady will be back on national television as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football. Both teams are right next to each other when it comes to the NFC standings so it's a must-win game for each team as they look to clinch a playoff spot with just six weeks remaining. Tonight's game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. and will air on ESPN. The game can also be streamed on the ESPN app.
The Bucs are coming off a 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers. Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns in the win while running back Ronald Jones rushed for 192 yards. The Bucs are trailing the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South lead, and with the team losing to their division rivals twice this season, they know they can't afford any slip-ups going forward.
"We've got to try something because we've had really, really poor starts in night ballgames," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said via ESPN when talking about how the team performs on Monday night games. "What we're trying to do now is practice at night so that we know when to rev it up." One of the biggest challenges the Bucs will face is Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Through nine games, Donald has recorded nine sacks with seven tackles for loss, making him a leading candidate to be named Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in his career.
"It’s a top-10 defense in every category," Brady said to the media as reported by Rams Wire. "Aaron Donald is as good as there is probably ever played in the National Football League at D-line. He’s an incredible player, explosive, quick powerful. It’s amazing the production he has even when people are double-teaming him, triple-teaming him but he never lets down. Hard-working guy, you can tell football means a lot to him, but he really sparks that whole defense."
The Rams, who lost to Brady in the Super Bowl two years ago when he was with the Patriots, have been playing consistent football the entire year. They are coming off a big 23-14 win over the Seattle Seahawks and have had success with a strong run game and strong defense. Running backs Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson are each averaging over four yards per carry, and cornerback Darious Williams is having a career year, posting four interceptions and 10 passes defended.