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Steve Spagnuolo Pissed at Jeff Fisher for Running up the Score

Seems like we come across a “running up the score” issue each week when it comes to football. In week 14, it was the Titans and Rams that had a problem. St. Louis was getting smashed by Tennessee the entire game. The Rams had zero offense (which is to be expected when you’re starting Keith Null at quarterback) and they were lucky to be trailing just 23-0 at halftime. Midway through the fourth quarter, Tennessee was up 33-7 and they had the ball at the one-yard line in a 4th and goal situation. Rather than “run up the score,” you figure the Titans would just take the field goal and keep from further embarrassing the helpless Rams. At least that’s what Steve Spagnuolo thought. Titans coach Jeff Fisher had a different idea:

We settled for (field goals) early and we needed to learn to score touchdowns, and if they were unhappy with it — they faked a punt when they were down by 30. I wasn’t doing anything from a personal standpoint. I was trying to score points and coach a football team.”

Fisher’s point about the Rams running the fake punt is valid. If the Rams are doing everything possible to keep competing, why should Tennessee show mercy? To whom do they have that obligation? Maybe I was upset at the time of the call because I have Rob Bironas as my fantasy kicker and I was hoping he could pad his stats, but looking at it, Spagnuolo should not have been offended by Fisher’s decision. If he had his team better prepared, they wouldn’t be in that situation anyway. Once Marc Bulger went down, the Rams began challenging for the worst team in the NFL title.


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  • Gene

    Since when is running inside tackle from the one yard line considered running up the score? If the Titans had tried a field goal, I bet Spagnuolo would have made sure his team tried to block it and return it for a touchdown if possible.

    Spagnuolo had his team run a fake punt when the score was very one sided. That tells me he was trying to get his team back in the game. His team had not quit trying to win.

    Fisher did not complain when his team lost 59-0 to the Patriots in the snow at Foxboro, so he is not to be castigated for a 47-7 victory.