The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-13 on Sunday and and they almost never struggled in doing so, converting 11-of-17 third down attempts and holding Seattle to 2-of-9 on those same critical plays. It was an exciting moment for everyone, but especially Sean McVay given the offseason of doubts and the disappointing 5-12 season of last year. Many were skeptical that the Rams could win any games and now McVay has his team 1-0 against a Seahawks team that went to the playoffs last year, so what he thinks of this moment is as big as what anyone thinks.
Here’s what Sean McVay had to say to the media after the win.
LIVE: Rams Press Conferences with HC Sean McVay + QB Matthew Stafford following today's win vs. the Seahawks. https://t.co/p7fxsr3OPd— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 10, 2023
McVay called it a team win, right off the bat.
“Great team win. Love the resilience.”
The Rams, although shaky on special teams at first, really pulled out a team win. All three phases of their game was better than Seattle’s, especially in the second half.
“Really just happy for these guys, for the work that they put in, for that to be on display today, think one of my favorite parts about it was thing didn’t always go perfect in the first half and these guys just stayed steady.”
I did not think this team looked like a bunch of players playing in their first NFL game. To the coach’s point, the first half did have some shaky moments like a blocked field goal, but by the fourth quarter, LA really did take over. Still, McVay didn’t want to place too high of expectations on the Rams just for starting 1-0.
“It’s one game.”
The Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers next week and if LA can pull out that win, then we can really start to wonder how good this Rams team is. McVay took ownership for a bad play call in the first half that resulted in a Van Jefferson block in the back penalty.
“18-play drive to start out the game, it wasn’t perfect by any stretch, I made a terrible play call that puts us in a bad situation where Van (Jefferson) gets a block in the back, but that’s on me and we were able to overcome it.”
A historic opening drive. pic.twitter.com/MnDUtRJLkl— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 10, 2023
Matthew Stafford came back from his injury and many doubts this offseason to lead the Rams to victory when few expected it. McVay said Stafford was “outstanding” and of course praised receivers Atwell and Nacua.
Tutu Atwell came to life in the second half in a big way, Puka Nacua, what a grown man he was today. Kyren Williams, Cam Akers, (Tyler) Higbee made his plays, Matthew (Stafford) was outstanding and I thought the offensive line protected really well.
“Really happy for Matthew (Stafford).”
Stafford played clean football and he made some top notch throws and decisions, finishing with one of his best performances of the last year, dating back to Week 1 of 2022. He wasn’t sacked, avoided turnovers, and continuously found open receivers to throw for over 300 yards.
McVay noted that the Rams still had plenty to clean up despite the 17-point victory on the road against a division opponent.
“There will always be things that we can cleanup.”
The Rams preached “model the way” during training camp and that was what McVay echoed in his press conference, saying that the team needs to have a “growth mindset” to keep improving as the season goes on, otherwise the win will be for naught.
“What a great job accomplishing the goal that we had today. Now how do we enjoy it, but how do we understand that what got you in those positions was the work you put in. Was having that growth mindset.”
But McVay said he doesn’t care what outsiders say, whether it’s good or bad.
“I couldn’t care less what’s said outside.”
NFL narratives change week to week, the Rams would be wise to avoid getting caught up in any narratives.
“I thought it was a confidence in the players to go out and execute the play.”
McVay also joked that maybe normally he’d of taken a field goal when he sent his offense back out on a fourth and one in the final quarter of the game.
McVay said he was proud of the team and that he expected them to play well enough to win, which wasn’t what many others expected after the Rams parted with most stars and many starters, then fell flat in the preseason.
”I’m so proud of those guys, but I’m not surprised.”
The Rams play the 49ers in Week 2 and a 2-0 record would effectively end any talk of a top-three pick in 2024. Instead, the talk about the future will take a much different turn. Clearly, McVay isn’t all talk.