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SANTA CLARA — Here’s what we learned, what we heard and what comes next after the Rams’ 24-9 road loss to the San Francisco 49ers dropped their record to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the NFC West:
HEATED ARGUMENT BETWEEN LINEBACKERS
The Rams’ defense had issues with 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, but they also had issues with one another on the sideline.
The ESPN broadcast caught outside linebackers Justin Hollins and Takk McKinley engaged in a heated argument that required teammates to intervene.
“Just a disagreement,” Hollins said after the loss. “Heat-of-the-moment type stuff. Nothing crazy. Just a disagreement between two men. That’s about it.”
The Rams’ linebackers cleared the air, but they never had answers for Samuel, who had six catches for 115 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown that included multiple missed tackles by the Rams.
Rams middle linebacker Bobby Wagner also expressed frustrations, but he took some of his out on a fan who ran across the field with a pink smoke bomb in his hand during the second quarter.
“Just keeping it safe,” Wagner said about leveling the fan with a well-placed shoulder. “You don’t know what that fan got or don’t. You see it all the time. You don’t know what they can do, what’s in their pockets. Whatever that little smoke stuff is. It can be dangerous.
“I was frustrated, so I took it out on him.”
McVAY CALLS OUT PLAYERS FOR MISSED ASSIGNMENTS
Rams coach Sean McVay said the handful of injuries on the offensive line weren’t to blame for the offensive struggles against the 49ers’ stout defense.
McVay pointed to missed assignments by players before taking the blame as the head coach.
“The thing that we didn’t do to execute, you don’t take away any credit from the 49ers, but a lot of it was just things that guys that we’re counting on didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” McVay said. “Clearly, that makes me think that I gotta do a better job and we gotta do a better job as an offensive staff providing clarity to our players.”
STAFFORD NOT ON SAME PAGE WITH ROBINSON
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford struggled to spread the ball Monday night with most of his passing attempts going to wide receiver Cooper Kupp and tight end Tyler Higbee. The two combined for 33 targets (24 catches) and 195 receiving yards with the rest of the team combining for 15 targets (eight catches) and 59 yards.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson, who signed a three-year, $46.5 million deal to join the Rams in the offseason, had another quiet outing with six targets, two receptions and 7 yards. Robinson has just nine catches for 95 receiving yards and one touchdown this season.
“I think there were opportunities,” said Stafford, who finished 32 of 48 for 254 yards and one interception. “I spread the ball around or I tried to. … I just gotta do a better job of trying to find (Robinson).”
The Rams’ banged-up offensive line will be tested again on Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys with pass rushers Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush has led the Cowboys (3-1) to a 3-0 record while filling in for injured Dak Prescott.
— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) October 4, 2022
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