LOS ANGELES -- It was an awkward moment. Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein had made each of his first eight field goal tries this season, including two from beyond 50 yards. But when he jogged out on the field midway through the fourth quarter, a home crowd of 83,679 began to boo.
It wasn't personal.
The Rams had fourth-and-goal from the Buffalo Bills' 4-yard line while down by seven, and fans wanted Jeff Fisher to go for it. Instead, he settled for a 22-yard field goal because enough time remained on the clock. But the Rams never got any closer, as they suffered a 30-19 loss on Sunday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"There's always that consideration," Fisher said of going for it on fourth down. "The reason for the points was I was playing to win. We had plenty of time and had three timeouts left. So take the points, get a kickoff, get a drive stop on defense, go down, and a touchdown wins the game for you."
If only it were that easy. The Rams' defense forced a three-and-out on the Bills' next possession, but the offense did not capitalize on what could've been a game-winning drive. Todd Gurley caught a 3-yard pass, then ran for a couple more yards. Then Case Keenum threw incomplete to tight end Lance Kendricks, which brought up fourth-and-5 from the Rams' 23-yard line. Johnny Hekker came out to punt, but the Rams ran a fake. Bradley Marquez took the direct snap and gained only a couple yards against a Bills defense that was not fooled.
Marquez had the ability to check out of the play, but he said he liked the look the Bills' defense gave and "felt like we could convert on it, no matter what."
The Rams entered Sunday's game with the second-worst conversion rate on fourth down since Fisher took over in 2012 (40 percent). The big tackle on their latest attempt was made by Bills cornerback Ronald Darby, who was lined up on the outside. Fisher felt he "stopped coverage when he heard the crowd roar," which prompted him to charge in and make the play.
"I wouldn't have called it if I didn't think it was going to 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, but they didn't execute it there. I thought, if that thing works, it's good stuff, really good stuff. But it didn't. They don't always work, but that type of approach in special teams has taken us a long ways."