Losing consecutive games for the first time as coach of the Los Angeles Rams hasn't dampened Sean McVay's sense of humor.
McVay joked he hasn't paid attention to the media coverage of Sunday night's 30-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles "because I don't want you guys to hurt my feelings."
Instead, McVay is concerned with getting the Rams out of their first prolonged slump in his two seasons.
"You know you have a say in that this story is not finalized," McVay said Monday night. "They don't end the season after 14 games. And we know for sure that we have got two left in this regular season and one playoff game. What we don't know is when that playoff game is going to be. We do know it's going to be at the Coliseum, and that's all we're guaranteed right now."
McVay believes the Rams (11-3) showed signs of a turnaround by giving themselves a chance to tie the game on the final play, an incomplete pass by Jared Goff for Josh Reynolds. Goff was 17 of 23 passing for 179 yards in the fourth quarter against the Eagles after going 55 of 108 for 547 yards with one touchdown and seven interceptions over the previous 11 quarters.
What bogged down the offense as the Eagles built a 17-point lead, McVay said, were breakdowns and penalties that put the Rams in difficult down-and-distance situations. The 32-year-old coach was pleased his team still had a chance to win in spite of those issues.
"You could feel that momentum and, really, that clock ran out on us at the end of the game," McVay said. "But in spite of all the different things that we went through, you can't say these guys didn't continue to fight, scratch and claw to put ourselves in a position to try to win a game. Credit to the Eagles for being able to get it done, but we're going to learn from this and we're not going to allow it to define our season. I do believe that and I know that."
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Another confidence-booster for McVay is the health of Todd Gurley, who sustained a knee injury against Philadelphia that did not turn out to be serious. McVay said Gurley is dealing with inflammation and will be day-to-day going into the game at Arizona on Sunday. Gurley had 12 carries for 48 yards against the Eagles.
McVay said he would be cautious with Gurley, who leads the NFL with 21 touchdowns and is second in the league in rushing yards. However, the chance to secure a first-round playoff bye by winning the final two games would factor into whether McVay would use Gurley against the Cardinals (3-11) if he is healthy.
Complicating matters is the shoulder injury Justin Davis sustained against Philadelphia, leaving rookie John Kelly as the only healthy running back on the roster. Davis is also day-to-day, McVay said.
"I think you really just take it one day at a time," McVay said. "These games are important for us. We've got to do a good job of getting ready for a tough division opponent at their place and having a good week of preparation."
NOTES: McVay met with CB Marcus Peters, who had a verbal altercation with a fan during the game Sunday. McVay did not say if Peters would face internal discipline. "He knows that we've got to be better in those situations and can't allow whatever's going on, in terms of that dialogue, to affect our ability to be focused on what is going on during the game," McVay said.