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Is this the season for Carolina to get themselves back in the hunt?
  1. NFL

NFL: Brady ignoring earlier Rams defeat

Quarterback Tom Brady says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' regular season loss to the Los Angeles Rams will have no impact on their Divisional Round playoff clash at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

The Bucs, who are 4/6 on the Money Line to secure a berth in the NFC Championship game for a second year running, were beaten 34-24 in Week 3 by the 13/10 Rams.

Brady outdueled Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford that day, throwing for 432 yards passing and a touchdown by completing 41 of 55 passing attempts.

But the Rams shut down Tampa Bay's ground attack with running backs Ronald Jones (11 yards) and Leonard Fournette (8 yards) finishing with fewer rushing yards than Brady. 

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September defeat irrelevant

The seven-time Super Bowl winner says what happened in September - when the Rams' snapped the Bucs' 10-game win streak -  won't count for anything on Sunday.

"I think all of these games are little bit independent from one another," Brady said Thursday.

"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.

"It's really about this game and what we learned from the last game."

Whitworth absent

Stafford, who will operate behind an offensive line that will be without injured starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth, admits he will need to recognise where the pressure is coming from in Todd Bowles' blitz-heavy scheme.

"It's a lot on my plate - it's a lot on the plate of our entire offense," Stafford told the Los Angeles Times. "At the same time, we're excited about the opportunity.

"Sometimes you play aggressive coordinators. You try to be aggressive right back to them and see what happens."

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