Jared Goff turns the ball over four times as Rams lose to Buccaneers, 55-40
More than a dozen players rhythmically pumped pedals on two rows of stationary bikes in the Coliseum locker room. Others lay sprawled on the floor or face down on massage tables, while still more sat prone on the floor with their legs wrapped in compression boots.
The Rams seemingly could not wait to move on from Sunday’s 55-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and prepare for their Thursday game at the Seattle Seahawks.
The rehabilitation and recovery efforts might remove soreness from their bodies, but it won’t fix many of the problems that plagued the Rams against the Buccaneers — and others that have lingered through the first quarter of the season.
Quarterback Jared Goff committed four turnovers including one that led to the game-clinching touchdown, veteran Rams players committed numerous penalties and Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston shredded the defense as the Rams lost for the first time this season.
“It’s really a wakeup call for everybody,” coach Sean McVay said.
Jared Goff could have saved the underwhelming and unfocused Rams against Tampa Bay, but wasn’t good enough even though he is paid to deliver in clutch.
The Rams don’t have much time to put the loss behind them. They will go through a couple of walk-throughs before leaving Wednesday for Seattle.
McVay called the short turnaround “a blessing.”
“Let this one go by as quick as possible and move on,” said Goff, who passed for a career-best 517 yards but had three passes intercepted and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
Goff won’t soon forget Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett. The NFL leader in sacks intercepted a pass, caused another when he hit Goff, and sacked Goff and forced the fumble that former Rams defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh picked up and ran 37 yards to the end zone.
The Rams defense — which carried the team to victories over the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns — also had a forgettable performance.
The explanation for the Rams’ limited use of Todd Gurley doesn’t make sense. If Gurley can’t shoulder the workload, replace him with someone who can.
Winston, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, completed 28 of 41 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns, including 12 to Chris Godwin for 172 yards and two scores and a 67-yard strike to Mike Evans. Winston sliced up the secondary with short, mid-range and deep passes, many in the middle of the field.
“The play-calling that we had — they were just beating it,” linebacker Cory Littleton said, adding, “We were out of position sometimes. We were making little errors that ultimately we just can’t make.”
The 55 points was the most the Rams have given up under McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, eclipsing the 51 they surrendered last season in a 54-51 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on “Monday Night Football.”
“Burn the film, quite honestly,” safety Eric Weddle said. “Burn it and move on.”
The Rams are accustomed to slow starts on offense. They overcame them in victories over the Carolina Panthers, Saints and Browns. But this time it cost them.
They spotted the Buccaneers 21 points and never caught up.
“We didn’t have the energy how we usually do,” safety John Johnson said. “We thought we were prepared but we just didn’t have the energy.”
Said cornerback Aqib Talib: “You don’t ever want to lose, period. But you definitely don’t want to lose like that. It started early and went all the way through the game.”
Despite the Rams’ miscues, they still were in position to tie the score and send the game into overtime.
Cornerback Marcus Peters shook off getting burned by Evans for a long touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and returned an interception for a touchdown with about eight minutes left. Peters’ electrifying play pulled the Rams to within 45-40.
The Rams were penalized 13 times for 106 yards in their 55-40 loss to the Buccaneers, with several of the miscues coming from veteran players.
The Buccaneers added a field goal, but the Rams still had an opportunity to tie the score with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
But that scenario ended when Barrett hit Goff and knocked the ball from his hand, enabling Suh to recover and run for the touchdown.
“I was just trying to get rid of the ball and not take a sack there and let the clock run,” Goff said, adding, “I’ve got to be better.”
Now the Rams turn their attention to the Seahawks. Their NFC West rival improved to 3-1 with a 27-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
“A lot of things that we’ve got to look at and get figured out, get fixed,” McVay said, “and that’s exactly what we will do.”
Rams players sounded as if they were moving on.
“You throw your pity party and you’re right back to work,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “You got to get over it — it’s a short week.”
Goff was looking at the bright side.
“We’re 3-1,” he said. “It could be a lot worse.”
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