The two L.A. teams got together to practice over the past couple of days. On Saturday, the Chargers defense apparently got the better of the Rams offense.
“We were sluggish,” Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters. “I thought it seemed like the defense had good energy, offensively not even close to good enough. I thought they finished the day strong which is what’s important and our guys kept it together. I think you’ve got to give credit to the Chargers, they came out, they had some good juice, specifically their defense. It’s always a good learning opportunity for us. That’s really what this is. You get a chance to try some things that maybe you wouldn’t do against your defense and you get it in a full-speed setting against a really good team where you’re playing against their good players.”
McVay later was asked whether the substandard offensive performance lands in the lap of quarterback Jared Goff.
“I don’t think so,” McVay said. “What I think says as much about [Goff] as anything is that I’m talking more of myself, the reflection of the entire unit. But what says as much about Jared is that in the midst of things not going great, he finds a way to settle in, in a situation where we’ve got to have a two-minute drive to score a touchdown, he made some great throws, recognized coverage, got the ball where it should’ve gone, and really, to be able to just stay that even-keeled demeanor like we talk about all the time says as much about him as anything.
“I just think the expectations we have are high, but to our players’ credit, they finished the day the right way. This game isn’t perfect and they’re a very good football team. But, that being said, loved the way that we finished in spite of the fact that maybe it didn’t go as well as we’d like early on. And I’m specifically talking about the offense.”
McVay did a decent bit of tightrope-walking, recognizing the offense looked rough but trying to find a positive somewhere, anywhere. Five weeks from today in Charlotte, the Rams’ offense will face a significant test to start a season during which one of the very real questions is whether the rest of the conference will begin the process of catching up with McVay, Goff, and company.