Rams coach Jeff Fisher was upset with the officials after Monday night’s loss to the 49ers, saying an offensive pass interference call before halftime turned the game around.
The Rams led 14-3 late in the second quarter when quarterback Austin Davis hit tight end Jared Cook with a 21-yard pass on third-and-9, getting the Rams down to the 49ers’ 25-yard line. Unfortunately, the officials inexplicably threw a flag on Cook for offensive pass interference, who clearly had not pushed off. That negated the gain and forced the Rams to punt. If not for the penalty, the Rams might have both scored and run the remaining two minutes off the clock to take a 17-3 or 21-3 lead into halftime. Instead, the Rams punted and the 49ers scored a touchdown to narrow the score to 14-10 at halftime.
“The . . . events that happened right before the half were pretty much hard for us to overcome,” Fisher said. “One, the offensive pass interference call on Jared. That’s a point swing. We’re in field goal range, we’ve got a pretty good kicker. It might even be seven. And then we come back and we give up the long touchdown pass.”
For the first 27 minutes of the game, leading up to that offensive pass interference call, the Rams dominated. For the remainder of the game, the 49ers dominated. It would be wrong to pin the Rams’ loss on that one call, but it wouldn’t be wrong to say that call is where the game turned. And it wouldn’t be wrong to say it was a bad call.