Puka Nacua took the blame for not coming down with key third-down pass

Puka Nacua had a historic night against the Lions on Sunday night, catching nine passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. It was the most receiving yards ever by a rookie in the playoffs, breaking the record set by DK Metcalf in 2020.

The only pass thrown his way that he didn’t come down with was the key third-and-14 play in the fourth quarter, which ended up being the offense’s final play of the night. He was grabbed by the cornerback in coverage and hit near his helmet while attempting to make the catch, but he couldn’t come down with it.

After the game, Nacua had a great response to a question about how he felt following the loss.

“Not disappointed in the team and my teammates, but disappointed in myself,” he said. “Put myself in the opportunity to make plays and didn’t come down with the play in the opportunity that I had. Just stings. Put in a lot of hard work to get to where we are, lot of guys have sacrificed things and just coming up short doesn’t feel good.”

It would’ve been a miraculous catch by Nacua if he came down with it, but he’s proved countless times this season that he’s capable of doing the spectacular. It just wasn’t in the cards on that play Sunday night.

Heading into the offseason, Nacua admits that missed opportunity will sting for a long time.

“It’s going to sting for a while,” he added. “Teammates count on me to make plays. Coaches counted on me, dialed up my number. Just wasn’t able to come down with it. It’ll be a nice motivator for the rest of the (offseason).”

Nacua was the Rams’ biggest source of production on offense against the Lions, finishing with 137 more receiving yards than any other player. He also scored one of their two touchdowns, a 50-yarder in the first half.

He enters the offseason after a spectacular rookie year that ended in disappointment for Los Angeles as a team.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire