3. Two missed special teams opportunities
While the one play that shifted the tide of the game may have been the interception at the end of the first half, the overlying reason for the Rams loss is something as simple as kicking a field goal. Something the Rams are usually so consistent with is ultimately what hurt the team and made a complete difference down the stretch.
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The first failed opportunity on special teams came when the Los Angeles Rams went for a fake field goal in a 14-14 game at the start of the second quarter.
This decision made sense and I do not want to knock head coach Sean McVay for it. The field position was gifted to the Rams on a fumble from Melvin Ingram and prior to that drive, all four drives ended in touchdowns.
Instead of going up on three when gifted field position McVay went for the fake and it nearly paid off. Personally, I think that Johnny Hekker reached the first-down line but this is a game of inches and the Rams did not get the benefit of the call.
The other missed opportunity was much more traditional in Greg Zuerlein‘s missed field goal when it was a 14-21 game in the second quarter. This gave the Saints pretty good starting field position and allowed the team to drive down in two minutes and 24 seconds and score.
Those three points would have come up huge in the end when the Rams were trailing by 10 and that fake field goal could have led to a touchdown and evened up the score.
Plus, if neither of those happened the way they did, who knows if the Saints would have driven down and scored without having the great field position. Something as simple as two field goals really can shift the game as well and on Sunday it did.