Rams. ***** Fit To be Untied
Rams, ***** fit to be untied
12 hours ago • By Jim Thomas email@example.com 314-340-8197
If it was up to many of the Rams, they would’ve kept playing against San Francisco until the outcome was decided 2˝ weeks ago in Candlestick Park.
“Oh absolutely yeah,” cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. “In any competition, and any time you line up against somebody, you want there to be a victor. ... I would’ve loved to keep playing. I wouldn’t have minded playing six, seven quarters.”
As it was, the contest ended in a 24-24 tie after five quarters — or one overtime period — per NFL regular-season rules.
“In my mind, somebody has to win,” defensive tackle Michael Brockers added. “Especially in a game like that. Two tough teams come in, battling really hard. I wish we could’ve kept playing some more. More minutes, more time, more quarters.”
It was only the 18th tie game since the league began playing overtime games in the regular season in 1974.
Only eight of those ties were between teams from the same division.
And Sunday’s game at the Edward Jones Dome marks only the sixth time the rematch takes place after the tie game.
As coach Jeff Fisher sees it, the Rams are simply continuing that memorable, wacky, and intense Nov. 11 game this Sunday.
“We are,” he joked. “We just took a couple of weeks off. This is quarter No. 6.”
That was part of his message to the team Wednesday, as the practice week began for Sunday’s noon kickoff. And the players are all in.
“The tiebreaker is this week,” Rams defensive end Chris Long said.
If that’s the case, shouldn’t the winner get credit for two victories, and the tie can get erased?
“Can they do that, possibly?” tight end Lance Kendricks asked. “It would be pretty cool.”
“I would absolutely be willing to lobby that,” Long said. “I know it would never get done, because that’s way too logical for the NFL to do. I would love it if it was worth two games.
“We’ll have to petition the league or something like that,” Fisher said, tongue in cheek. “That’s our approach. There’s two weeks in between and here we go again.”
It should be noted that San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t share the continuation theory.
“That’s an interesting way to look at it, and probably some people would think there’s some merit to it,” Harbaugh said Wednesday on a conference call. “I think it’s just new business. That game is finished business, and this game coming up is new business.”
It’s also unusual business.
Something like this hasn’t happened in 15 years, when Washington and the New York Giants played to a 7-7 tie in late November 1997 and then met in an NFC East rematch in mid-December, with the Redskins winning 30-10.
Before that, one must go back to the ’80s for the other division OT ties that were followed by a rematch:
• In 1986, Atlanta and San Francisco tied 10-10 in October and then the ***** won the rematch 20-10 in November in the old NFC West.
• In 1983, the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants played to a 20-20 tie at Busch Stadium on Oct 24, with the Big Red winning 10-6 six weeks later in the Meadowlands in the old NFC East.
• In 1981, Miami and the New York Jets tied 28-28 on Oct. 4 in south Florida, but the Jets won the AFC East rematch 16-15 at home seven weeks later.
• In 1980, in what was then called the NFC Central, Tampa Bay and Green Bay tied 14-14 on Oct. 12 in Tampa, and then the Buccaneers won the rematch seven weeks later 20-17 in Milwaukee, Wisc.
What makes the Rams-***** rematch notable is that only 21 days will have passed between the tie game in Candlestick and the contest in St. Louis.
Only the ’97 Giants-Redskins games came in a shorter span — 20 days — with the rematch played on a Saturday. In all of the other cases, between five and seven weeks passed between the tie and the rematch.
So for the Rams, and undoubtedly the *****, the memories of that game are still fresh.
“A lot of the preparation I remember from a few weeks ago,” Kendricks said. “A lot of the film we’re watching is the same film we’ve been watching. There’s not much that’s changed.”
There were enough memorable plays, strange moments and controversial calls in the 24-24 tie to last a couple of seasons, much less a couple of games.
“Danny (Amendola’s 80-yard) catch in overtime that was called back,” Kendricks said. “That kind of sticks out to me. I thought it was good to go.”
It was negated by an illegal formation penalty, with the flag thrown a minute or two later and 40 yards downfield from when and where the infraction occurred.
There was more.
“When the referees were trying to spot the ball and 10 seconds ran off the clock,” Brockers said. “I’m like, ‘C’mon now, you all know how to stop the clock to spot the ball.’ Everybody’s watching the clock go down and we ran out of time.”
That sequence occurred at the end of overtime on a short pass to Isaiah Pead when the Rams were trying to get into field-goal range.
There was also the 1 minute 19 seconds of game time that “vanished” in the first half when referee Clete Blakeman’s crew neglected to stop the clock during a measurement.
There were missed field goals by David Akers of the ***** and Greg Zuerlein of the Rams in overtime. Before Zuerlein’s miss, a successful 53-yard Zuerlein field goal was negated by a delay of game penalty.
The sight of quarterback Colin Kaepernick running circles around the Rams’ defense after replacing a concussed Alex Smith.
Amendola having a 62-yard punt return to the San Francisco 2 wiped out by a questionable penalty in the second half. And on and on. . . .
“It was a great football game,” Long said. “I mean, it was an awesome football game. All that was missing was a finish.”
That makes Sunday a case of unfinished business.
“Absolutely,” Amendola said. “The fight continues.”
Re: Rams. ***** Fit To be Untied
Who cares what Harbaugh thinks? I don't!