The Rams were unable to emerge with a victory over Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 9, and the defense took a lot of the blame for the loss.
Los Angeles held a 13-9 lead with 44 seconds left in the contest but its defense couldn’t keep Tampa Bay out of the end zone. The Buccaneers needed just 35 seconds to mount a go-ahead, 60-yard touchdown drive.
Certainly, there was a lot to be desired about the Rams’ final defensive possession. Still, Los Angeles’ star cornerback Jalen Ramsey didn’t believe that the responsibility for the game-ending drive fell entirely on the defense.
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“The defense should not have had to go back on the field. Simple,” Ramsey said bluntly after the Rams’ defeat, per Pro Football Talk. “Gotta have some dogs who are gonna go get it. We shouldn’t come to the sideline after a big stop like that and our coaches or the other side or whoever telling us, ‘We gonna to need y’all one more time. We gonna to need y’all one more time.’ Like what the f—? We just made a big stop, turnover on downs, with a minute and some change left and no timeouts for nobody.
Gotta have some dogs who are like, man, f— all that, we are going to end this game right now. Good stop. We are going to end the game for y’all. We gotta play off each other in that sense. You know what I mean? That’s what I mean by we should not have had to go out there. It is what it is. It ain’t the first time that this has happened. This has happened multiple times this year, really. S—.
It’s easy to understand why Ramsey was frustrated. The Rams appeared to have an opportunity to get a first down, but Cooper Kupp slid down inbounds on a jet sweep to keep the clock running instead of fighting for the first down. The play did force the Bucs to use a timeout but had he continued, he may have iced the game.
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Instead, the offense went three-and-out. That set Brady up to orchestrate the 55th game-winning drive of his career, good for the most in NFL history ahead of Peyton Manning.
Naturally, Rams coach Sean McVay was asked about Ramsey’s comments during a Monday news conference. He defended his top cornerback and said that he “[knew where Ramsey was] coming from and it’s all with the right intentions.” He also insisted that Ramsey “would say the same thing on the defensive side of the ball if the roles were reversed.”
However, McVay also pointed out that the team needs to stick together to avoid further turmoil during a stretch of five games in which they have posted a 1-4 record.
“That’s where a lot of those divides can somewhat occur and you want to be cognizant of that,” McVay said, per Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “You want to be honest, and you want to make sure that guys understand how vital this is for us to continue to try and get out of this little rut and try to trend in the right direction.”
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It seems like McVay is keeping control of the locker room, but frustrations are certainly starting to boil over for the Rams. A win would do them well to quell concerns and get the Rams back in the playoff race.
Los Angeles will look to get back on track as it faces a divisional rival, the Cardinals, in Week 10.