The Rams led the Packers 29-27 with about one minute left on Sunday, when Jared Goff fed Todd Gurley a toss that Gurley ran for a first down on 3rd-and-10 from the Green Bay 21-yard line. The Packers had no timeouts left. The Packers also have Aaron Rodgers, who frequently leads them to late comebacks. You *expect* Rodgers to lead the Packers to a comeback when the opportunity is there (even when it seems that opportunity isn’t realistically there).
So, rather than score a touchdown that he could’ve had, Gurley chose to go down inbounds inside the five-yard line.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 28, 2018
It’s a very smart play by Gurley. Sure, a touchdown likely seals the game anyway, and it would make Gurley’s stats look fancier. But going down there would require the Rams fumbling a snap on a kneeldown to lose.
If Gurley scores a touchdown and Greg Zuerlein misses the extra point, it’s an eight-point game. Odds are still highly, highly in the Rams’ favor with under a minute left and Green Bay having no timeouts and needing a two-point conversion in addition to a touchdown. But that *possibility* is still there, especially with Rodgers at quarterback.
The bottom line is that the odds the Rams fumble a kneeldown snap are much lower than the odds Zuerlein misses an extra point (which is also a small chance, but these things happen; see: Justin Tucker last week), and it’s not worth giving Rodgers any opportunity whatsoever.
So, Gurley made the right football play, and the Rams kneeled to come away with a 29-27 victory that has them 8-0 on the season.
But it’s a play that pissed off many fantasy football owners, obviously.
It’s also a play that pissed off many bettors, because the Rams closed as 7.5-point favorites, and the over/under total was 57 points. With a touchdown and extra point there (and no ensuing points from the Packers), the Rams win by eight points. A touchdown would make the “Over” hit as well.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, Gurley’s decision to go down resulted in a $1 million-plus swing at Vegas sportsbooks.
Todd Gurley going down on his own at the 4 instead of scoring a TD for the likely cover by the Rams over the Packers resulted in a $1 million-plus swing at LV sports books: mid 6 figures @WilliamHillUS and @MGMRaceSports 6 figures @SuperBookUSA lil less than 6 @CaesarsEnt #RJnow
— Todd Dewey (@tdewey33) October 29, 2018
Gurley had the correct reaction when the media brought up his decision to go down hurting fantasy teams and bettors.
Todd Gurley, on stopping short of goal line to secure the win and run out the clock: "Man, forget fantasy and forget Vegas. We got the win, so that’s all that matters."
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) October 29, 2018
But you can be sure that tons of fantasy owners and bettors didn’t have the same reaction to the play. Here’s some Twitter reaction to Gurley stopping short of the end zone:
Todd Gurley just cost me the over the game and the 2nd half. Really fun.
— Paul Lo Duca (@paulloduca16) October 28, 2018
— Sleezy Cain💯 (@SlyDawg_Cuzz) October 28, 2018
Todd Gurley owe me some money man. #BadBeats
— Coach Williams (@KingCoachDub) October 29, 2018
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TODD GURLEY!!!???? I HAD THE OVER 59.5 😡
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) October 28, 2018
Was going to ask to see people's worst bad beats in fantasy football if you own Todd Gurley but nevermind it actually happened to me. pic.twitter.com/8CIvMGCCQZ
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 28, 2018
Todd Gurley. I know that was the right thing to do but pic.twitter.com/j4XbmFL9Mp
— Adam Rank (@adamrank) October 28, 2018
Me in Fantasy, I would have won with that TD pic.twitter.com/Za8KH5hPeJ
— Torito (@toritobeltransd) October 28, 2018
Todd Gurley fantasy owners like myself everywhere when he fell down instead of scoring pic.twitter.com/94p61SzcHj
— Nick Kettler (@nkets) October 28, 2018
Hey @TG3II we gotta talk bro.. I appreciate the great fantasy outing and the good sportsmanship but you could of scored on that last carry.. I lost the whole game!! @RamsNFL @ESPNFantasy pic.twitter.com/EutlVHVrfa
— mike p 🗣🗣 (@_Paretto) October 29, 2018