LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Rams discovered an essential lesson about how shut the margin for error may be within the playoffs with their 43-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Rams have been left hoping that penalties to increase Eagles’ scoring drives and late turnovers received’t in the end value them an opportunity to make use of that schooling this season.
Self-inflicted errors proved decisive in a recreation that regarded, felt and performed out like a postseason contest. Former St. Louis Rams defensive finish Chris Lengthy stripped quarterback Jared Goff to arrange Jake Elliott’s go-ahead 33-yard discipline objective with three:45 remaining. Brandon Graham returned a fumble 16 yards for a landing on the final play, when the Rams tried a sequence of desperation laterals.
”It’s a bit too early to be speaking in regards to the classes, you recognize, to be taken from this,” middle John Sullivan mentioned. ”It simply comes right down to we now have to make just a few extra performs. Fortunately it’s nonetheless the common season, however we acquired to win these video games.”
Coach Sean McVay took the blame for the strip-sack, saying he ought to have been extra cautious in calling a cross play instantly after proper deal with Rob Havenstein exited with an ankle harm. Lengthy overpowered backup Darrell Williams and knocked the ball out of Goff’s hand, with one other former Ram, security Rodney McLeod, making the restoration.
”I don’t remorse ever being aggressive, however being extra situationally conscious and the way I can put our group in a greater spot I might say might be the extra applicable time period, and that’s one thing I’ll study from,” McVay mentioned.
The Rams’ protection was simply as culpable, with its points rather more obvious. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was referred to as for unsportsmanlike conduct within the third quarter for jawing with Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffrey after an incomplete cross on third down. As a substitute of settling for a discipline objective try, Carson Wentz threw a 2-yard landing cross to Jeffrey eight performs later.
McVay mentioned Johnson had been beforehand warned by the officers to chop the chatter.
Defensive deal with Aaron Donald was additionally referred to as for unlawful leverage on a discipline objective, permitting the Eagles to run an extra 2:01 off the clock within the fourth quarter and lowering the possibilities for the Rams to stage a late comeback.
”In opposition to a fantastic group like that, there’s issues you can’t do, and we can’t afford to beat ourselves,” McVay mentioned. ”It’s a fantastic studying alternative for us. There was a handful of issues that passed off in that recreation that we’ll study from. We’ll study from our errors, together with me. Beginning with me. And this week gives a fantastic probability for us to reply shortly.”
The Rams face the Seattle Seahawks subsequent Sunday in a recreation that might determine which group wins the NFC West. Some downtrodden Rams gamers perked up within the locker room after listening to in regards to the Seahawks’ 30-24 loss at Jacksonville. However Sullivan instantly acknowledged it as a misplaced alternative to take a two-game lead within the division and cut back the opportunity of the head-to-head tiebreaker coming into play.
”It’s a recreation we’d have beloved to have received, put a bit extra distance within the division,” Sullivan mentioned. ”However, on the similar time, it was two actually good groups going on the market enjoying actually onerous and it went to the tip of the sport. We simply didn’t win this one. We’ll return to work. We’re not going to panic, we’re not going to do something like that. We’ve been process-oriented this entire yr, and we’ll concentrate on what acquired us so far, being in a aggressive recreation at this level within the season. It’s again to work and we’re targeted on going out and beating Seattle of their place.”
It’s a problem the Rams may need to perform with a depleted secondary. Cornerback Kayvon Webster ruptured his proper Achilles tendon within the first quarter, whereas Johnson was positioned in concussion protocol through the second half.
Nonetheless, the Rams consider they are going to be higher off in the long term, having confirmed they will compete with the opposite prime groups within the NFC.
”This loss was positively a studying expertise late within the recreation, studying find out how to be a situational grasp, being good and avoiding penalties, issues like that,” cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman mentioned. ”It’s going to make us higher sooner or later.
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