THOUSAND OAKS — Sebastian Joseph-Day had to think for a moment, but the answer turned out to be yes. The Rams’ nose tackle did lay a hand on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Monday night. Once.

“Actually, I did. I had a little QB (hit) on him, and I pushed him (down),” Joseph-Day said. “Then I helped him back up.”

Joseph-Day laughed at his own futility. Rams players were able to laugh once in a while on the generally somber day after their 45-6 loss to Jackson and the Ravens, their most one-sided defeat of the Sean McVay era. Players also were able to say they still have a good chance to make the playoffs and insist they’re still one of the NFL’s elite teams.

Their reactions mean the Rams were either unshaken by the loss or driven insane by it.

A writer asked wide receiver Brandin Cooks on Tuesday: “Do you think this team is still elite?”

Cooks: “ABSOLUTELY. Do you?”

Writer: “I think at your best, you are.”

(The writer kicked himself for not finding a more pointed response.)

“I think absolutely we feel that way,” Cooks said. “Anytime we go into a game, we expect to win. We have those expectations for a reason. Our standards are high.”

Joseph-Day, too, didn’t take a 39-point loss to the Ravens (9-2), one of the league’s best teams, as a sign the Rams (6-5) aren’t one of the league’s best teams a year after they went to the Super Bowl.

“At the end of the day, I know we are still an elite team. Things just haven’t been clicking, but it’s OK,” Joseph-Day said. “There’s still a lot of football left to play, and I know we’re going to get back to that elite.”

Joseph-Day said the Rams still have “the right guys here.”

“And, obviously you’ve seen us beat a good New Orleans team. You’ve seen us compete and probably should have won that Seattle game,” he said.

“We have five games left, and we have five chances to put it all together, and after we do that people won’t be questioning us anymore.”

That’s five games plus playoffs, though the latter is a longshot since the Rams have fallen two games behind Minnesota (8-3) and three behind Seattle (9-2) in the race for the second wild-card spot. Minnesota trails Green Bay (8-3) based on the head-to-head tiebreaker for the NFC North division lead.

The Rams go on the road to play the 3-7-1 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

Then they host Seattle, go to 6-5 Dallas, go to 10-1 San Francisco and play Arizona in what could be the Rams’ goodbye to the Coliseum.

They’d have to go 4-1 just to finish with 10 wins, which wouldn’t guarantee a wild card in the strong NFC.

“I think you continue to fight until they tell you there’s no chance,” offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said.

The loss to Baltimore featured five touchdown passes as well as 95 yards on the ground by Jackson. Rams running back Todd Gurley managed only 22 yards rushing and Rams quarterback Jared Goff went a third straight game – and 14th straight quarter – without a touchdown pass.

Coach Sean McVay said it’s a good thing the Rams have a quick turnaround between the Monday night game and the Arizona game on Sunday because they can’t dwell on the defeat.

“That was a very, very disappointing night for our whole football team, for our coaches. Everybody can do a better job so that we can avoid feeling like that,” McVay said Tuesday.

McVay said the Rams were “outplayed in every phase” and said it was different from any other loss since he joined the team in 2017.

Should it change people’s assessments of the Rams?

Whitworth said no.

“You look at our losses, and really three of them are to teams that are some of the best teams in the league this year,” he said, referring to the losses to Seattle, San Francisco and Baltimore. “We’ve got a lot to be proud of.

“But we’ve got to go out and show what kind of football team we are. We can’t just talk about it.”

ENDS AND ODDS

Sean McVay expressed no worry about the altercation between Jalen Ramsey and Marcus Peters as the Ram and former Ram cornerbacks left the field after Monday night’s game. “Guys have fun, that’s a part of it,” McVay said. The two traded insults as security men kept them separated as they went up the Coliseum tunnel to the adjacent locker rooms. …

McVay had no serious injuries to report from the Ravens game. The coach said tight end Gerald Everett “tweaked” a knee and is day to day. Everett had two receptions for 23 yards, while fellow tight end Tyler Higbee had a season-high five catches for 20 yards. …

McVay said right tackle Rob Havenstein (knee) would start if he returns to action Sunday. Havenstein has missed two games since getting hurt against the Steelers. Rookie Bobby Evans has been starting. …

The Rams are three-point favorites over the Cardinals in early betting in Las Vegas. That’s quite a change from when the Rams were 14-1/2-point favorites in the teams’ prior meeting in Arizona last December.

LA Daily News