St. Louis Rams
1995: As the Rams got ready for their first season in St. Louis, work was speeded up for a brand new domed stadium in downtown St. Louis. Despite the increased work the new Trans World Dome would not be ready for the season, and the Rams would have to use Busch Stadium fromer home of the Cardinals for their first two home games. After stunning the Packers in Green Bay 17-14 on September 3rd, the Rams came home to play their first official game in St. Louis. Fans in the gateway were pleased to have the NFL back and sold out Busch Stadium as the Rams beat the New Orleans Saints 17-13 to improve to 2-0. The Rams would go on to win their next two games as well to complete a 4-0 start. After a 21-18 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis, the Rams set to open the Trans World Dome against the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams would open the dome with a 21-19 win to improve to 5-1, setting up a showdown game with San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers game was the moment of truth for the Rams; unfortunately it exposed many weaknesses as the Rams lost 44-10. At 5-2 the Rams still sat in good playoff position, but the loss to the 49ers was only the beginning in the final nine games the Rams won just two games to finish with a 7-9 record.
1996: The Rams shake up their team by trading unhappy stars Running Back Jerome Bettis, and Shawn Gilbert. To replace Bettis the Rams draft Nebraska star Lawrence Phillips. The new look Rams start their second season in St. Louis with a win 26-16 against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Trans World Dome. However the Rams would lose their next four games as Phillips struggled in his rookie season. After a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars the Rams would continue to struggle and sat at 3-9. The Rams would win three of their last four games, to finish with a 6-10 record. However, Coach Rich Brooks was still fired following the season in which Phillips only rushed for 632 yards, while scoring four Touchdowns.
1997: The Rams change their entire coaching staff, as a group of old pros come in to lead the Rams. Leading the way is Dick Vermiel who is returning to coaching after a 15-year hiatus. One of Vermiel’s first moves is to trade up in the draft to select Tackle Orland Pace to be the foundation of a strong Offensive Line. The Vermiel led Rams win their first game of the season against the New Orleans Saints 38-24. However once again the 1-0 start would not last long as the Rams lost 10 of their next 11 games. The Rams would close the season strong again winning three of their final four games to close out with a 5-11 record.
1998: In the off season the Rams are forced to release Lawrence Phillips after off the field troubles, and on field struggles become to much for the club to handle. When the season started the Rams continued to struggle going 4-12 on the season. Following their ninth consecutive losing season the Rams release turnover prone Quarterback Tony Banks.
1999: The Rams reshaped through trades, and free agency as the Rams acquire Marshall Faulk in a blockbuster draft day trade from the Indianapolis Colts. To lead the offense the Rams sign free agent Quarterback Trent Green. Green and Faulk show promise in the preseason, as the Rams were impressive in winning their first two exhibition games. However, in the third preseason tune up Green suffers a season ending knee injury, forcing the Rams to change directions once again. To replace Green the Rams cal on back up Kurt Warner, who had never started a NFL game in a career that featured stints in NFL Europe, and Arena Football. Going into the season with an unknown Quarterback most experts thought Rams were in for their tenth straight losing season, as Dick Vermeil was a lame duck coach, who’s time had passed him by. Led by Quarterback Kurt Warner the Rams get off to a fast start winning their first three games while scoring 100 points. However none believed the Rams for real, as they set to play the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has exposed them as phonies in the past, and a team they had not beaten in nine years. The Rams would not only win the game, but it was not even close as the Rams ran over the aging 49ers 42-20, forcing people to take notice of the Rams unknown Quarterback. The Rams would win their next two games to complete an incredible 6-0 start. In Week 7 the Rams would suffer their first defeat of the season 24-21 in Tennessee against the Titans. The Rams would lose again the next week to the Lions in Detroit 31-27. Just as people were thinking the Rams were crashing to reality, the Rams rebounded winning their next 7 games to clinch the best record in the NFC. Along the way Warner earned MVP honors by throwing for 4,353 yards, while connection on 41 Touchdown passes, while Marshall Faulk collected the Offensive Player of the year award with 2,429 yards in total offense. In addition Dick Vermiel would own coach of the year honors, proving the old pro still had something left. The Rams would lose a meaningless game at the end of the season, as they headed to the playoff for the first time in ten years with a 13-3 record. On January 16th the city of St. Louis host its first NFL Playoff game, as the Rams face the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Playoff. The 2 top offenses in the NFL went back and forth all afternoon; before the Rams emerged with an impressive 49-37 win. Unlike the battle of offensive powers the NFC Championship Game was defense vs. offense as the Rams faced the NFC’s best defensive team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs and Rams would play a grind it out kind of game as the Rams under rated defense rose to the occasion. However the Rams still trailed 6-5 late in the 4th Quarter, before Kurt Warner found Wide Receiver Ricky Proehl open for a 31-yard Touchdown pass that gave the Rams an 11-6 lead. The Bucs would drive down the field and appeared to be in position to go for a winning Touchdown, but a key third down pass play was ruled incomplete on instant replay, setting the Rams up for the kill. The Rams would stop the Bucs cold on the next play to clinch a trip to Super Bowl XXXIV.
