The Los Angeles Rams fell to 7-2 after a 28-16 loss to the AFC leading Tennessee Titans. The score is a bit misleading, as L.A. was able to get a garbage time touchdown in a game that wasn’t really that close. After the contest, Head Coach Sean McVay, Andrew Whitworth, and Matthew Stafford addressed the media. Here’s what they had to say about the defeat.
McVay on Stafford’s ankle
“I’m not sure. I mean, he came back and played. Did a good job leading the touchdown drive. Got it rolled up pretty good on a bad play call, bad situation I put him in right there. I’m not really sure other than that.”
The play in question looked akward from the start. While rolling to the left, it appeared the Rams QB1 slightly stumbled before rolling his ankle.
McVay on the offensive line
“There were a couple of times where they did a good job in being able to win some iso’s (isolation match ups). There were a couple where there were some late moves, ended up coming free...They did a good job. They had some players that were able to win some one-on-ones.”
It was a rough one to say the least. The big guys up front allowed too much pressure, especially up the middle. Expect to see that game plan copied a few times in the near future.
McVay non-committal on Von Miller playing next week
“We’ll see. We’ll take it a day at a time with Von right now. We’re going to be smart with Von. He’s doing everything in his power to be ready to go and hopefully he’s ready to go next week. I can’t give you that answer right now.”
It’s a good thing that Miller didn’t play tonight. This trade was made to help get Los Angeles over the top during the playoffs. With all due respect to the future Hall of Famer, it’s unlikely he would have changed the outcome of this game; the defense was not the problem against the Titans.
Congratulations to the Tennessee Titans. Mike Vrabel has them playing very well. That was a mentally tough performance tonight and they dominated from start to finish. They proved us wrong with a tremendous performance.— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) November 8, 2021
Donald describes what happened on Tannehill’s touchdown run
“I seen him. I was about to run and Flow (Leonard Floyd) came down and hit me. I was a little mad about that but, you know it just happens… It was just one of those days man.”
It was definitely one of those days. The Rams cannot have another one of those days, with two beat down losses already on their resume.
Donald on if he thought the penalties we’re legitimate
“They call the flags and that’s what it was. I can’t say nothing about it. We just got to keep playing, and not allow it to slow us down.”
There were a few penalties I disagree with, including the third down roughing the passer flag against A.D., which gave Tennessee a new set of downs and eventually led to the score that completely closed the door on this game. I’m not going to say anything about the officials not seeing A.J. Brown kick at Dont’e Deayon, or how Brown made contact with an official. I’m not going to do it. Truth be told, the penalties were not the reason Los Angeles lost this game.
AJ Brown just kicked Dont’e Deayon and Jalen Ramsey got in his face after it. Both Brown adn Ramsey got assessed for taunting fouls, but I feel like kicking someone isn’t really taunting?— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) November 8, 2021
Whitworth on the flow of the game
“Well, I think in this game you look at it. It’s a team that lost their most productive offensive player. Really, the thing they needed in this game was for us to make mistakes and that’s exactly what we did.”
Big Whit stated that two or three plays early really provided the Titans the chance to play their brand of football. He noted that he told the locker room “kids pout, men respond.” That’s a life lesson bigger than football.
Whitworth on the Titans defensive game plan
“I think they had some good plans for how they were gonna twist and stunt and move around and do things. I think it’s one of those that gives you a great learning opp (opportunity).”
Those loops and stunts are definitely going to be studied by the next few defenses the Rams play. For the most part this season, the big guys up front have handled those games by the opposing defenses, though it has been something that yielded a sack or two prior to Sunday night.
Stafford avoided injury to his ankle
“It’s fine. It will be all right. I just rolled it on myself really.”
It seems like McVay and Stafford have been addressing an injury to the quarterback during the last few post-game press conference. Those bumps and bruises add up over the course of the year, especially with an extra game in the regular season.
Stafford on spotting Tennessee points
“I basically spotted them 14 points. Can’t do that in the NFL, especially against a good team like that, that wants to get out in front and run the football and mix coverages. Just wasn’t good enough early in the game. Turnover’s killed us and that was on me.”
The accountability is nice but action to prevent this from happening again is what is needed. Stafford was baited on the pick six by Kevin Byard, which is going to happen at times. The interception thrown to David Long was unacceptable. I can live with the gunslinger interceptions, but Stafford impersonating 2020 bad Jared Goff stings a bit.
Stafford on being too aggressive
“I just got to take what the defense gives me. They were doing a great job of just trying to keep it all in front of them tonight and I didn’t do a good job of just checking it down early and keeping us ahead of the sticks...If I do that, it’s probably a different ballgame.”
With the way the defense played, it’s very possible the game is different if the offense didn’t allow the defense to score on a pick six and set up the Tennessee offense with an instant goal to go opportunity.
Fuller on lessons to take away from the loss
“I would just say we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot because I feel like we had spurts we were playing well, especially on defense. We just couldn’t play complimentary football at the end of the day. We just shot ourselves and the foot.”
The turnovers and penalties were too much to overcome, when combined with the consistent pressure the Titans front put on Stafford. The Rams will have an extra day to wait before being able to get that nasty taste out of their mouths, as they travel to the Bay Area to play the San Francisco 49ers.