Rams On The Losing End Of Clock Error

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Kevin Smith #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates his winning touch down with ten seconds left in the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams during the season opener at Ford Field on September 9, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

In a game with a razor thin margin like the St. Louis Rams' season opener against the Detroit Lions, the little things matter greatly. A missed interception, a blown assignment, a third down not made or mismanagement of the clock can change the outcome. The Rams were the victims of a clock error late in the game, as the seconds wound down to the two-minute warning. Had the replacement referees caught the mistake, things might have played out differently in the last two minutes.


Follow @TurfShowTimes | Like TST on Facebook


Fast forward to the Rams' second-to-last drive, the one that ended with Greg Zuerlein's 46-yard field goal to give them a 23-20 lead.

2nd-and-12 from the Lions 31-yard line

(2:45) (Shotgun) 8-S.Bradford scrambles right end to DET 28 for 3 yards

Bradford slides at the 2:38 mark. There's some confusion as to whether or not he's out of bounds, but they say that he is not and the clock keeps on ticking ... except for a four or five second delay where it sticks at 2:38.

There's confusion on the sidelines. Fisher calls a timeout at 2:03, just as the play clock winds down to one second.

Seems normal enough, right? The Rams come back onto the field after the timeout, run the 3rd-and-9 play that features an incomplete pass to Danny Amendola, which you can see here (courtesy or Chad Yuhnke, @squick3n).

Ijoil4b6pixq8_medium

via i.minus.com

A few fans quibbled with that play, but it should have never happened. Look at the clock and the play clock when Fisher calls the timeout.

Clock1_medium

Now look at those clocks right as Robert Turner snaps the ball to Bradford on the 3rd-and-9 play.

Clock2_medium

Notice anything? I didn't either until a friend of the site walked me through it.

Bradford's scramble ends and the refs blow the whistle at 2:38. They should have 40 seconds on the play clock to run the next play. Since the clock did not stop - well, it did for a few seconds, but not officially - the Rams should have been able to go to the two-minute warning without burning a timeout or running that ill-fated third down play.

The official made a big mistake getting the clock and the play clock synced up.

You can go back and point out any number of things that could have made the difference in the outcome. If Jo-Lonn Dunbar is on his man, Kevin Smith might not have scored the winning touchdown.

Still, it's hard not to wonder what might have happened had the Rams not taken a timeout and come back onto the field for 3rd-and-9 after the two minute warning. They would have been able to burn even more time off the clock, likely forcing the Lions to take a timeout, their last one, prior to the Rams field goal. Instead, they were able to use it on the last drive, the winning drive.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker