Jeff Fisher says pass interference call was hard to overcome


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.

104 responses to “Jeff Fisher says pass interference call was hard to overcome

  1. Wait, isn’t Fischer the head of the competition committee? Make all plays, including penalties challenge-able. Period.

  2. Horrible. These calls should be challengable and reviewable. Since there is obviously no accountability for the officials, there should be some way for teams to overcome these calls.

    I’m sure the Rams can expect the typical useless apology from the NFL later this week.

  3. One of the worst calls i seen all year . Definetly the reason why they loss. Rams woulda had a 2 touchdown lead at least and the brandon lloyd touchdown would of never happened because there wouldnt have been any time left . However , thats no excuse for the terrible/stupid defense janoris jenkins displayed . Falling for a double move with that much time left before the half is inexcusable.

  4. That was a huge call and I would have to agree with Fisher.

    It seems more than ever the refs are deciding games.

  5. That no call was definitely a turning point and, even as a Niner fan, I can admit that there were some strange calls in this game (although a few definitely didn’t go San Francisco’s way). The refs have been only marginally better than their replacements so far this season, and I cringe to think what the post season is going to be like if the officiating doesn’t improve.

  6. When is Jeff Fisher going to be on the hot seat? His team seems totally undisciplined and poorly focused to play 4 quarters of football. And this has been going on for 3 years now.

  7. Granted that was an awful call for the 49ers – so what’s new, it’s one of the darling six teams of the NFL?!?

    And though there’s no science behind momentum in games…

    But is Fisher and the Rams that fragile mentally that they’d just fall apart like they had?!?

    If so, then the once best coach in the league should consider stepping down and finding another gig…

  8. Was a horrible call and shocking few minutes.

    But good teams don’t play to momentum, they go in to half time and come out and play better.

    Really disappointing that the Rams were so mentally fragile

  9. Mr. Competition Committee has the stones to get up on a podium and bring up the zebras as part of the reason his team lost, even though his team only played one half of football: Spoken like the perennially overrated 8-8 coach he truly is.

  10. Bad teams get bad calls. Good teams occasionally get a bad call but overcome it.

    The bad call was really significant, but much more significant was Janoris Jenkins’ incredibly bone-headed play that gave the 49ers a gift-wrapped 80-yard TD, 20 seconds before halftime.

  11. Look… was a horrible call, and it probably took points off the board…

    But come on…

    You gave up an 80 yarder with seconds left in the half and then got bleached the 2nd half…

    If you can’t teach a team to respond after a bad call, that’s on you, not the call.

  12. Remember when all of you were complaining about the replacement refs? I told you guys that the regular refs weren’t much better!

    Hate to say this, but I told you so!

  13. Ya it was a bad call but Fisher has bigger problems. If he continues to complain and blame the refs, he should just go join the Vikings where that is not only accepted but considered their only valid response to why the team lost yet another game.

  14. This was one of the worst calls i have ever seen. NFL should start fining or suspending refs, why are they held on such a high horse.

  15. As a 9er fan even I will say that’s a horrible call but the call was early and the score was still 14-3. If the call happened late in the game I would buy more into what Fisher was saying but there was plenty of time and chances to add to that lead and to stop the 49ers from scoring more.

    And that wasn’t even the turning point in the game. Jenkins allowing Lloyd to get an 80 yard TD to end the half when the 9ers had no business getting points at all was the actual turning point in the game.

  16. Adversity comes to every team.
    It’s how your team responds to it that is important. No excuses for defeat. Learn from it and grow.

  17. Something really does need to be done about the officiating.
    Not because of this game, but ALL of the games. It turns every play into a roll of the dice, instead of the skills of one team versus the skills of the other team.
    Let them play football. This is like watching two kids play football using Dungeons and Dragons dice to decide the outcome of each play.

