The Rams kicked a field goal to beat the clock but not the 49ers in a 30-23 loss Sunday.
But the decision from Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay to have Brett Maher kick a game-ending, 38-yard field goal was far from meaningless.
Los Angeles, 7.5 point underdogs, cut the final score to seven.
“Sean McVay has a seat at my dinner table for the rest of his life for kicking that fg down 10 with 4 seconds left,” Barstool owner Dave Portnoy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Former NFL quarterback Kurt Benkert, who was on the Falcons’ roster for several seasons and played with the Packers in 2021, posted “Sean McVay kicking a field goal as time expires to cover the spread is wild.”
“That definitely helped us,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We had some puzzled looks in the trading room on why that happened. Obviously, if they were going to kick a field goal, they should’ve did it the play before.”
Calling the game for Fox, former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez referenced the line, saying, “Bad beat — oh man.”
SportSense Entertainment posted, “An early candidate for bad beat of the year just happened on the West Coast.”
Of course, not every gambler would describe Maher’s field goal as a “bad beat.”
Sports betting writer Ben Fawkes posted that one DraftKings bettor had a wager of more than $64,755.07 on the Rams.
A last-second field goal in an already-decided game is nothing new.
Last season, Stanford’s Joshua Karty kicked a school-record 61-yard field goal as time expired in a 27-20 loss to Cal, in a game where the over/under was 44.
And basketball has had its share of “meaningless” buzzer-beaters, including TCU’s Damion Baugh’s 3-pointer at the end of an 84-81 loss to Gonzaga, in an NCAA Tournament game Gonzaga was favored in by 4.5 points.
The 49ers have now won nine straight regular season meetings over the Rams, though L.A .won the 2021 NFC championship game over San Francisco.
The 49ers will host the Giants on Thursday, who themselves kicked a last-minute field goal Sunday.