The Los Angeles Rams officially recorded their first loss at The Coliseum since their return at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.
As expected, it was a touch matchup between these two defensively sound teams with big plays on offense being made few and far between. However, the turning point in the game came when head coach Jeff Fisher called a fake punt on 4th and five from their own 23-yard line with less than four minutes remaining in the game. Receiver Bradley Marquez took the direct snap, but fell just short of the first down as the Bills went on to win, 30-19.
Perhaps the fake play would not have been such a deal-breaker had Fisher decided to go for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal on the Bills’ four-yard line just minutes earlier. After the game, Fisher offered some clarity on his late-game decisions courtesy of Alden Gonzalez of ESPN:
“There’s always that consideration,” Fisher said. “The reason for the points was I was playing to win. We had plenty of time and had three timeouts left. So take the points, get a kickoff, get a drive stop on defense, go down, and a touchdown wins the game for you.”
While Fisher’s antics at the end of the game are surely questionable, the decision came as a result of a game littered with mistakes. Despite an efficient outing, Case Keenum’s floater that was picked off for a touchdown proved to be the deciding factor in a game where both offenses struggled.
Along with Todd Gurley’s uncharacteristic fumbles and untimely penalties, this ultimately resulted in the Rams’ second loss of the 2016-17 NFL season.