“I love this team.” Let Sean McVay’s words linger in your mind. “I love this team.” After the Los Angeles Rams heartbreaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens McVay expressed his clear love for this team after what he called a “gutwrenching” defeat. The coach also says: “It’s ok to hurt right now.” Words that I think any Rams fan needs to hear. The reality is that this may have been LA’s best performance against a top team in the league. Do you think LA would’ve kept pace had they played Baltimore before their bye week? There’s growth that this team has shown, there’s guts that the coaching staff has displayed. There’s potential for this team to continue to get better.
This Rams loss reminds me of a scene in Idiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where young Indiana is trying to save a relic from what appears to be thiefs. When it’s all said and done, the young Jones cannot rescue the artifact, and one of the antagonists says: “You lost today kid, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.” Of course we, the adience, know that the young Jones becomes Dr. Jones and goes on to save many a relic and artifact. He learned something from that loss.
I am left with the feeling that it’s easy to be dissapointed by this lastest game, but hard not to be impressed by LA’s level of play. Regardless, the saying goes that there are no moral victories in the NFL. The Rams fall to 6-7, and have an uphill battle to make the playoffs. The good news is the Rams showed today they can do exactly that: Battle.
Let’s see what else the head coach had to say after his team’s latest loss in Week 14.
LIVE: Rams Postgame Press Conferences with HC Sean McVay + QB Matthew Stafford following Week 14. https://t.co/t6tTihiaWz— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 10, 2023
The coach opens up the presser by acknowleding that both teams played hard, and both teams fought to earn this win today.
“What a hard fought game by two teams. I thought that was two really good teams going at it. Credit the Ravens for making enough plays to be able to finish the game, but I love the way that our group competed. There’s a lot of things that we can learn from...but there was a lot of great plays made, a lot of resilience, a lot of grit a lot of guts shown by this team today and I’m looking forward to being able to respond with them...but I love this team, love working with them, you give the Ravens credit for finding a way, there was some opportunities, but we made a lot of plays to be able to stay in that game, and they’ll be some opportunities for us to be abale to learn, coaches and players alike. We’re gonna stay connected, we’re gonna move forward the right way.”
A lot of grit and gut shown. Time to move forward the right way. pic.twitter.com/c1iGR03GqE— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 10, 2023
The coach, as he has all year, expects his team to learn from this latest loss, and he expects the team to respond the right way. We’ve seen this team go on some losing streaks, and this will be the first time since their bye week that LA has lost. It would be a great step in the right drection if LA can find a way to recover and win in Week 15.
For now, LA is left licking it’s wounds, and potentially losing some starting players in the process. Rob Havenstein and Tutu Atwell both had to leave today’s game.
“With Rob he got his groin, wasn’t able to returm and then Tutu they said it was a head injury.”
In the end, despite how well the Rams played in all of phases throughout most of the contest, they came undone in overtime when the Ravens returned a punt and sent LA leaving the stadium with their seventh loss of the season.
TYLAN WALLACE ICES THE GAME ❗❗❗ pic.twitter.com/On4jjuacED— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 10, 2023
“I saw a good return. You know, a lot of missed tackles. I’ll have to go back and look at it, obviously my mindset was on...there were some things that we coud’ve certainly learned from to not have to be in that punt situation. We had some opportunities...but I just saw what looked to be a decent kick, made a lot of missed tackles at the point of attack, but you know, you credit them they made the plays to be able to win the game today...”
That was that. As hard as the Rams had played, the Ravens played better. McVay says that Baltimore earned this win, and there’s no question about that. The question is will LA be able to get over this loss and not spiral into a losing streak like the team has done earlier in the year? The coach throughout this presser expresses the utmost confidence that this team will not let this loss turn into two.
“I thought our defense battled, I thought they made a bunch of stops...I mean you look at it that’s one of the most completed teams in the league. There as good as anybody on both sides of the football, they’re excellent on speical teams, they’re coming off the bye, had a great home crowd atmostphere...we’re never gonna have the...we want to be able to come away with the win, but I think there’s a lot of things that when you know what you’re looking at...we can take this the right way. We’re gonna respond and it’s ok to hurt right now. That was a gutwrenching loss, guys put a lot out there, but we’re not gonna let the Ravens beat us twice, I can promise you that.”
There were some questionsable decisions and some unforuate delay of game calls. Apparently LA was having touble with their headsets at times, but the head coach doesn’t seem to lean into it as an excuse at all.
“There were some issues with the headsets today...”
The Rams kicking situation was something to monitor this week, and to some’s surprise it was Lucas Havrisik who earned the start for today’s game. Even though LA had added veteran kicker, Mason Crosby.
“I thought Lucas did a great job being able to make the kick...we had our chances as a team. I think to be able to even have those chances...guys did a lot of good stuff, but when it come down to it we’ll learn from it and we’ll respond the right way...”
The coach shares his belief the Rams played in a hyper competeitive game, they came up short, but that doesn’t mean this team can’t bounce back. McVay seems to expect he and the team will make the fans proud.
“Championship calibur game late in December...let’s see how...I think you’re gonna be proud of the way that this group responds, this was a tough hard earned win for the Ravens today, but we’re gonna come back swinging.”
Will LA expect Havrisik to be the kicker going forward? It seems like that could be something the team continues to work through.
“We brought him (Crosby) in, you know you look at it as a competition, and Lucas earned the right to be, you know, kicking today based on what we saw throughout the course of the week, and clearly his performance was in aligment of what we had hoped, and he did a great job.”
LA will continue to try and figure out who their kicker is long term, and maybe Havrisik is earning his way to real consideration after today’s performance. In the meantime, LA is finding what seems like long term players throughout the most recent draft class, and overall LA has shown they can compete with some of the best teams in the NFL. The Rams may have lost today, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it, and it certainly doesn’t mean this team can’t improve and make a run over the final stretch of the season.