Super Bowl XXXIV: The first Super Bowl of the new millennium was held in Atlanta, as the Rams found themselves in a rematch with Tennessee Titans. However unlike the regular season the game was set to be played in a dome, the type of conditions the Rams excelled in. The Rams held a 16-0 lead late in the 3rd Quarter, before the Titans got on to board with a Touchdown in the final seconds. After missing a two point conversion the Titans continued their momentum and tied the game with 2:15 remaining. The game appeared to be heading for OT, but the Rams struck back right away a 73-yard pass form Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce to give the Rams a 23-16 lead with 1:54 remaining. However the game was far from over, as the Titans drove down the field, with time winding down. The Titans would have one last chance to tie the game set up on the Rams seven yard line with seven seconds left. Titans Quarterback Vince Young would find Kevin Dyson on the three yard line and he appeared to be waltzing in for a game tying Touchdown when Mike Jones pulled him down inches from the goal line as time ran out. The St. Louis Rams were Super Bowl Champions; Kurt Warner completed his journey form unknown to Super Bowl MVP, as Dick Vermiel retired with his elusive Super Bowl trophy in hand.
2000: Under new coach Mike Martz the Rams did not miss a beat winning their first six games scoring 37 or more points in each game. However, trouble was brewing as the Rams allowed at least 20 points in every game. The Rams would lose their first game in Kansas City against the Chiefs 54-34, but was more painful was a broken finger suffered by Quarterback Kurt Warner. The Rams would win only three of their next eight games despite strong performances from Offensive Player of the Year Marshall Faulk, and back up Quarterback Trent Green, and Kurt Warner when he returned form his broken finger. The problem was the Rams defense was awful, and was allowing more then 30 points in every game. The Rams entered the final week of the season with a 9-6 record needing a win in New Orleans against the Saints just to get the final playoff spot. The Rams would rise to the occasion beating the Saints 26-21, setting up a rematch one week later in New Orleans. However in the Wild Card game the Rams defense was porous allowed 31 points, as a woozy, but valiant Kurt Warner could not lead the Rams back, as they fell 31-28.
2001: After a season in which the Rams defense let them down, the squad is completely over hauled; Lovie Smith comes in as the new defensive coordinator, as 7 of 12 defensive starters are replaced. The Rams defense shows improvement as they get off to a 6-0 start. The defense suffered a set back in a 34-31 loss at the dome to the New Orleans Saints. The Rams would win their next two games before a hard fought Monday Night loss at Dome at American Center to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After the loss to the Bucs the Rams caught fire again winning their final six games to close the season with an impressive 14-2 record, as Marshall Faulk won his 3rd straight Offensive Player of the Year, and Kurt Warner won his second NFL MVP in three years. The Rams path to the Super Bowl was clear; all they need was two home wins at the Dome at American Center to return to the Super Bowl. The first opponent was the Green Bay Packers, most expected an offensive shoot out, and instead Rams fans were treated to a blowout. The Rams dominated on both sides of the ball forcing six turnovers in a 45-17 romp. In the NFC Championship Game the Rams fought off a challenge from the Philadelphia Eagles to hold to a 29-24 win for a return trip to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXXVI: Going in to the Super Bowl in New Orleans the Rams were 14-point favorites, as most viewed the game as a coronation of the unstoppable Rams. However, the patriotic atmosphere of the Super Bowl seemed to be just right for the New England Patriots, who were looking to stun the world. The Rams offense could not get going all day, and trailed 17-3 going into the 4th Quarter. In the 4th Quarter the Rams offense began to click as they scored twice to tie the score at 17-17. With two minutes left the Rams had momentum, as the game appeared to be heading to overtime. However the Rams defense allowed the Patriots to get in Field Goal range where Adam Vinatieri stunned the Rams and the World by kicking the Pats to a 20-17 win.