  18. Bad call is an understatement. That was a horrendous phantom penalty. Not only did Cook not push off, he didn’t even make incidental contact with a single 49er player throughout his entire route.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but a game that could very well have blown up to an 18 point Rams lead in the first half, with the underdog having all of the momentum coming out in the 2nd half and a 3 score lead… seems sort of questionable. And I’m not saying the league made a call to the field, more so that I wouldn’t be shocked if the official making the phantom call had a little money riding on the 9ers in Vegas.

  19. As a Niners fan, that was a BS call. But hey on the Rams’ first TD, Craig Dahl was tackled, not blocked, as Cunningham ran into the end zone. No holding call there on the O-lineman.

  20. Happens nearly every game and it sucks for every team that has to deal with it. Make calls like these reviewable or subject to challenge then Jeffy – since you’re on the competition committee.

  21. It was a preposterous call, and I’m not even a Rams fan. A team has to overcome bad calls, of course, but the Rams are a young team and that terrible call affected them. I hope they do OK this season.

  22. People are losing interest in watching a game that is being continually changed by the refs. Either let them play or close up shop, NFL>

  23. I am not a Rams fan, but I always watch MNF games. Last night I turned the game off at halftime after that horrific call and the 49ers immediate touch down afterword.

    It’s hard to watch sporting events when refs have a bigger impact on a game than the players do.

  24. We are only six games into the season and every team can point to invisible or unexplained calls that have affected the outcomes. These are calls that didn’t exist last year and the inconsistency between crews and calls, even during the games, is stunning.

  25. Rams have to get over it but that was an absolute horrible call. You rarely see blown calls that bad for offensive PI. Lots of bad calls are made for defensive PI though. Not sure why Penalties are not reviewable. PI and roughing the qb seem to be missed a lot, why not let the officials take a second look understanding that indisputable video evidence is needed to overturn. That one would have been overturned for sure.

  26. This has happened way too often this season where the ref is calling personal fouls (15 yards) on the wrong players and sometimes when there shouldn’t be a flag at all.

    I think there needs to be a system of check and balances where there is one official in the booth that have the authority to overturn obviously wrong 15 yard personal foul type of penalties.

  27. The officiating this year has been horrible and I think every player, coach and fan are fed up with it too. These calls impact wins and loses but the NFL will do nothing about it. If the call isn’t blatant then don’t throw a flag as these refs are at an F level currently.

  28. The refs are the story of this year. Questionable calls abound on both sides every game I have watched this season. I’m not sure what the NFL thinks will be gained by this kind of activity, but it sure appears to not be coincidental. Flag after flag after flag is not football. Even the announcers are starting to openly question the calls on air, which I don’t remember happening to this extent before either.

  29. Ray Lewis & other media said it was the turning point, it clearly was ..Young teams like the Rams have to overcome them..Impressed by the fight of Rams but the 49ers have too much fire power for them. Janoris Jenkins is an experienced CB & should not be biting on a stop & go before halftime..Hes on an island w WR becuz of his talent, it was an ugly learning lesson for CB who has held his own on better WRs.

  30. The league has the officials right where they want them. In a perfect position to control the outcome of games with their “judgement” calls. They control the momentum and outcome.
    Like the “tripping” penalty on dez Bryant, who knew tackling a cowboy was a penalty. Yet the cowboys can throw receivers to the ground (right in front of a official) on a crucial 4’th and 6, but that is tolerated. I am neither a boy’s or hawks fan, you could just tell the refs were told to help the cowboys when ever possible.

    National FIXED league.

  31. Oh boo hoo. Blaming the officials for losing is his style. Feel sorry for this franchise that hired this idiot. If his team can’t overcome an officials call, sounds like bad coaching.

  32. If the league is going to call PI on the defense for merely touching with the hand, it cannot then allow the offense to use that maneuver. I didn`t see the play in question,because I didn`t watch the game. This because of my waning interest in the new NFLs product.

  33. The unfortunate issue with this peculiar call is that peculiar calls are made in every game. This is not hyperbole. Simple question is “In what way[s] are referees held accountable for the calls they make? Calls do effect the momentum and the eventual outcome of many games.

  34. Don’t worry coach…I hear from inside sources that the strike is close to ending, and we will all be getting our good officials back soon. Especially Triplett…that guy is the best.

  35. Yeah, that really made your team play like absolute trash in the second half.

    The Rams got beat by a better, classier, smarter and more successful franchise.

    Jeff Fisher is the definition of average and I’m tired of people calling him a good coach.

    Iron Sharpens Iron

  36. Hey Jeff, welcome to the party of game altering BS calls. How bout you get your competition committee pals to take another look at BB’s suggestion to make all plays reviewable? Until then, stop crying. You are responsible for the current state of affairs.

  37. “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.”

    You’re right. I’m a Rams fan and i’m obviously disgusted with the call. But the score was still 14-3 at the time. That call didn’t magically make the defense give up 21 straight points; they had opportunities and just didn’t execute. Still doesn’t change the fact that it was an atrocious call.

  38. 7 million a year… 7 million… Jeff Fisher should wear a bandanna over his face on the sidelines.. An absolute mediocre coach just stealing money. He robs a bank every Sunday..

  39. I have never seen pass interference called before the ball was thrown. That was a flat out horrible call and killed what appeared to be a very good drive.

  40. There was a blatant hold on crater that wasn’t called as well. All calls should be reviewable. You only get three, so it won’t get out of hand. In fact every coach is going to have to save at least one for a potentially game changing call at the end.

    Oh and if you swapped the coaching staff on the Rams 49ers game, the Rams would have won.

  41. That was an atrocious call that changed the momentum and outcome of the game. I turned the game off shortly after half-time as I’m just another fan that’s tired of the officiating crews having such a detrimental effect on the game. I don’t especially care for either of these teams, but this officiating crew turned an interesting game into something that wasn’t worth staying up to watch.

  42. the officiating has be horrible from the beginning of the season they need to put in play for coaches are able to challenge pass interference calls these seem to decide games nowadays the NFL is not the same anymore seems like the officiating is one sided

  43. Just like the Ed Hochuli call in the Redskin game. Andre Roberts knee was clearly down before the ball was stripped. And just like the Redskins, the Rams aren’t good enough to overcome mistakes by themselves of the referees.

    The NFL emphasizing the pass game has made the game more dangerous. And the refs can’t make clear calls on anything now.

    Thanks Roger! You make me miss Paul Tagliabue! Incredibly!

  44. When a dominant first half and a halftime lead is “hard to overcome”, you know you’re the Rams.

  45. Good teams overcome calls like that at home. The Rams still had the lead at half-time and couldn’t close . . . to put it kindly.

  46. It was a horrible call by the ref. Still it’s not an excuse to give up the long touchdown pass right after that. Bottom line is good teams overcome the bad calls. The rams are not a good team.

  47. I would say giving up that 80 yd TD was the turning point. After the call, they only had to stop them from going 80 yds in under a minute. They didn’t execute. The Refs had nothing to do with that.

  48. Ah. If Harbaugh or Niners’ fans would’ve complained about this call all we’d hear in these comments would be “Whiners!”

    One could easily make the claim that if it weren’t for bad calls the Niners would be 6 – 0. Bad calls are part of the game. Like Dahl being held on the Cunningham touchdown. Fisher has shown why he’s a career .500 coach. Get up on the podium and say, “It was a horrible call, but with a 14 – 3 lead and the Niners on their own 5 yd line we have to play better than that”.

    P.S. Love to see a Greg Williams defense totally implode like that, and see them set a record for fewest sacks in the first five games of the season.

  49. Not that St. Louis didn’t do plenty to lose that game BUT…

    It’s safe to say that the new outlook on pass interference and defensive holding re-emphasis has been disastrous. There is no consistency whatsoever and the officials have made it clear they have no idea what they’re doing .

  50. I’m a Seahawks fan but I have to agree with Fisher.

    The subjective and inconsistent nature of these PI and defensive holding calls is really going to open the league to questions of point shaving and game fixing.

    This new “emphasis” is not passing the “10 drunks in a bar” test.

  51. This is awesome!!

    Jeff Fisher was the one who led the charge vs Bill Belichick’s proposal to make ALL calls reviewable last offseason.

    He got exactly what he deserved here. Enjoy another top ten draft pick.

  52. Horrible PI call, but allowing the mugging in the backfield that gave Kap time to complete the pass at the end of the half was just as bad.

  53. I’m a Rams fan and it was a horrible call but I’m not making excuses. The O-line stinks and Gregg Williams needs to quit sending blitzes on 50% of the plays. Its obvious they can’t get to the qb so why send 6-7 guys at the qb and expose our barely average secondary?

  54. I’m angry about the bad call and these officials need to start be held accountable. If you are not 110% certain a penalty is being committed do not throw a flag. Officials guessing and then when they get it wrong just reacting with a “my bad” is not acceptable.

    That being sad, I blame Jeff Fisher for that pathetic performance last night. I thought this man had more fire in him. I’m starting to think he is just collecting a paycheck just like every other free agent that comes to St. Louis and doesn’t perform.

    Gutless performance by the Rams against their rivals on Monday night. Unacceptable.

  55. Give me a break, the only reason the Rams scored their first TD was because one of the 49ers safeties were taken down with a UFC style chokehold, clear as day.

    If Fisher is arguing that a bad penalty in the first half meant his team could only produce like 30 yards of offense for much of the second half, then he needs to do something other than coaching.

  56. As a Niners fan I was happy but perplexed about the phantom PI call. It changed the momentum in the FIRST half, but let’s be realistic here. The horrible D and inability of the Rams to move the ball on offense even as 49ers defenders were dropping like flies were all on the Rams, not the officials. Fisher didn’t inspire his guys in the locker room at halftime to come out in the 2nd half. That’s not on the refs.

    It was a very bad call, but only losers blame the officials instead of blaming the guy in the mirror.

  57. The Niners have dealt with some horrible officiating as well, but this call sucked. It was a terrible call, and I’m a complete Niner homer. Any Rams fan complaining about that call has a right.

  58. Hmmmm— I seem to remember the media piling on Replacement Officials for making calls like those—- Impacting the outcome of games.

    Funny how it gets downplayed so much that it takes a coach’s press conference to point out how inept the regular officials are too.

  59. I think everybody in here agrees with the fact that the call was awful… a Terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE call… not even the most faithful 49er fan would argue that.


    Come on…. this is akin to a baseball Manager blaming an ump for a bad call in the 4th inning…when his team ends up getting beat 9-2.

    The TD pass to Brandon Lloyd, was quite frankly, one of the WORST defensive plays, and play calls I’ve ever seen. Inexcusable…. the 49ers have exactly ONE guy who can take a top off a defense, its 3rd and long deep inside their own territory, and to allow this to happen was inexcusable. There was no Safety help ????? Awful….

    and to blame that on a bad call that happened earlier ? Inexcusable…

    This was bad coaching, plain and simple. Jeff Fisher should be embarrassed.

  60. Love when someone whines about a call and calls the 49ers whiners in the same sentence. Refs are definitely incompetent though.

  61. When the Niners complain their “whiners.” When anyone else complains, it’s okay. On the other hand, sorry complainers, but here it is:

    From the NFL rule book:

    Actions that constitute offensive pass interference include but are not limited to:

    (a) Blocking downfield by an offensive player prior to the ball being touched.

    (b) Initiating contact with a defender by shoving or pushing off thus creating a separation in an attempt to catch a pass.

    (c) Driving through a defender who has established a position on the field.

  62. Thats what Coaches are for Jeff. You make your team move on to the next play .Not give excuses later. I read somewhere that in his 18 seasons as a HC he has gone about 500 only 6 times. Most overrated coach in the NFL who never gets called out because of his pals in the media like Peter King.

  63. Yeah sure…. that one call cost you the game… even though Kaepernick threw a 65 yard laser and burned your defense and you STILL had the lead going into the half…

    The Rams, who had the 3rd best pass defense in the NFL going into the game gave up 350 yards and 3 TD’s with zero interceptions and ZERO SACKS.

