Sean McVay said he was proud of his team's effort following the Rams' 34-31 loss to the 49ers, a loss that officially knocked the defending NFC champion from playoff contention.
At the same time, McVay, during a postgame interview with NFL.com's Michael Silver, admitted frustration after watching his team drop to 8-7 while joining the 2016 Panthers as the only Super Bowl runner-ups this decade that failed to make the playoffs the following season.
"I'm proud of the way we battled and fought, but I'm sick that we didn't come out with the result, and I'm sick that we won't be in the postseason," said McVay, who will not coach in the postseason for the first time in his three years as the Rams' head coach. "Our season will end next week, and it's a sickening feeling -- and one that will drive me ... Every. Single. Freaking. Day ... until next season arrives, and we finally get to come out and take another swing."
While McVay is already looking ahead to the offseason, Silver reported that several sources are expecting a "shakeup" on McVay's staff that may include defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who moved from Denver to Los Angeles to join McVay's coaching staff in 2017. Phillips, who won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015, presided over a Rams' defense in 2019 that is currently ranked 15th in the NFL in scoring, ninth in pass defense, 23rd in run defense, 16th in third down efficiency and 29th in red zone efficiency.
On Saturday night, despite sacking 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo six times in the second half, the Rams' defense allowed two scoring drives in the game's final six minutes. On the game's final possession, Los Angeles allowed Garoppolo to convert on two third-and-16 situations that included his 46-yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders that set up Robbie Gould's game-winning field goal.
Silver also alluded to the team possibly parting ways with running back Todd Gurley and/or defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Gurley, who is in the middle of a four-year, $60 million contract, has rushed for 789 yards this season while averaging 3.9 yards per carry, his lowest average since 2016. Gurley's 29 receptions this year is his lowest total since his rookie season and a far cry from the 59 passes he hauled in in 2018.
While he hasn't suffered a dip in production, Donald -- who leads the Rams with 12.5 sacks this season -- would likely fetch at least a first round pick in a trade. Los Angeles does not currently have a first round pick in the next two drafts after trading them to the Jaguars in exchange for Jalen Ramsey earlier this season. While trading the 28-year-old Donald would appear unlikely, it would help the Rams add other pieces as they look to contend next season in arguably the NFL's toughest division.
"I don't know exactly what's going to happen," a Rams' veteran player told Silver, "but I'd expect some major changes around here in the next few months."
One player who doesn't appear to be on the trading block is quarterback Jared Goff, who has struggled through an inconsistent season after signing a four-year, $134 million extension last offseason. To his credit, Goff -- who threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night while also throwing a costly pick-six -- admitted that he has to get better this offseason.
"Yeah, it's very sickening," Goff said of the Rams' current situation. "It is sickening that we won't be able to continue our season next week. Now it's, how do you regroup? How do you get better? How do you make it so that we don't have this feeling again?"
Changes, it seems, is how McVay and the Rams will try to make sure that 2019 doesn't happen again in 2020.