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Sean McVay attempts to explain yet another blow loss to the San Francisco 49ers

Miscues and missed opportunities the theme of the day, according to McVay

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams were spanked once again on national television by the San Francisco 49ers, losing 31-14. It was another embarrassing showing, in line with the rest of L.A.’s lopsided losses this season. After the game, Sean McVay provided his thoughts on what led to such a one-sided second half, which saw the Rams get outscored 21-0 after halftime.

Cooper Kupp dodged bullet, likely avoided major injury

“I’m not sure. That’s why you wanted to try to be smart, getting out of the game and I’m kicking myself for not running the football again, but I’m hopeful that he’s okay. It looked like it was his ankle.”

Kupp suffered an apparent ankle injury in the waning moments of the blowout loss. McVay didn’t seem too concerned about Kupp’s health moving forward, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on during the week. L.A. has nothing going on offense without the best wide receiver in the NFL.

Missed opportunities on both sides of the ball costs L.A.

“We had a chance to be able to make a couple plays, we didn’t make it. They ended up making plays. ... We had our opportunities and I expect our guys to be able to make some of those plays that we didn’t on both sides of the football. But we are in this together. It’ll be a good tape for us to be able to look at, be honest with ourselves. And then there’s some where you just say, ‘that’s part of the game’ where you force a fumble and it bounces right back to him, or you pop one up and it ends up being a tip, broken up pass instead of an interception.”

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and the Rams defense dropped the ball in the second half, allowing 21-points after the break and 368 total yards on the day. Ramsey made a bunch of plays, including forcing Christian McCaffrey to fumble in what could have been a game changing turnover. Unfortunately, the fumble fell out of the air, right into the waiting arms of a S.F. receiver.

There was also another missed opportunity, with Ramsey dropping an interception that would have set up L.A. with great field position. It’s another play that could have changed the dynamics of the game, and one that should have been made by the All-Pro defensive back.

Tyler Higbee also had a huge drop on what would have been a monster gain, if not a touchdown. The crucial drop occurred on third down, forcing Los Angeles to trot out the punt team. Matthew Stafford took the blame for the drop—wishing he gave Higbee a more accurate pass—but it was a catch you’d expect the tight end to make 10 out of 10 times.

The run game remains inexcusably bad

“We didn’t really create any sort of movement. We didn’t handle the movement that they presented. We had some different things that kind of supplemented the run game that allowed us to be able to sustain drives, whether it be screens or some of those perimeter things that we were doing or even just kind of changing the launch point. But the run game wasn’t good enough.”

At this point the offensive line is not going to get much better, barring a trade. L.A. was only able to muster 56 rushing yards on 21 carries. That’s a meager 2.6 yards per carry. The team was led by undrafted rookie Ronnie Rivers, who had eight carries for 21-yards on the ground. As a team, it simply wasn’t anywhere close to good enough. This offensive coaching staff is going to have to earn their money and figure out a way to move the ball on the ground, regardless of who is available on the offensive line.

Christian McCaffrey unloads on L.A.

“I thought it was still a dynamic player in both instances. You could see that he’s very comfortable with some of the different things that they were asking of him. I thought Kyle did a great job of being able to utilize him. You could see even in some of the different ways that they activated him in the pass game, was a great off schedule touchdown by he and Jimmy (Garoppolo) that they hooked up on, on their sideline. He did a great job of being able to read it out, one gap at a time and get the ball where it’s supposed to go and they had good sound schemes and they did a good job and he’s an excellent football player.”

Maybe L.A. should have tried a bit harder to get Christian McCaffrey, just to keep him away from the 49ers. The recently acquired running back wrecked the Rams, with 94 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards, and three touchdowns, one each rushing, receiving, and passing. If this is what the future holds for the dual-threat rusher in the Bay Area, Rams fans may have frequent flashbacks to when they heard the trade was finalized sending McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers to San Francisco.

If the Rams have aspirations of a legitimate playoff run, things have to get better immediately. A three game stretch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, and New Orleans Saints should allow Los Angeles to get a few wins under their belt. If not, prepare to smash that panic button with everything you have.