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Defensive Notes

Rams, Bucs headed for fall

Teams have shed ton of talent

Life moves pretty fast in the NFL, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the NFC's last two Super Bowl winners. The Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers look nothing like the teams that were recent champs, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

The teams met in Week 9 a year ago, back when both were still looking like playoff teams. The Bucs actually made the playoffs, though they weren't there for long. In any case, their lineups in that game were a whole lot different from right now.

Tables below show the teams' offensive and defensive starters for that game, and what's transpired with those players since. (Some of the players listed as UFAs -- unrestricted free agents -- have signed with other teams, while some remain unsigned.) The Rams Defense is particularly gutted, with Aaron Donald, Ernest Jones and what's going to be a whole of new faces.

L.A. Rams
QB Matthew Stafford
RB Darrell Hendersoncutunsigned
LT Joe Noteboom
LG David EdwardsUFABuffalo
C Brian Allen
RG Coleman Shelton
RT Rob Havenstein
WR Cooper Kupp
WR Van Jefferson
WR Allen Robinsoncut/trade?
TE Tyler Higbee
PK Matt GayUFAIndianapolis
DT Aaron Donald
DE A'Shawn RobinsonUFAunsigned
DE Greg GainesUFATampa Bay
OLB Leonard Floydcutunsigned
ILB Ernest Jones
ILB Bobby WagnercutSeattle
OLB Justin HollinsUFAGreen Bay
CB Jalen RamseytradedMiami
CB Troy HillUFAunsigned
FS Nick ScottUFACincinnati
SS Taylor RappUFABuffalo

The Bucs haven't lost quite as much on the defensive side of the ball; it's their offense that looks most suspect. But not the same team defensively, either.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Tom Bradyretired
RB Leonard Fournettecutunsigned
LT Donovan Smithcutunsigned
LG Nick Leverett
C Robert Hainsey
RG Shaq MasontradedHouston
RT Tristan Wirfs
WR Mike Evans
WR Chris Godwin
TE Cameron Bratecutunsigned
TE Cade Otton
PK Ryan Succopcutunsigned
NT Vita Vea
DE Akiem HicksUFAunsigned
DE William GholstonUFAunsigned
OLB Shaq BarrettAchilles
OLB Joe Tyron-Shoyinka
ILB Lavonte David
ILB Devin White
CB Jamel Dean
CB Carlton Davis
CB Sean Murphy-BuntingUFATennessee
S Mike EdwardsUFAKansas City
S Keanu NealUFAPittsburgh

It's weird putting together fantasy defense rankings and not including the Rams or Bucs in them, but that's what I think we're looking at this season.

--Andy Richardson

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