    Pretty sure THAT cost the rams a little more than one suspect penalty.

  64. Whether or not it was a turning point is not important.

    All these “points of emphasis” seem to make the refs anticipate things rather than calling what actually happens. If you’re looking for OPI, or defensive holding, or hits to the head – especially at the speed of the game now – there is a good chance you’ll “see” something that didn’t happen.

    It’s why eyewitness accounts are so unreliable in court cases. People’s biases tend to flavor what they (thought they) saw.

    That much is obvious. But as the Ray Rice situation has shown, the NFL has demonstrated they have problems seeing the obvious.

  65. These types of calls are becoming common place against the Rams.

    Lets not forget the Phantom Defensive holding call against Eugene Sims versus the Cowboys that cost the Rams the game.

    It would be one thing if these calls were even close, but the NFL comes out week after week and admits the Refs blew the calls. This isn’t a Rams problem, it has cost other teams as well.

    So boo hoo right, its only the Rams, get over it right! Yea right, wait till it happens to your team, probable not at the rate it is happening to the Rams, but it seems to be a trend and your team will probably be siding with Fisher when it costs you a game or 2.

  66. Way to ruin a good game REF! That idiot needs to demoted to Friday night high school games in Poughkeepsie.

    The number of NFL black eyes just keep on comin!

  67. for a minute there I thought I was watching a Raiders game….we get those kind of phantom calls every single week.

    It’s hard enough to beat the other team, but nearly impossible to beat the refs.

    Zebra season, we should all pull a tag!

  68. The Zebras have been at their worst this year. Maybe looking for another pay-raise?
    Having “The Sunday (ripoff)Ticket” I’ve gotten to see blown calls in almost every single game my son and I have watched.
    Horrible. After 40+ years of watching, I’m thinking of going out to pick apples this Sunday. Lord knows there’s nothing much else to do in Buffalo in October…

  69. also be glad the call happened in the first half, not like the raiders call a couple of weeks ago with a few seconds left on the clock that took McFaddens touchdown off the board.

    No other joib in America can you suck, and still be able to show up the next day with no kind of reprimand…..

    PFT should start keeping ref tally of bad calls………my all time favorite call has to be the “inadvertant whistle” call………opps yes it was a Baltimore fumble, but we accidently blew our whistle, therefore Baltimore you can keep the ball. LOL…how much money do these guys make in Vegas every weekend?

  70. Seems like the Rams are making every excuse possible for their failures. First one was hiring Fisher. So what EXACTLY has he done so far to turn this team around after what, 2 1/2 years and how many high draft choices? Sorry, not much. Injuries hit every team, including QBs, and Davis is not that much behind over priced Bradford. Well St. Louis fans, Cardinals play today and at least you can look forward to them being playoff bound every year.

  71. Fisher is the Teflon coach. Fishers record in 12′, 13′ and 14′ is 15-21-1. Joe Philbin over the same time period is 17-20. No one would argue that the Rams have better talent.

  72. Lambs had a full half-time to adjust, and the entire second half to hold onto the lead (let’s not forget that they were leading going into the locker room). That’s on the coaches Jeffie.

  73. It shouldn’t have been called. What else shouldn’t happen is all these ‘fans’ talking about reviewable penalties. Yeah they blow calls, like the extra yards the Cowboys got for (I guess) Sherman’s helmet coming within 8 inches of Dez’s leg. Don’t slow the game down anymore, and those refs are just like everyone else, don’t want to admit when they are wrong and if it’s close, 100% to the refs, and make everyone else that much more angry.

  74. Like BillB49 posted the rules. Cook appeared to make contact first / grab the defenders arms. still lots of calls like that go uncalled. I see a slim reason why they called that.

    Lets talk about how hard and nasty the Rams were tackling and throwing punches after the plays. Oh and very classy with Carlos Hyde on the ground swinging at him and throwing the football at his face!

    Stay Classy STL!!!

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