The Rams’ odd decision to kick a meaningless field goal in the closing seconds of Sunday’s loss to the 49ers served up a regrettable bad beat to everyone who bet on San Francisco minus the 7 1/2 points.
Los Angeles coach Sean McVay addressed the peculiar decision on Monday, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“Apparently, [Rams VP of communications] Artis [Twyman] told me there’s a lot of people in Vegas pissed off about that decision. I clearly was not aware of that stuff,” said McVay.
With the game out of reach in the final seconds, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford spiked the ball to stop the clock rather than allowing it to expire. The Rams, who were trailing 30-20 with just four seconds left in the game, surprisingly decided to bring on the field goal unit for the final play of the game.
As time expired, Brett Maher converted a 38-yard field goal, enabling Los Angeles to cover the spread by half a point.
In his attempt to explain the decision, the Super Bowl-winning coach said the Rams were planning to kick a field goal all along, but he hoped it would have taken place sooner—thus leaving time for an onside kick.
“What we were trying to do is we were trying to be able to get a completion to where we kicked the field goal beforehand with the opportunity to be able to—if we had hit that deep in-breaking route, it really would’ve worked out the way that we wanted to,” said McVay. “We were going to try to kick a field goal once we got into field goal position to then be able to kick an onside and try to give ourselves the real opportunity to win the game.”
McVay also defended his decision by stating it prevented Stafford from taking a potential hit on a last-second Hail Mary, while giving his special teams unit an added rep early in the season.
“Felt like it was an opportunity to be able to not leave Matthew susceptible to an unnecessary heave to the end zone and get an opportunity for our field goal operation,” McVay said.