Rams’ Sean McVay Shares Strong Messages Following Questionable Steelers Call

n a game that saw five lead changes and plenty of twists and turns, it was one play in the fourth quarter that sparked the most debate between the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, October 22 in Inglewood.

With less than 2:20 left in the fourth quarter and with the Rams out of timeouts, the Steelers faced a fourth down scenario where one yard was all that was needed. Kenny Pickett called his own number and aimed to sneak it in for the first down. At first, it appeared Pickett was well short of the needed spot.

However, a measurement barely gave the Steelers what they needed to win 24-17 at SoFi Stadium.Fans criticized the call vehemently on social media. This close up clip captured by the Rams Brothers podcast also showed the controversial nature of the referee decision as Pickett is shown with a knee down before crossing over.

Because the Rams were out of timeouts, they were unable to challenge. So in the case of head coach Sean McVay, he couldn’t react to the call until the postgame presser.

What Did McVay Say About the Controversial Call?

McVay is often known for honest and stoic takes after each game. But in this case, the officiating decision left McVay with no choice but to leave the call where it was.


“It doesn’t matter what I think. That was the spot they made,” McVay told the L.A. media after the loss.


He was then asked if, had the Rams had one timeout left, McVay would’ve taken out the red marker and throw the challenge flag.


“It’s not a challengeable play that I could – I’m not going to sit here and make any excuses about stuff that didn’t go down,” he said in response to the question. “Those plays shouldn’t have come down to that if we execute like we were capable of. You guys saw the same stuff that I did, but it doesn’t do any good. That’s what was called and that’s what we have to be able to live with.”


McVay ended up refusing to go the low road and criticize the officiating. He also believes the Rams didn’t lose the game off that questionable decision and felt there were several instances where the Rams could’ve prevented a controversial scenario like that fourth-and-one.


Still, it’s a strong response from McVay as it comes with him avoiding a fine. Plus his response comes with the realization of what the outcome will be if he did criticize the refs who made the decision. That wasn’t his only strong message though.


What McVay Hopes to See Moving Forward for the Now 3-4 Rams

The Rams have yet to establish some consistency each Sunday as they now stand at 3-4 overall.


They’ve yet to string together consecutive wins this season. McVay outlined what he hopes to see.


“I think the biggest challenge is the consistency. You look at it, there’s really good opportunities for us to be able to run away from some games or extend some leads. And we haven’t been able to do that. When we get into some of these tight games, how do we figure out a way to finish and get some of the results we’ve gotten? Whether you look at the Indianapolis game, being able to pull away against the Cardinals in the second half and being able to pull away against Seattle in Week 1 — those are the things we’re trying to replicate,” McVay said. “But easier said and done, we have to figure out how to do it collectively.”


Despite the loss, McVay has taken a liking to the 2023 Rams despite losing in heartbreaking, controversial fashion.

“But I love working with this group. I’m more encouraged now than I was at the very beginning of the season,” McVay said.


Lorenzo Reyna covers the Los Angeles Rams and Alabama Crimson Tide for Heavy.com. His NFL, college and high school football coverage has been featured on Pro Football Network, Santa Maria Times, Daily Pilot, 24/7 Sports and Scout Media. More about Lorenzo Reyna


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