The Los Angeles Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and head coach Sean McVay was in a great mood after the victory, speaking to the media about Matthew Stafford’s toughness for staying in the game after take a big time hit. The head coach also talked about Cooper Kupp’s injury and more.
LA was going through a three-game losing skid before finding a way to beat the Seahawks with a final score of 17-16. This W very much keeps the Rams playoff chances alive, and it could be a launching pad for a team that looks like they want to compete now. That is McVay’s hope. The Rams closed out today’s game. Now can they be consistent and stack some wins?
Time will tell. In the meantime fans and players can enjoy the win. Let’s see some of what McVay had to say after the thrilling and much needed victory.
The head coach begins by praising his team and their ability to stay in the game. McVay reflected that the Rams have been able to start some games strong, but haven’t always been able to finish. That has cost the team some games over the course of this season. He acknowledges that it was the Rams defense that kept them in the game.
“I’m just so proud of this group. The grit was on display, the mental toughness, the ability to get stops, the ability to be able to feed off of one another. Man, there’s a lot of things we can learn from offensively. I think there’s a lot of good things that we can build on defensively, but the way that they finished, that to me was key and critical. That was one of the things I think we didn’t do a good job of the first half of the season.”
Seattle is having a nice year. They were 6-3 coming into the season and whereas LA beat the Seahawks in Week One, they appeared to be the progressing team while LA’s best game may have been that Week One matchup. Pete Carroll has Geno Smith and his team playing well, but today LA was able to find a way to steal this win.
“You give credit to Seattle. They’re always such a tough team...like I said. There’s gonna be a lot of things that we can learn from but it sure feels good to be able to do that after a win. Really happy for our group. Happy for those players, and, you know, coaches did a great job.”
One of the concerning pieces of news for the Rams coming out of the game was that Cooper Kupp seemed to hurt his ankle. The injury forced Kupp out of the game. Apparently there was some thought that he would be able to return so hopefully the injury isn’t overly serious, but we don’t know right now. The injury did allow another Rams player, Austin Trammell to step up and he did make some productive plays for Matthew Stafford and LA.
Cooper Kupp having a tough time on the trainer's table. pic.twitter.com/RDLq5XwLzO— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) November 19, 2023
“Don’t have an update. It’s an ankle injury. As far as the severity of it he was gonna try to come back and play, he was moving around at the beginning of the second half and we were hoping he’d be able to go, but it just didn’t quite feel good enough, and I thought Austin Trammell did a great job being able to step up in his absence and make some key and critical plays.”
Stafford took an absolute shot in the second half, but was able to stay in and finish the game. Coincidentally Geno Smith also took a huge hit. Smith left the game for a bit before returning for the penultimate drive. Both injuries should be something to monitor, but for now Stafford gets the victory and has some time to recover. Stafford isn’t having his best year, but he delivered in this one.
“I thought his toughness was on display...Matthew’s toughness his resilience, being able to put together two scoring drives was big time. He’s our leader. It was great to be able to have him back.”
Great to have No. 9 back out there. pic.twitter.com/fiSTxKskBC— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 20, 2023
Sometimes all Stafford needs is a chance. When LA needed points to take the lead in the fourth quarter it was Stafford who was able to stay in the game, and lead his team to the points they needed.
“You can add it to his legacy, his stories career. These comes from behind wins.”
The Rams defense played brilliantly in the red zone. LA held Seattle to mostly field goals and that allowed the game to never truly be out of reach for McVay and the team.
“They just kept playing. They kept competing. They kept it to a tight game, and then you could feel when we were able to cut to a one possession game, or we’re able to get some stops and keep them to field goals instead of punching it in. Our red area defense was key and critical to not allow it to get out of hand. To only be down they way that we were at the half, after the way the first half went, we seemed really fortunate.”
There was a sequence earlier in the game where LA marched down to the red zone, but after a failed fourth down conversion LA came away with zero points.
“I didn’t put us in a good situation on that fourth down.”
The Rams won so McVay doesn’t have to lament the decision. The defense wasn’t perfect but holding a team to 16 points in the NFL should give most teams an opportuinty to win, and that’s what happened today.
“The defense was so key and critical. They allowed the offense to then be able to hit their stride at the right moment.”
Coming off of the bye week I had thought the Rams would be ready to roll, but they started out a bit slow. They punted on their opening drive and they didn’t score until the very end of the first half. Today’s game was a bit different for the Rams because they played their best football in the fourth quarter. Sure, that had to with Drew Lock filling in for Smith, but playing their best at the end of games is also something LA has been trying to do. It worked out for them in this one.
“There were a lot of examples of us starting fast, but then we weren’t really finishing strong. Now let’s see if we can maybe do both.”
The head coach points out the funny truth that had this game not gone LA’s way then he would be singing a different tune.
“Here we are feeling a lot better than I would if that went in...isn’t that crazy though? When you think about that? All comes down to that one play. This game is nuts, man, I just love it.”
Instead the Rams win and the young team can learn thier lessons while basking in the great feeling of victory. The coach is asked about defensive safety Quentin Lake and McVay talks glowingly of the young player. However this season ends up, it really does seem like LA has young players to build around, and players to be excited about. It also seems like McVay is still finding a real joy in coaching. Especially with this group.
“This guys a stud. He prepares the right way. He’s got such a great football IQ, but then the overall atheltism to be able to play in a bunch of different spots.”
Hopefully Les Snead and McVay have been finding players that bring the most out of each other. It’s fun to watch a team grow together, and that is what is happening with the Rams after a win like this. The players get to enjoy the dub, share the experience and hopefully build on it.
It’s a dub! It’s a dub! It’s a dub! pic.twitter.com/XAf6fjKSdp— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 20, 2023
“Quentn Lake, I love him, I’m so proud and happy for what he’s done and I’m really excited about watching him continue to get better as he just accumunilates more experience, but this guy, he’s about all the right kind of stuff. Really happy for Quenten.”
I have a feeling the head coach can talk about most of his players this way, and after a win like today, you feel like his love for the players and team is something the coach really believes in, and isn’t just something he is saying. The Rams will look to win their second game in a row next week when they take on the Arizona Cardinals. McVay’s squad has not had a winning streak yet this season. We’ll find out if thay can turn that corner in Week 12.