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Rams convinced Sean McVay to go for it on 4th down

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Sean McVay was going to punt the ball back to Russell Wilson in Seattle with the game on the line.

Then his players changed his mind.

"Initially we talked about punting it," McVay said after Sunday's 33-31 win over the Seahawks, via the Rams' official team website. "You look at the belief that they had and how much they wanted to do and because of their belief, it made me feel confident -- it made us as a coaching staff feel confident to make that decision."

Rams players were insistent they could pick up the six inches for a first down despite Todd Gurley being stuffed on the previous play. With 1:39 left in the game on their own side of the field, L.A. wanted to play for the win.

"We wanted to go for it," right tackle Rob Havenstein said.

"I was actually sitting on the bench with my helmet on the ground, then I realized the whole offense was out there, so I took off running," left tackle Andrew Whitworth added. "I was already pouting -- I was in full pout mode on the sideline and then realized the whole offense was out there, so I took off running."

McVay had the punt team on the field when Pete Carroll called a timeout to preserve 30-plus seconds. The pause in action allowed the Rams' coach to revisit his decision.

"I can't remember why -- I think during a T.V. timeout, maybe they called a timeout -- I can't remember, we had a lot of time to decide," quarterback Jared Goff said. "He was kind of going back and forth. I was off [the field] -- I thought we were punting. I went back on the field just to talk to one of the officials about something and as I'm turning around, the offense is running back on. So I was like, 'OK, I guess we are going for it.'"

Goff easily made the line to gain on a QB sneak, giving L.A. a first down. With Seattle out of timeouts, the QB kneeled out the rest of the time to secure the division win.

McVay added that his decision had nothing to do with how his defense played Sunday, giving up big plays to Wilson and allowing 31 points.

"I think really if you look at how much space there was -- it was six inches," McVay said. "While you do have confidence in our defense's ability to close that out and win it, we felt like as a coaching staff and as a team, that if you have to get six inches to win a football game, what better opportunity is there going to be, rather than punting and the variables that can come in. When we felt like we had an opportunity to close that game there, that's what we felt like was best. It goes back to the players' ability to deliver."

Any narrative involving McVay not trusting his defense is hogwash. If anything, the decision displayed confidence not only for the offense but for his D too. Had Goff been stopped, the Rams' defense would have needed multiple stuffs to get the Seahawks out of field-goal range.

McVay made the calculated decision to play for the win. Too often coaches get conservative and allow opponents the opportunity to snatch a win. Wilson himself has come back countless times in those exact situations.

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