ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Monday that he doesn’t expect any of his players to be fined for their participation in a brawl in the first half of a loss to the Giants. Fisher said accusations of dirty play by New York defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and others are overblown.
“To buy into all of our friskiness or all this stuff that they’re referring to, I think it would be good if they look themselves in the mirror,” Fisher said. “They beat us physically in a number of instances, but I don’t think we had a lot to do with those things on the sideline other than the attempt to break things up.”
On the play that led to the brawl, Alec Ogletree carried his tackle of Odell Beckham Jr. well out of bounds and then rubbed it in. Ogletree was jumped from behind by wide receiver Preston Parker and in the ensuing fracas Rams defensive end William Hayes had his helmet ripped off.
Hayes admitted to trading punches, neither of which landed, with Giants defensive end Damontre’ Moore. Hayes, Parker and Moore were ejected.
Contrary to the video of the game, Fisher said “when you look at it really close” Beckham had been grabbing Ogletree’s facemask. “He’s pulling him out of bounds, so it’s hard for (Ogletree) to let up,” the coach added.
Beckham might have had a hand on Ogletree’s facemask, but only while hanging on for dear life.
Fisher judged actions of Giants kicker Josh Brown much worse. Brown kicked Cody Davis in the facemask after getting tossed onto a pile of players after a kickoff and was whistled for a personal foul, but Fisher thought Brown should have been ejected.
“People get ejected for kicking people in the game,” Fisher said. “Typically when that happens, they go. It could have been the difference in the game, finishing the game without a kicker.”
No such luck for the Rams (6-9), assured of an eighth consecutive losing season. Fisher brought the franchise back from the ashes and has overhauled the roster but mistakes combined with occasional boneheaded play have combined to keep them stuck at the bottom of the NFC West.
Best case scenario, and it’s a stretch, they upset the powerful Seahawks in the finale and finish at seven victories for the third straight year under Fisher. Seattle is a 13-point favorite, ending a run of four straight weeks when the Rams were the oddsmakers’ pick.
Against the Giants there were way too many gaffes.
The defense surrendered a season-worst 514 yards to a team that hasn’t been an offensive power and was particularly shaky in the secondary with safeties often mismatched in 1-on-1 coverage with prolific Odell Beckham Jr. Two late hits, by Ogletree and safety T.J. McDonald revealed a mindset to teach the rookie a lesson after he’d vowed earlier in the day to “set records.”
“Goodness, we’ve got a lot of stuff we’ve got to correct,” Ogletree said. “Can’t go into the offseason after having a performance like this.”
The offense couldn’t keep up. Hill missed on two deep throws to open receivers, Tavon Austin muffed a routine catch that resulted in an interception and center Scott Wells sent two shotgun snaps over the quarterback’s head. The first denied a shot at a touchdown in the final seconds of the half and the second short-circuited a late comeback bid after special teamer Daren Bates leaped over the line to block a field goal.
Fisher said he’s sticking with Wells, who has worn a large brace covering most of his right arm for more than half of the season. He’s happy with Wells’ performance calling the blocking and protection assignments and said the brace was “just protective.”
“He’s not getting treatment on it, he’s strong. I think it’s more of a security thing for him. It has not affected it but something went wrong yesterday. “He’s going to have to not allow that to happen.”
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