- Well, here we are 24 hours removed from that crazy game in San Francisco and it seems like there’s a little more clarity on the Rams side now that they’ve been given the gift of 24 hours of perspective.
– Coach Jeff Fisher just finished up his weekly post mortem, breaking down the many moving parts in the 24-24 tie, a game that his team had in its grasp and couldn’t finish much like San Francisco had its chances and couldn’t finish as well.
– Fisher said the Rams made it through clean from an injury standpoint. WR Danny Amendola and CB Trumaine Johnson dealt with leg cramps at various points but both are fine.
– Fisher also said C Scott Wells will practice this week though that’s by no means a signal on when he will return. He practiced on a limited basis last week, too.
– WR Chris Givens and CB Janoris Jenkins will return to practice this week, according to Fisher. The pair was deactivated against the Niners. Their fates for next week against the Jets remains to be seen.
– In what Fisher called a first for him, he found himself discussing a tie for the first time in his career. In rewatching the game, one of the things Fisher liked the most was that his team fared better in the areas that were emphasized over the bye; namely scoring touchdowns, getting the ball out and third down.
– The Rams finished three drives with touchdowns, forced three fumbles (though they didn’t recover any) and was 7 for 16 on offense on third down and held the Niners to 2-of-11 on that down.
– Marked improvement in areas of emphasis means the team is taking to coaching and focusing.
– Despite the improvement and the many positives that came in the game, Fisher admitted he felt disappointed by the tie. He said he’s “out to win every game” and the team has the same mindset. When that doesn’t happen, it is disappointing. This one hurts even more because the Rams had so many chances to get that win.
– Fisher did note that his team was taking on one of the toughest teams around and answered the bell when he challenged them after the debacle in New England. A little resolve could go a long way later in the season.
– Amendola’s performance bears mentioning again as Fisher acknowledged that his diminutive receiver is one of the toughest players in the league and made it clear how well he thought he played.
– Fisher said LT Rodger Saffold was “a little rusty” but finished with no issues and he expects Saffold to be better this week now that he’s knocked some of that rust off.
– When asked about the team’s travel plans for West Coast trips and going out a day early, Fisher said he liked that it allowed everyone to get in and get comfortable. He plans to do the same thing moving forward.
– As for some critical calls and decisions, let’s go through one by one and offer Fisher’s thoughts:
– Fisher took a timeout in regulation with about 1:09 to play and the Rams offense having a first down at San Francisco’s 2. Some wondered why not run the clock down a bit to leave little time for the Niners. Fisher said he wanted to get everyone settled down and get the right play call in because he wanted a touchdown in the first couple of downs. In fact, Fisher said that during the timeout, the play call changed to the one that worked. Additionally, Fisher believed that his defense should be able to get the stop needed with a minute to play against a backup quarterback (or anyone, really).
– After looking at the film, Fisher said the right call was made in the instance of the illegal formation against Brandon Gibson for not lining up properly. He also said that on one angle he could see how the official would see a block in the back on LB Justin Cole on Amendola’s punt return and on another, he didn’t see it. Still, a pretty questionable flag on that one.
– As for the timing of the flag on the illegal formation, he said usually late flags like that are reserved for discussions about intentional grounding so it was a bit surprising to see it come out so late. That part of it is definitely strange but again, the right call.
– There’s really no explanation for the timing error from the first half in which over a minute of game time vanished into thin air along with a measurement. There also isn’t one for the spotting and timing shenanigans that went on with the completion to RB Isaiah Pead in the overtime period. It cost the Rams time and yardage. Fisher called it frustrating. I call it insanity.
– As for the delay of game on the field goal, not much knew to say there. P Johnny Hekker was focused on making sure K Greg Zuerlein was ready and the line was set and he lost track of the time. Fisher called it unfortunate but commended Hekker for the rest of his game, save the 13-yard punt.
– Fisher also commended QB Sam Bradford for his strong performance, noting the tight space throws he completed, especially on third down, and his accurate deep balls.
– Asked about whether rookie WR Brian Quick should have had more opportunities after his early touchdown, Fisher said yes, he believed he probably should have played more. For what it’s worth, Quick said his TD catch was actually a play that was originally designed for Givens.
– All told, Fisher was disappointed in the result but pleased at how his team responded to the struggles against New England.
– The Rams return to practice Wednesday as they prepare for their return home to the Edward Jones Dome this Sunday against the Jets.
– Thanks for reading.
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