Sean McVay: Our trajectory is pointing upward

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The Rams made a dramatic turnaround from also-rans in 2016 to NFC West champs in 2017 under first-year head coach Sean McVay, but their run came to an end on Saturday night in a 26-13 loss to the Falcons.

McVay said after the game that the team is obviously not happy about the year coming to an end, but he referenced the youthful bent of the roster while saying that he believes the team’s “trajectory is pointing upward” as the offseason gets underway.

That’s hard to argue with, but there were also questions during McVay’s postgame press conference about whether the slow start by the offense and a pair of turnovers on special teams were a sign that the postseason spotlight was too bright. McVay, who repeatedly mentioned learning from the loss, doesn’t think that was the case.

“You have a lot of respect for experience,” McVay said. “Certainly this is an example we can learn from. I don’t think this game was too big for our players. We’re a young football team. We just didn’t make enough plays to get it done.”

It will be a while before we’ll see whether the lessons the Rams learned from their loss allow them another bite at the postseason apple next season.

33 responses to “Sean McVay: Our trajectory is pointing upward

  1. They are pretenders. They benefitted from a last-place schedule. Their defense was unable to do anything. Plus, they have Gurley and only gave him the ball fourteen times. The person calling the plays should be fired. They were able to run the ball but decided to lose the game by throwing it three times as much as running it. Then you have a return guy who gives the ball away to the other team. You’re not going to win any playoff game playing like that. They won’t be back next year based on how they played yesterday.

  2. Coaches can control a lot, but not everything. Sometimes you get a freak special teams play that changes the game. The football isn’t round, so it takes funny bounces sometime. Atlanta was a pre-season favorite to get back to the super bowl this year. They’re a good team. McVay led the Rams from the lowest scoring team in 2016 to the highest scoring team in 2017. I’m feeling pretty good about their future.

  3. What historically great NFL coach sat healthy players before the playoffs?

    McVay was playing football a decade ago and I know his body still feels it, so I get it. He is a superstar coach in the making but he won’t make this mistake again.

    Andy Reid, on the other hand…

  4. Looks like a great coach, but will be a lot tougher next year because expectations will be much higher. It’s easier to go from horrible to good than from good to consistently great

  5. Well, the Rams have the entire off season to ‘rest’ the starters.
    Resting healthy jocks and losing continuity lost that game for them.
    They reap what they sew.

  6. Odd game…Rams should have been blown out in first half for those two turnovers, yet they were there, at half time. Thought their offense would roll in second half…I think lack of a real adjustment at half killed them.
    Running game was hit or miss…the problem was the passing game. It killed their flow. Good teams make other teams respect both a passing and running attack. Rams had flashes of a passing attack, but not enough. Goff was 53% on passing…which means they were playing 2 down ball.
    Feel bad for Rams, as they were pretty solid, except for special teams gaffs. Lack of ability to allow their defense to rest (drives stalled), didn’t bode well in second half. Still, their defense was pretty solid.

  7. Rams had nothing to play for in week 17. Wasn’t worth losing Gurley or Goff to a freak injury. No one would be praising McVay for that.

    Belichick might not rest his starters but maybe that’s because he always has a 1st round bye.

  8. They benefitted from a last-place schedule.


    Kind of hard to do that when you didn’t finish in last place the prior season. Nine of their games were against teams that either finished in first place last season, finished in first place this season or made the playoffs this season. That doesn’t include two games against the 8-8 Cardinals, the Redskins before they were injured and the Niners after they got Garapollo. It was not an easy schedule.

  9. whenwilliteverend says:
    January 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

    They are pretenders. They benefitted from a last-place schedule.

    I love it when people bring that up, like it actually means anything.

  10. It will be tougher for the Rams next year. The 49ers look like they will be A LOT better. And who knows about Seattle and Arizona.

  11. you might want to get some humility, a run d, an offense other than gurley and a clue, millennial hotshot

    wildly overrated

    he also has immature players

  12. The Rams 2017 schedule included 10 games against teams that won at least 9 games the previous season. A few other teams had 10 as well. Nobody had more.

  13. How did the Rams benefit from a last place schedule? We played the Vikings, Saints, and Eagles who won their division. Also played the Jaguars won won their division and the Titans who made the playoffs?

    Also add the Seahawks and the Cowboys who finished 9-7? 8 games against above .500 teams.

    Bottom line is we made mistakes in special teams. Offense couldn’t get going until the end of the 1st half. Atlanta made adjustments, which included a long drive to begin the 2nd half. That’s it.

  14. Rams laid a giant egg in front of Snoop and Co. As is ALWAYS the case, whoever wins the turnover battle in the playoffs is the most likely winner. The only exception being the 1981 NFC title game where the Niners had 5 turnovers and still won.

    Next year is never a guarantee of anything. Sure they look good but injuries, expectations, losing streaks, odd bounces – anything can make you 7-9 or 8-8 in a hurry. We’ll find out just how hungry they are.

  15. motleytrap says:
    January 7, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    Rams had nothing to play for in week 17. Wasn’t worth losing Gurley or Goff to a freak injury. No one would be praising McVay for that.
    Belichick might not rest his starters but maybe that’s because he always has a 1st round bye.
    Really good point. Most super bowl winning teams that I can recall had a first round bye, so knowing they would have an extra week to rest, they played their starters week 17. I guess the rust didn’t hurt all those super bowl winners. The Monday morning coaches will be second guessing Belichick if the Pats don’t win a sixth SB.

  16. So ironic that our special teams, widely regarded as the best in the league with all pros at every position, would be our downfall in the playoffs. The ball bounces in strange ways.

  17. They’ll be back but this missed a golden opportunity considering they likely had the least amount of injuries of all the NFC playoff teams.

  18. This last place schedule thing is a farce. Not to be used as an excuse. What is more relevant is that several of the Rams opponents had major injuries when they played them, ie Indianapolis (Luck), New Orleans (both starting cornerbacks), Dallas (Tyron Smith, David Irving, Demarcus Lawrence), etc. They should not expect this to happen again.
    If I was the Rams I would be more concerned with what to do when Gurley is taken out of the game like Atlanta did to him and left it up to Goff (24/45, 259 yds)to try and beat them.

  19. You never know. Injuries happen and can derail a season. For whatever reason Jared Goff looked average at best yesterday. Defensive coordinators will catch up to offenses…just ask Chip Kelly.

  20. Regardless of the loss, it was an impressive turnaround. Didn’t figure they’d do much in the playoffs, as they didn’t look too impressive when they played in MN e few weeks ago.

  21. Didn’t look too impressive in Minnesota…I guess the Vikings didn’t either since it was 7-7 in the 4th quarter until two of our top 3 CBs were injured and Thielen abused our third string CB. Not to mention it would’ve been 14-7 Rams in the fourth if Kupp didn’t fumble inside the 1. Your purple goggles distort the view.

  22. Everyone played the Colts without Luck. The Saints played us without our top WR. And Lawrence and Tyron Smith both played against the Rams (memo to scoreatwill..a little fact checking before posting never hurts).

    You can poke holes in any teams schedule. The Rams didn’t get to play the Browns twice like the Steelers did. The Rams did’t get to face the Cowboys while Elliot was suspended and Tyron Smith was out like the Falcons did. The Patriots have been feasting on cellar dwellers in their own division for over a decade.

  23. Who would you rather have Goff or Wentz?

    Wentz improved A LOT. Hes a very good QB.

    Goff made some nice throws but also missed a lot of routine throws.
    He improved a lot from terrible to so-so.

  24. The Rams are a good young team with a very good coach it seems.They needed this experience is all.

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