LOS ANGELES – The message was consistent after a heartbreaking 55-40 home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No time to panic.
With a matchup against divisional foe Seattle four days away, the Rams know they must move on quickly and flush out Sunday's defeat. While the short turnaround could be perceived as a disadvantage given the circumstances, Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay views it as "a blessing" for his team.
"That's the only thing that we can really control is that we play again on Thursday," McVay said. "We’re going to find a way to look at ourselves and see if we can play better. We get an opportunity on Thursday and I think that’s a blessing for us.”
Technically, there is one other thing the Rams can control from Sunday's game, and that's their attitude. Part of the reason players weren't panicking after Sunday's loss was because of the pride they took in the fight they showed, particularly in the second half.
Despite trailing by 18 points early in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles still managed to make it a one-possession game in the final 15 minutes before a fumble returned for a touchdown by the Tampa Bay defense brought their comeback attempt to a halt.
“I thought, honestly, if you take anything from the game that you can go, ‘You know what, I’ll hang my hat on that,’ is really that attitude," LT Andrew Whitworth said. "I mean, really, honestly, every time on the sidelines, it was, ‘Hey guys, all we’ve got to do is go score fast and give ourselves a chance, and get a stop.’ That attitude continued no matter the score, we kept going no matter what they did.
"You always look for – win or loss – things you can take from the game. Something I think we can take from the game is to get in that situation and not have anybody really say, ‘Hey, it’s over’ … but we kept making it a game and, you know what, I think you can be proud of that. It’s something to build off of."
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Coliseum for Week 4!
It would be understandable if the Rams defense was disappointed. In 35 regular season games under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the only other team to put up more than 50 points on his unit was the Kansas City Chiefs last November.
But as CB Marcus Peters' late pick-six that pulled the Rams within eight showed, they weren't about to mail it in despite the success the Bucs' offense had to that point.
"I tip my hat off to my team, because they never quit," OLB Dante Fowler said. "We might've faced adversity, they might've gotten down, but at the end of the day, they kept playing and that's all you can ask from them."
The loss creates an understood sense of urgency and little time for Los Angeles to feel sorry for itself. DT Aaron Donald is making sure of it.
“Like I said, you throw your pity party today and you’re right back to work tomorrow," Donald said. "You got to get over it, it’s a short week.”
Rams QB Jared Goff taking a similar perspective.
He made sure to credit the Buccaneers for a well-played game across all four quarters. While Sunday's performance offered some positives, Goff also understands it leaves plenty of room for improvement.
Ultimately, though, he saw enough to be confident that L.A. will learn from this in a positive way.
"There were some spurts of good and some spurts of really good for us, but the majority of it was not," Goff said. "We need to be better and we will be."