11:40 PM ET
Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the Falcons
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A season after playing in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams will not appear in the postseason.
On Saturday, the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs after losing on a last-second field goal to the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31 at Levi’s Stadium.
The Rams dropped to 8-7 and are now only the second team since 2009 to lose in the Super Bowl then miss the playoffs the following season. The Carolina Panthers, who lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, accomplished the same unfortunate feat in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
After winning back-to-back division titles, this is the first time in Sean McVay’s three seasons as coach that the Rams have failed to earn a playoff berth.
Before the season, Rams coaches and players expressed confidence that they would move past their 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in last February’s Super Bowl, and that they would not fall victim to what is commonly referred to as the “Super Bowl hangover.”
“I trust and have full confidence that there’s not going to be any — people talk about a ‘Super Bowl hangover’ or anything like that,” McVay said before the season opener against the Panthers. “This team is focused on this year, producing one day at a time.”
“No, I think we’re good,” quarterback Jared Goff responded when asked during training camp in July if there was any concern about a Super Bowl hangover. “I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been to one before this year, but I think we will be just fine.”
The Rams experienced an uneven season, full of inconsistencies on offense and defense, that resulted in their unsatisfactory record.
The Rams won three straight to open the season before they suffered a defensive meltdown in a Week 4 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which led to their first three-game losing streak since McVay became coach in 2017.
They bounced back with back-to-back victories over the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, but returned from their bye week with a lackluster loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After the Baltimore Ravens blew the Rams out 45-6 on Monday Night Football in Week 12, the season appeared doomed. However, the Rams rebounded with sound wins over the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks before an embarrassing loss in Week 15 to the Dallas Cowboys.