The Los Angeles Rams have the unenviable task of trying to eliminate Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the NFL playoffs. The old adage reads something like, “Don’t bet against Brady.” Jalen Ramsey knows all too well what TB12 is capable of in the postseason. The Pro Bowl cornerback remembers the time he played against Brady for all the marbles.
Jalen Ramsey recalls losing to Tom Brady in the playoffs
In 2017, Jalen Ramsey was starring for the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars. The team overachieved under head coach Doug Marrone, posting a 10-6 record in the regular season.
The Jags took down the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round and Divisional Round, respectively. This set up a matchup against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for a chance to play in Super Bowl LII.
Ramsey recently joined The Rich Eisen Show and opened up on the experience playing against the Buccaneers signal-caller in the playoffs.
“That experience did not go as planned,” said Ramsey. “We thought we had their number for a while. We thought we may have had the game in the bag. Tom Brady just did what he always does — channel his greatness, why he’s the GOAT, and led his team back and beat us.”
The Patriots pulled off a late comeback against Jacksonville, behind two fourth-quarter touchdown passes from TB12. Jalen Ramsey doesn’t want to feel that same pain again.
“Definitely not going for that same result this time around,” Ramsey said. “Hopefully, we can come out victorious with the Rams. But he [Brady] channels greatness about him, the way he leads his team and makes everyone around him feel like they’re great as well.”
The Rams cornerback previews Divisional Round matchup against the Buccaneers
Jalen Ramsey understands that to take down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you must have success against Tom Brady. The LA Rams All-Pro cornerback will look to lead a strong defensive effort against a somewhat short-handed Bucs offense.
With Chris Godwin injured and Antonio Brown no longer with the team, Mike Evans is the clear No. 1 option for Tampa Bay’s offense. Ramsey could be lined up against the 3-time Pro Bowler often throughout the Divisional Round matchup. The 27-year-old defensive back hinted at whether or not he’d be traveling with Evans around the field.
“We’ll see a little bit of it,” said Ramsey. “And then we’ll see a little bit where I stay put, and I play the various positions that I’ve been playing this year. Other guys will have that task of trying to limit him as much as they can. I love our game plan that we do have. When the opportunity presents itself for us to be matched up, it’ll definitely be a matchup to keep your eye on.”
While Evans is a big threat, Jalen Ramsey knows Tom Brady has enjoyed success with less-talented weapons.
“He does a great job of getting other guys involved in the game plan as well,” Ramsey added. “I know they’re getting 7 [Leonard Fournette] back. Tom does a good job getting his backs involved. Leonard has had some big games this year. It’s going to take a full team effort. We’re going to have to play ready.”
The Rams know they’ll have their hands full regardless of who’s on the field.
How LA can thwart Brady’s quest for a repeat
After leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, Tom Brady decided to run it back in 2021. The future Hall of Famer will face a stiff test against Jalen Ramsey and the LA Rams, though.
Sean McVay leads an immensely talented squad into Tampa Bay for the Divisional Round tilt. General manager Les Snead went all in, adding trading for Matthew Stafford in the offseason and Von Miller before the trade deadline. LA also added Odell Beckham Jr. after the Cleveland Browns released him.
As talented as the Rams are, defeating Brady in the playoffs won’t be an easy feat. From a defensive perspective, Raheem Morris’ unit must pressure the quarterback. Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd must wreak havoc on a potentially banged-up offensive line. If TB12 has a clean pocket, he can carve up any defense.
On offense, the Rams need Matthew Stafford to play as he did against the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card Round. He quieted the narrative that he can’t win big games, at least for one week. The offense could be humming if he gets the ball to his playmakers, Cooper Kupp and OBJ. Not to mention, Cam Akers’ return has rejuvenated this team.
All absences considered, the Rams probably have the more talented team. However, as Jalen Ramsey suggested, the Buccaneers have the GOAT. You can never count him out.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.