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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rams game-ending FG covers unfold, calls playing into query

The San Francisco 49ers had the sport within the bag. They have been up 10 with simply over 90 seconds left within the recreation. The Cooper Kupp-less Rams didn’t replicate the offense that led them to a Tremendous Bowl two seasons in the past, and wouldn’t rating rapidly sufficient to search out one other drive past the one which started with 1:34 remaining within the contest.

In order Los Angeles drove down the sector, and the clock wound down, the Rams determined to kick a discipline objective as time expired to carry the sport to its remaining 7-point differential. That call flipped the sport within the Rams’ instructions with bettors and the -7.5-point line in favor of San Francisco. In actuality, the kick was meaningless. For individuals who wager on the sport, it made the world of distinction. That begs the query — why did Sean McVay name for it as an alternative of getting his QB throw one into the top zone?

There are some theories floating round as to why McVay selected to kick the FG. First, was it simply to get his kicker apply? That’s a silly idea as a result of Brett Maher needing yet one more rep from 38 yards, after being within the NFL for a decade, is ridiculous. It’s completely different in a recreation? Alright, guess your practices suck then. That could possibly be why Los Angeles went from champions final February to sucking ever since. To not point out, it was 2nd-and-10 after they tried the kick. What coach not below game-tying, or game-winning circumstances, would name that transfer? Simply to get inside a landing and make the consequence look extra favorable? If it’s a 38-yard discipline objective, you’re on the 21-yard line. You don’t belief Matthew Stafford to get you into the top zone? He may’ve related with Puka Nacua for a sixteenth time in opposition to the 49ers.

Whether or not McVay knew a made discipline objective would cowl the unfold, flipping the successful wager with a meaningless discipline objective is a chief instance of one of many a number of issues with skilled leagues being in mattress with the sports activities playing business. This wasn’t fairly as conspiratorial as script writers detailing the NFL season earlier than it started, which CBS has was a industrial throughout its Sunday broadcasts, however it’s suspect. Betting on video games has turn into extra rampant within the NFL lately, evidenced by Broncos’ defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike’s suspension, whereas the league is doubling and tripling down on its utilization.

How a lot completely different does a 10-point loss look in comparison with a 7-point defeat? Calling it a landing loss in comparison with a double-digit one sounds a smidge higher within the press. Past that, it doesn’t transfer the needle in any respect. You assume the Commanders care what number of they gained by yesterday? They survived by the pores and skin of their enamel. However they’re 2-0. That’s all Ron Rivera ought to care about. He shouldn’t care that his workforce practically blew it on a fluky Hail Mary. Washington gained by 2. Nobody in that fan base cares the way it obtained to that time now that the workforce is undefeated by means of Week 2 for the primary time since 2011. And in defeat, McVay’s must kick a discipline objective isn’t aligned with that perception, and it’s cringeworthy.

I didn’t wager on the sport, and I haven’t wager on an NFL recreation since Tremendous Bowl XLVIII, which was practically a decade in the past. This isn’t bitter grapes. We’re in a world the place sports activities playing {and professional} leagues are tied on the hip. One advantages from the opposite. And the Rams changing a uncommon discipline objective to finish the sport that doesn’t tie it or win it’s mind-boggling. The execution of it may need been as as harmless as lessening deficit of defeat. The domino impact is way bigger.

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