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Rams’ Jeff Fisher explains why he attempted fake punt from own 23

Many Rams fans, and NFL fans in general, were puzzled by a pair of Jeff Fisher‘s play calls in the fourth quarter yesterday.

With Los Angeles trailing the Buffalo Bills 23-16 with under six minutes to go, Fisher elected to kick a field goal from inside the 10-yard line. If they didn’t convert, they could rely on their usually stout defense to stop Buffalo and get the ball back. In kicking the field goal, there was no guarantee that their offense would drive the ball this close to the end zone once again.

Then, after making the super-conservative call, Fisher performed a 180.

A few minutes later, the Rams faced a fourth-and-five from their own 23-yard line. Rather than let All-Pro punter Johnny Hecker pin the Bills back deep and give their defense a chance to get the ball back again, Fisher called a fake punt.

To the surprise of essentially nobody, it backfired.

The Bills quickly caught onto the fake, and receiver Bradley Marquez was stuffed for no gain.

After the game, Fisher attempted to explain both calls. First, on the field goal, from Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:

“The reason for [taking] the points is I was playing to win,” Fisher said in his postgame press conference.

Then, on the fake punt:

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.”

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