NFL Playoffs

Rams Take Big Halftime Lead Over Tom Brady and Buccaneers in Divisional Round

Matthew Stafford threw for two first-half touchdowns in the divisional round matchup

Kendall Blanton

Retirement might seem slightly more appealing to Tom Brady after the first half against the Los Angeles Rams.

The 44-year-old quarterback, who reportedly will contemplate retiring after the season, was left bloodied and baffled as the Rams built a 20-3 halftime lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round on Sunday.

Brady completed just 10 of 22 passes for 112 yards. He threw an interception late in the half, was sacked once and hurried often. Brady was even flagged for the first unsportsmanlike penalty of his career after complaining about a no call when a hit by Von Miller on a pass attempt left him with a bloody lip.

Matthew Stafford, coming off his first career playoff victory, flawlessly moved the ball down field for much of the first half. He found backup tight end Kendall Blanton with a no-look pass for a seven-yard touchdown that gave the Rams a 7-0 lead with 8:04 left in the first. For Blanton, a rookie, it was his first career touchdown.

Stafford later aired it out to Cooper Kupp on third-and-20 for a 70-yard touchdown that increased the Rams' lead to 17-3 early in the second quarter.

Brady's interception gave the Rams possession on the Tampa Bay 31-yard line with two minutes left in the half. He was bailed out when Antoine Winfield Jr. forced and recovered a fumble by Cam Akers at the goal line.

The Rams will receive the ball at the start of the second half.

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