LOS ANGELES- When a team sits on the shelf for two weeks with a first-round playoff bye, as the rams did this month, the players might start searching for a pick-me-up. Typically innocuous comments made by the opposing team become bulletin board material, so Los Angeles was watching, and waiting. Then the Twitter alerts popped up on the smartphones of Rams offensive linemen as they were leaving meetings and heading to walk through on Friday morning.
- “He is a quarterback. I do not like quarterbacks, “Cowboys defensive end De Marcus Lawrence told reporters in Texas that day. “I go in every week for a quarterback’s soul.”
- Rams fans have spoken about the very important work of tagging the social media accounts of the Los Angeles offensive linemen to alert them, and they noticed “We’re like, ‘They’re talking about snatching souls? OK! “Left guard Rodger Saffold said.
Two days later-after Los Angeles’s 30-22 victory over Dallas, sending them to the NFC Championship Game next week-Rams corner back Aqib Talib interrupted teammate Jared Goff’s postgame network TV interview to reply to Lawrence with an uncensored bomb: “He is not taking no f *soul! “
Cow ‘s wide receiver Amari Cooper told reporters he was familiar with both Peters and Talib, having played the raiders in the AFC West, two mercurial corner backs of the former divisional home. “I’ve played against those guys twice a year, both of them I know them in and out … I know how they play, and I’m able to tell my teammates [and] the quarterback their tendencies. “
During the game, Rams cornerback Marcus Peters scrapped and jawed on multiple occasions with the Cowboys’ wide receiver, who hauled in six catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Before the locker room, Peters could not contain himself “This scary-ass n ** was talkin ‘sh *!” He screamed in the direction of the Cowboys players as he sauntered through a Coliseum tunnel. “What now?”
Fairly harmless? Peters did not think so. “That was for Amari Cooper,” Peters said in the postgame locker room. “He got strapped today. He said he knew us Looks like he does not know us too well cuz y’all just lost. “
To say the media interviews coming out of Dallas 2-seeded rams will be an understatement. The winning locker room was abuzz with recollections of perceived insults from the other sideline and the media. “When I see Stephen A. Smith I’m gonna smack him upside his head!” Exclaimed one defensive player.
The Los Angeles offensive line was feeling specially triumphant, with a week-long media focus on Dallas’ dominant defensive front, which ranked fifth in yards allowed and yards per carry in 2018. The Rams logged 273 yards with three touchdowns with Saturday night rushing ( 5.7 yards per carry). C.J. Anderson, on his fourth team since April, was interchangeable with Todd Gurley, sledgehammering his way to a team-high 123 yards and two scores.
- “The big boys did it,” said Anderson. “All week and how they stopped Seattle’s run game.”
The offensive linemen took the Lawrence comment to heart Ditto for a press conference in which Cowboys coach Jason Garrett rattled off the merits of the Los Angeles offense and did not mention the o-line. Said Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth: “He did not mention the offensive line, just talked about the skills guys. Last time I checked, we’re the only offensive line in the league in the top-five in passing and rushing, so we’ve got to be pretty daggum good If we’ve gotta go earn the respect we will. “
As for Lawrence’s soul-snatching comment? “We heard it,” Whitworth said. “He did not get crap all night and they got buried I think we’ve all been need to say. “
What now? If the winner of Saints-Eagles on Sunday keeps their mouths shut? Where will these rams possibly find motivation? Whitworth thinks Rams coach Sean McVay has already provided it. Up 23-15 with 7:20 left to play, the Rams faced fourth-and-goal from a yard out Conventional wisdom McVay elected to send Whitworth offendably Lawrence out of the way, Saffold knocked Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith off course and Anderson plunged in for the score. Game, blouses
“Coach felt a lot of confidence in all the years in those situations and he felt it there and we went for it,” Whitworth said. “I think he had felt we needed the touchdown, and really just the message it sent us. Sometimes thats the biggest booster you can get. “
Said Peters: “That’s where we’re going to win the game in the postseason, with that offensive line, in the trenches.”
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