Following the St. Louis Rams tie with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Ramblin’ Fan threw up a poll to see who you, the fans, thought was the most to blame for the failure of the Rams to pull off the upset on the road. We attempted to be as inclusive as possible by giving a variety of people, players, and units to point the finger at for the non-win. If you did not get a chance to see the options they were:
- Jeff Fisher (Benching Givens and Jenkins, poor game management in OT)
- Referees (Late flags, inconsistency, wasting time in OT respotting ball)
- Isaiah Pead (Fumbled kickoff, failure to get out of bounds in OT)
- Clock Controller (Allow 1:00+ minutes to drain off the clock)
- St. Louis Rams Defense (Allowing Kaepernick and 49ers to put up 17 in the second half)
- Craig Dahl (Just because…)
Surprisingly, Craig Dahl did not garner the most votes, despite being the most heavily blamed player on the Rams failings on a weekly basis. In all seriousness, the choice with the most votes was…. Isaiah Pead, with nearly 41% of all entries. Much like the Miami Dolphin game, the key play in this
loss non-win was a mishap on special teams. If you don’t remember, or have selective amnesthia, Brit Miller picked up a squibbed kickoff, fumbled, and essentially gave the Dolphins 3 points heading into halftime. Pead’s fumble may have led to a 14 point swing in a matter of 0:19 seconds, but that was not his only big mistake of the game. In overtime, Pead caught a pass on the final drive, but instead of running out of bounds to stop the clock, he cut to the middle of the field in an attempt to gain more yards. The next play would be the sack that ended the game, leading to the tie.
In a second place tie, the referees and the St. Louis Rams defense both received 25% of the votes. The refs did play a huge part in the game, with some of the latest calls I have even seen in a professional football game, including when the replacement officials were on the field. Not only were the calls late, but they were inconsistent, or sometimes, too consistent, when on one series there were 6 flags thrown on 7 plays. They failed to appropriately deal with the 1:12 lost in the opening quarter, and failed to spot the ball in a timely fashion when the Rams were attempting to hurry to the line in the waning seconds of overtime.
The defense may have played a larger role, allowing the San Francisco back-up, Colin Kaepernick, to complete 11 of 17 passes for 117 yards, and rush for 66 yards and a touchdown. They allowed 17 points in the fourth quarter alone, despite the St. Louis offense scoring on 4 out of 7 of their offensive drives. Granted the fumble put the team in bad position, but Isaiah Pead was not the one that allowed Frank Gore to rush for a 20 yard touchdown on the next play, or allow Kaepernick to drive to within field goal range with under 1:00 left on the clock after Bradford put the team ahead with his pass to Austin Pettis.
However, in reality, there was no single players, play, or unit that was the cause for the confusingly, unsatifying outcome of the game. There were numerous points throughout the game that could have swung the final score in either direction… but they didn’t, and thus is the nature of the game we all love. Fisher will likely take the brunt of the heat, as a head coach should, but football is the “teamiest” of all of the sports, win, lose, or draw.
Check out our newest poll on Ramblin’ Fan, and stay tuned for more previews and updates as the St. Louis Rams prepare to take on the New York Jets in Week 11.