The Los Angeles Rams held in tough, but ultimately suffered their third loss of the season with a 23-14 defeat at the hands of the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. Sean McVay’s defense kept L.A. alive as the Eagles defense stifled the Rams offense, and that defense included a new face in outside linebacker Ochaun Mathis.
Mathis was the Rams’ sixth-round pick — 189th overall — in the 2023 NFL Draft. He played four seasons for TCU and his final college season at the University of Nebraska, where he turned heads with his 6-foot-5-inch, 260-pound frame at the linebacker position.
He missed all of the preseason and the Rams first four games but finally saw his NFL and team debut on Sunday agaist the Eagles. He only played in 10 defensive snaps, but McVay is already seeing things to like in the 24-year-old OLB.
“I thought it was good to be able to get his feet wet. He played a handful of snaps,” McVay said. “There were some rush situations where you could see the length and the overall ability.
“It was obviously a great challenge with Jalen (Hurts) doing such a good job of being able to extend and create some things off schedule. I think you got to take into account that that was the first time he had even been in pads as a Ram this past week. Didn’t play in any preseason games and so thought it was a good step in the right direction. Definitely some learning opportunities, but (OLBs coach) Joe Coniglio does a great job with that room as a whole and it was good to get Ochaun back out there.”
Based on what McVay said about Mathis, it stands to reason that the rookie may see more snaps as the season progresses. It’s also possible that with a less difficult matchup, Mathis will get a greater opportunity to show what he can do.
The Rams have matchups against the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers in the next two weeks, two offenses that have struggled to get their rhythm this season. Perhaps Mathis will be able to take the field more knowing that he doesn’t have to chase one of the game’s best QBs in Jalen Hurts.
McVay reflects on loss to Eagles
McVay took a wide scope view of the 23-14 loss to the Eagles, falling in line with most of his earlier commentary about enjoying the work and learning experiences that come with this team and this season.
“I’m excited about going back to work with these guys and figuring out how we can continue to demonstrate the resilience, the response that’s in alignment with what we want. There’s a lot of learning opportunities and that’s going to be consistent with any team, but I think especially a lot of guys that are going through things for the first time. I’m not making excuses at all because we expect to accelerate our progression and I believe in this group. (I’m) disappointed with the inability to be able to play off one another, but we’re going to come back. We’re going to look at this film, we’re going to figure out where we can be better and we’re going to respond, I can promise you that.”