Matthew Stafford continues to show his worth in Los Angeles. He tosses four touchdowns as Los Angeles Rams take down the Buccaneers at their home. (1:51).
INGLEWOOD (Calif.) -- After a crucial win over the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense lineman Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams defensive end, found quarterback Matthew Stafford and gave him a huge hug. He then said, "I love your man!"
Stafford led the Rams to a 3-0 start in front of a star-studded crowd, including actor Jason Sudeikis, four-time NBA champion LeBron James and Dr. Dre. He passed for 343 yards, four touchdowns, and won a 34-24 win over the undefeated Bucs at SoFi Stadium.
Donald stated, "He's playing lights-out." "That's why we're here, that's why we expect him to do that and I know he will continue doing what's been done and at a higher level."
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady passed 432 yards and scored a touchdown. He also rushed for a team record 14 yards and a score. However, he was constantly under pressure and was thrown out three times.
Brady said that he was just being a good defense. He has experienced pressure on 17.8% of his dropbacks in Tampa Bay since last season, but he saw a rush Sunday that put him under 27% pressure. They have great pass-rush schemes and they have good pass rushers. It's difficult to just tee off.
Although players were reluctant to admit that Sunday's victory over the Bucs was a measure of their efforts to win Super Bowl LVII, Donald, who was a catalyst for the Rams' 2018 Super Bowl run, stated that this team has "for certain" the right ingredients to do so.
Donald said that he had only three games and still has a long season. But that's the ultimate goal. He recorded his first sack in four meetings against Brady. "That's all I'm chasing."
Both sides struggled offensively in the first quarter. The Rams led 14-7 at halftime.
Stafford dialed it back after the break.
Stafford faced a third-and-10 situation from his own 25 yard line. He went through his progression until he finally found DeSean Jackson, who made a touchdown catch of 75 yards to make the Rams lead 21-7 after the first half.
Bruce Arians, Bucs coach, said that Stafford "pushes it down the pitch so easily." He finds a guy down the field wide open and gives it to him. Many guys see it, but can't get it. He is a special player."
Sean McVay, Rams coach, ran down the sideline to celebrate with Jackson. Jackson was coming off a Week 2, with no targets. However, he was signed to a one year free-agent contract in the offseason to provide a deep threat to the Rams.
Jackson said, "It electrified fans, the stands, and the entire team," adding that Jackson became the ninth NFL player to score at least 10 touchdowns of 75 yards. He also finished Sunday with three receptions of 120 yards.
McVay stated, "I was just being present and having fun." "There were many good reasons to be excited about our team today.
Brady responded quickly with a quick nine play, 75-yard scoring drive. He capped it with a 1-yard keeper for the touchdown that pulled the Bucs within 1 score. Stafford then countered with a touchdown drive when he found receiver Cooper Kupp. The Rams then kicked a 48 yard field goal to pull away.
Kupp caught nine passes, totaling 96 yards.
Stafford's touchdown pass of 75 yards was his third touchdown passing of 50+ yards this season. This tied the Rams' total of 50-plus yard passing touchdowns in 2019 and 2020, which was also shared with Jared Goff, former quarterback.
Stafford's nine passing touchdowns in three games in L.A. tied him with Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (1999) for the record of most touchdowns in Rams history.
Stafford, who was the new guy in the room, was embraced by the team, which was amazing," said Stafford. Stafford played 12 seasons for the Detroit Lions, and was acquired through a huge offseason trade. "I just try to be me every day. I bring my best every day. We'll see what that brings."
Next Sunday, the Rams will be at SoFi Stadium and will open division play against undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
Brady will be returning to New England where he won six Super Bowls and played for 20 seasons, to face Bill Belichick and his former coach, the 1-2 Patriots.
Jenna Laine, a ESPN staff writer, contributed to this report.