Tom Brady, Buccaneers set to take another crack at Rams in NFC divisional round Sunday
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are excited about another opportunity to face a regular-season nemesis in the playoffs. The defending Super Bowl champions host the Rams in the NFC divisional round Sunday, looking to avenge a pair of losses to the only team they've played but yet to beat since Brady joined the Bucs in 2020. The New Orleans Saints have been Brady's biggest nemesis the past two seasons, however, the Rams have been tough on the 44-year-old quarterback, too. Brady is 2-0 in postseason rematches against opponents who defeated Tampa Bay during the regular season, beating the Saints on the road in last year's playoffs before taking down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Now, the Rams (13-5) stand between the Bucs (14-4) and another trip to the NFC championship game. "I think all of these games are little bit independent from one another. Yeah, we played them earlier in the year, but it's a very different team we had, and I think a little bit of a different team they had, too, so they are each their own individual type of game," Brady said of Tampa Bay's recent success in the playoffs against opponents that beat them earlier in the season. "The point is it doesn't really matter what happened ... when we played them last. It's really about this game and what we learned from the last game," he added. "Any time you know your opponent, I think that gives you a little bit of understanding of kind of what they do well, things you wish you would've done. But it's a very talented football team, one of the great teams in the NFL. ... It's going to be a very, very difficult game for us." The Bucs are 29-9, including 5-0 in the playoffs, since Brady's arrival. The Saints and Rams have handed them six of those losses. The eventual division winners met in Week 3 in Los Angeles, with the Rams getting off to a fast start en route to a 34-24 victory. Brady attempted 55 passes and threw for 432 yards but just one touchdown in that game. He was also Tampa Bay's leading rusher with 14 yards that day. That's never a good sign for the Bucs. Los Angeles cornerback Jalen Ramsey noted a lot has changed since, ranging from the Bucs having a different look due to injuries and the Rams adding Odell Beckham Jr. on offense and Von Miller on defense. "That was a while ago. Different people have stepped up for each team ... and a lot more is on the line right now," Ramsey said. What hasn't changed is what the Rams feel they have to do to win. In addition to another strong performance from quarterback Matthew Stafford, who got the first postseason win of his 13-year career last week, Los Angeles feels it's imperative that the Aaron Donald-led pass rush have a big game, too. "Seems like Week 3 was an eternity ago now," coach Sean McVay said, adding the Rams embrace the challenge of facing Brady and the defending champs. "It's a great opportunity. ... I'm hoping that we continue to earn more opportunities," Stafford said. "That's the goal at this point - find ways to win games, no matter what it looks like."