With just over six minutes to play in the third quarter, on 3rd and 9, Carson Wentz threw deep to Alshon Jeffery. Unable to complete the backshoulder throw - due to excellent coverage by Rams’ cornerback Trumaine Johnson - it was time for the Eagles to punt. At least for a moment.
“That’s crazy,” Johnson says to the referee after realizing he’d been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With the drive kept alive, the Eagles needed only eight more plays to find the end zone, giving them the 31-28 lead. Coincidentally, a touchdown run by Carson Wentz - which was nullified due to an Eagles’ penalty - cost him the rest of his season (ACL). If the flag hadn’t been thrown, the Eagles, in all likelihood, attempt a field goal and head into the postseason with their starting quarterback.
After the game, Jeffery noted that there wasn’t much to that play’s extracurricular-s.
I mean, we know each other. I mean when he makes a play, he's going to make some noise. When I make a play, I'm going to make some noise, so it is what it is.
Regardless of one’s feelings on why the flag was thrown, or whether or not it ultimately changed the outcome of the game, is moot. Johnson should’ve been more disciplined in that moment, and not made a potentially game-changing mistake.
Tru wasn’t alone, however.
The Rams forced seven penalties on Sunday, good for 102 yards. That’ll be a focus for the team this week, I’m sure, as they prepare to head into Seattle to take on the Seahawks in front of a raucous crowd at Century Link.
Rams’ head coach Sean McVay said as much in Sunday’s post game presser:
They said that these guys had been talking, going back and forth and there had been some warnings going on and that was the decision that the side judge made and those are things that we have to respect and we have to handle the right way and I trust that we will as we move forward.