The Rams faced a couple of fourth down decisions on offense late in their game against the Bills on Sunday and coach Jeff Fisher faced questions about both of them after the 30-19 loss.
The first decision came on fourth-and-goal from the four-yard-line with just under six minutes to play in the game. The Rams trailed 23-16 at the end of a drive spanning more than eight minutes and Fisher opted to kick a field goal rather than try for a touchdown. A failure to score a touchdown would have left the Rams in need of driving for a touchdown to have a chance to tie the game while kicking the field goal meant having to score a touchdown to win it.
“The reason for [taking] the points is I was playing to win,” Fisher said in his postgame press conference.
Decision No. 2 came a couple of minutes later when the Rams faced a fourth-and-five from their own 23-yard-line. Fisher sent out the punt team, but called a fake that had the ball snapped to wide receiver Bradley Marquez. Marquez was swarmed by Bills and a touchdown a few plays later put the game out of reach for Los Angeles. Fisher said he “liked the look” they got from Buffalo, but a good look wasn’t enough.
“I wouldn’t have called it if I didn’t think it would work,” Fisher said. “That’s how those things are. We practiced it all week, we had the look and it didn’t work. I’ll take that. They executed it in practice, they didn’t execute it there. If that thing works, it’s good stuff. It’s really good stuff. It didn’t and they don’t always work. That type of approach in special teams has taken us a long way.”
There’s no doubt that catching the Bills sleeping in that situation could turn into a huge gain, but it’s not a great look when you prefer a fake punt to your regular offense when you absolutely have to get a first down. That offense will need to build more confidence to build on a 3-2 start to the season and upping their touchdown rate — six in five games — would be a good place to start.