A tough loss in the final seconds to a struggling Tampa Bay team will most likely decimate the team’s morale

By CliffJackson | Turf Show Times | Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Up 13-9 with 44 seconds left, the Los Angeles Rams just needed to prevent the big play and keep the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in-bounds in order to secure their fourth win of the year and move to .500. However, even with no timeouts, the Buccaneers marched 60 yards down the field to steal the game in the final seconds, walking away with a 16-13 victory.

Now, last week, I wrote an article about how there was no need to hit the panic button just yet. But, following the absolute heart-breaker of a loss yesterday evening, it is officially time to panic.

The game against the Buccaneers was an absolute must-win for the Rams, no matter how ugly it may have been, they needed to win. For a vast majority of the game, it seemed as though Los Angeles would get the win against a team that was just as desperate as themselves. Yet, they allowed the game to slip through their hands and, in turn, will most likely end up becoming a season defining loss.

The main point of concern, in my eyes, is not the coaching or the performance of the players, which may sound odd, but allow me to elaborate. Football is a game of momentum, riding waves of good stretches and bad stretches, often driven by the overall morale and mood of a roster and coaching staff alike. Sitting at 3-4 prior to the game, the Rams would have gotten a big boost morally with a victory, as they’d be sitting at 4-4 and just two games behind the division-leading Seahawks.

With a loss, a negative impact on team morale would be inevitable as falling to 3-5 is not ideal whatsoever, especially for the defending Super Bowl champions. Having said that, the size of that dent is often determined by how the game goes, and losses like Sunday’s can destroy the mood of the team as a whole. Despite how ugly the game was, the Rams should have won the game, and winning is all that matters in a league like the NFL.

All L.A. needed was a first down at the end of the game to secure the win, they could not get those 10 yards. Negative yards altogether for the offense in the 4th quarter, that is flat out unacceptable. On the bright side, Tampa had to burn the rest of their timeouts, no way a team that has not gotten in the end-zone all game can drive 60 yards in 44 seconds with no timeouts right? RIGHT?!

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