What the **** just happened.
Take a look at this NFL.com headline:
‘Tie! Niners-Rams matchup fueled by weirdness’
Huh? The ‘Tie!‘ seems to suggest excitement.
The NFL deems itself the greatest, biggest, most passionate game in the world and yet after an entire week of preparation, four grueling quarters, and an overtime standstill the game can result in something so meaningless as a tie.
What a joke. The NFL improved their overtime rules last offseason, but they forgot one large provision…a tied football game.
Sorry, no. Here’s a simple fix: get rid of the game clock in OT.
The Rams did a lot well…and just about everything they could to lose the game. It’s hard to criticize a head coach who pulls the trigger on two perfectly executed fake punts. That being said, Jeff Fisher had some awful clock management Sunday.
First, in regulation, on the Rams final offensive drive, he called a timeout with 1:13 remaining in the game when he could have run the clock down another 35 seconds before calling a timeout. The Rams had a first down at the 2-yard line…they did not need time. Instead, they scored and gave the ball back to SF with 1:03 to play, plenty of time to get into field goal territory.
And then somehow nobody took the initiative to call a timeout as the play clock expired on Greg Zuerlein before he could connect on a 53-yard field goal. That’s inexcusable and the blame falls on every single player and coach.
1. Steven Jackson was brilliant. He ran like a mad man, willing himself for extra yards on every play. He fought his tail off and every player, coach, and fan should be proud of SJ39’s tenacity. There’s not many running backs that can pancake Patrick Willis, and the block set up Austin Pettis’ go-ahead TD.
2. Danny Amendola is a gamer. He could have a broken arm and still be the Rams’ best wide out. His catches are spectacular and the chemistry with QB Sam Bradford is freaky.
3. The officiating was a joke. They let a minute slip off the clock while they measured a spot. That’s incompetency 101. Also, FOX’s Mike Pereira is an embarrassment to the league.
4. The pre snap penalties are incredibly aggravating. Illegal formations, illegal shifts, false starts….bah. The Rams had 13 penalties for 85 yards. Two delay of game penalties? It ultimately cost them the game twice.
5. The 49ers had FOUR fumbles but the Rams couldn’t capitalize on any.
7. Did Brian Quick even see the field again after his 36-yard TD reception?
8. The Rams had an abysmal 2nd quarter offensively. They had three offensive possessions and the only first down came on a pass thrown by Johnny Hekker.
8. I’ve been particularly tough on Sam Bradford, but his throws were on the money Sunday.
9. Bradford also had a bad, drive-killing fumble to open the 2nd half and a delay of game penalty in overtime. I know they were probably exhausted, but they showed zero urgency on the final possession in OT.
10. If the Rams can travel to San Francisco and play nose-to-nose, that’s encouraging. Unfortunately, their effort did not prevail, but this game halted a 3-game losing streak…and left the taste of their 40-point drubbing in London.
This game is way too emotional to have an outcome like Sunday. Teams work hard all year to play 16 regular season games, and the Rams boarded a plane home with a tie. It’s unfair, and the NFL needs to fix the problem.