After Bucs running back Leonard Fournette‘s touchdown tied the game late in the fourth quarter, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had 42 seconds to move his team into position for a game-winning field goal.
A sack on first down wasted seven of those seconds and forced the Rams to burn their final timeout, but things picked up from there. Stafford hit Cooper Kupp for 20 yards and he got out of bounds to stop the clock. Stafford went back to Kupp on the next play and hit him with a 44-yard rainbow that set the stage for Matt Gay‘s game-winning kick.
Kupp beat single coverage from safety Antoine Winfield on the play and the Bucs’ decision to bring pressure against Stafford led to questions about the approach after the game. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said that the blitz wasn’t as heavy as the team wanted it to be.
“Some guys didn’t blitz,” Arians said, via SportingNews.com. “I don’t know if they didn’t get the call but it was an all-out blitz,” Arians said. “We should have gotten a ton of pressure.”
Stafford said he was not thrown by the Bucs’ decision.
“I felt it after the snap,” Stafford said. “Kind of recognized it was going to be an all-out pressure and was able to put it to a good spot. And Coop made a great catch.”
The result of the game may not have changed had all of the Bucs defenders been on the same page, but it was certainly a bad time to have a miscommunication about how they were going to handle an offense with this season’s most prolific wide receiver.