McVay explains bizarre decision to kick meaningless field goal originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay made waves this past week for his peculiar decision at the conclusion of his team’s Week 2 loss to the 49ers.
Trailing by 10 points in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, McVay opted to stop the clock and attempt a field goal on the game’s final play, rather than letting the clock run down to zero.
McVay explained to reporters the reasoning behind attempting what appeared to be a meaningless field goal as time expired.
“What we were trying to do is we were trying to get a completion to where we kick the field goal before hand. If we had hit that deep in-breaking route, it really would have worked out the way that we wanted it to,” McVay said Monday. “We were going to try and kick a field goal once we got into field-goal position, to then be able to kick an onside and try to give us a real opportunity to win the game.
“By the time it got down to it, didn’t anticipate that in cut that we hit Puka [Nakua] running that long, and just said, ‘Alright, kick the field goal.’ Felt like it was an opportunity to not leave Matthew [Stafford] susceptible to an unnecessary heave to the end zone and get an opportunity for our field goal operation.”
Sean McVay explains his reason for the meaningless field goal that gave the Rams the cover against the 49ers.
“I clearly was not aware of that stuff.” pic.twitter.com/dCbZks6Grm
— Prince Grimes (@pgprincej) September 19, 2023
McVay reiterated the initial goal was to attempt the field goal much sooner than the final play of the game.
“The initial goal was to try to get a two-for-one to where you end up getting into field goal range a little bit earlier with some of the play selections that we had,” Mcvay explained. “And then ultimately be able to try to have an onside kick to then be able to go compete to tie or win the game.”
Among the people most impacted by McVay’s bizarre decision were those who placed wagers on the contest, with many sportsbooks favoring the 49ers by 7 or 7.5 points. By cutting the lead to 30-23, a large number of those who wagered on the game saw their once-promising tickets completely ruined or, at best, pushed.
McVay addressed this as well after the game, proclaiming that it had nothing to do with his choice to attempt the field goal.
Apparently [Rams VP of communications] Artis [Twyman] told me there’s a lot of people pissed off in [Las] Vegas about that decision,” McVay said. “I clearly was not aware of that stuff.”
While the choice remains odd, McVay’s explanation helped clear the air on a situation that left many fans puzzled as it unfolded on Sunday afternoon.