Rams’ Sean McVay shoulders blame for season-opening loss to Bills, vows to do better going forward


INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay called Thursday night’s three-touchdown, season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills a “humbling experience.”

The Rams unveiled their Super Bowl LVI banner, then proceeded to lose to Buffalo 31-10, never finding any consistency on offense and turning over the ball three times.

“When you look at a lot of the ways that this game unfolded, [I] feel a huge sense of responsibility to this team,” McVay said. “We weren’t ready to go. I take a lot of pride in that, and that’s on me. I’ve got to do better. There were a lot of decisions that I made that I felt like didn’t put our players in good enough spots.

“So it was a humbling experience, but we’re going to stay connected. We’re going to all look inward. We’re going to do a better job moving forward.”

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey summed up the night simply: “We got our ass beat. Straight up.”

Linebacker Bobby Wagner, who signed with Los Angeles this offseason, said he felt like “third downs killed us” in the game. The Bills’ offense finished 9-for-10 (90%) on third down, tied for the second-best mark in the past 30 seasons by any team in a single game. Buffalo never had to punt.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (29-of-41 passing for 240 yards, TD, 3 INTs and a 63.1 passer rating) was sacked seven times. McVay said there were “some instances” where his team used a silent snap count despite being at home, and Buffalo “did a good job being able to jump the count.”

Stafford said the crowd noise at SoFi Stadium, which saw an impressive turnout from Bills fans, didn’t affect him.

“I mean, we prepared for it,” Stafford said. “We prepared to be on the silent count at home again. But it wasn’t something that we haven’t done before.”

In Week 18 last season against the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams’ offense was forced to go to a silent snap count because of the crowd noise at their home stadium.

“Once you go to silent count, you lose the advantage offensively to be able to get off the ball,” wide receiver Cooper Kupp said. “So ideally, you don’t want to be doing silent.”

Kupp accounted for more than half of the Rams’ receiving yards Thursday night, catching 13 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Allen Robinson, who signed a three-year, $46.5 million contract with the Rams during the offseason, was targeted just twice on 45 routes run, a 4.4% target rate that was the lowest of his career.

Running back Cam Akers was also noticeably absent from the Rams’ offense, playing just 12 snaps to Darrell Henderson Jr.’s 54.

Asked about Akers’ involvement after the game, McVay said, “We really just didn’t get in much of a rhythm tonight.”

McVay will enter next week 0-1, the first time in his career his team is under .500 entering a game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, McVay coached the most consecutive games to start a career without seeing his team be under .500, entering the game at 81 straight.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.



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