2002: Coming off their stunning Super Bowl loss the Rams looked as if they were still in a daze as they dropped their first four games. Making matter worse Quarterback Kurt Warner was knocked to the sidelines with a broken hand. The Rams would fall to 0-5 as Jamie Martin struggled in a 37-13 road loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Facing the undefeated Oakland Raiders at home in Week 6 the Rams turned to another Quarterback Marc Bulger with hopes of turning around their season. Surprisingly Marc Bulger would lead the Rams to 5 straight wins starting with a 28-13 win over the Raiders. At 5-5 the Rams were suddenly back in the playoff picture as Kurt Warner returned to action, which was good timing since Bulger himself suffered a hand injury. However Warner continued to struggle as the Rams lost 2 straight before a stress fracture shut down Warner’s season. Kurt Warner who won the rookie of the year in 2001 was winless in 7 start in 2002 throwing just three Touchdown passes to 11 interceptions. Things would go bad to worse the following week as the Rams were mauled by the Kansas City Chiefs 49-10 with Jamie Martin at QB. Bulger would return the following week and improve to 6-0 as a starter. Bulger’s magical run would end a week later as the Rams lost on the road to the Seattle Seahawks 30-10. In the season finale on Monday Night Jamie Martin would lead a stirring 4th Quarter comeback over the 49ers at home. However, it would not salvage the season for the Rams who finished with a disappointing record of 7-9.
2003: After a year of injury Kurt Warner returned to the Rams starting lineup as the Rams kicked the season off on the road against the New York Giants. Warner looked shaky from the start and had trouble just holding on to the ball as he had six fumbles while being sacked six times in a 20-13 loss. Warner would suffer a concussion in the game and would be benched in favor of Marc Bulger. With Bulger under center the Rams would recover winning four of their next five games. By the time Warner was able to play he had lost his job to Bulger who had the Rams offense firing on ally cylinders despite missing Marshall Faulk who was sidelined for five weeks with a knee injury. Warner even suggested himself that Bulger, remain the starter to avoid controversy. Despite an early two game deficit the Rams played consistent football all year and would go on to finish with a solid 12-4 record winning the NFC West for the third time in five years while earning a first round playoff bye. Among the Rams having great year was Tory Holt who racked up 1696 receiving yards while scoring 12 Touchdowns. In the playoffs the Rams would play host to the surprise Carolina Panthers. The game would go back and forth for the first 30 minutes before the Panthers took control in the 3rd Quarter. Trailing 23-12 late in the 4th Quarter the Rams went on a 15 play drive which was capped by a one yard Touchdown run by Marshall Faulk to pull within a Field Goal Bulger hit Dane Looker for a successful two point conversion. Needing to get the ball back the Rams recovered the onside kick and were in business driving toward a possible game winning Touchdown. However, inexplicably after getting the ball to the Panthers 25, Coach Mike Martz decided to run the clock out and let Jeff Wilkins send the game to overtime. In overtime the teams played without a score through the first 15 minutes as each side missed long field goal attempts. However, on the first play of the second Overtime the Rams season came to a sudden end as the Panthers connected on a 69-yard Touchdown pass to give the Panthers a dramatic 29-23 win. Following the game Coach Martz was widely criticized. Things also would unravel between Martz and two time MVP Kurt Warner who publicly feuded, before Warner was released to clear up salary cap space, while Marc Bulger finally was established as the starting Quarterabck, after capping his season with the Pro Bowl MVP.
2004: The Rams would start the season off with a win over the Arizona Cardinals before losing their next two games as they played inconsistent football all season. At times they were brilliant such as a comeback road win over the Seattle Seahawks in overtime as Marc Bulger connected with Shaun McDonald on a 52-yard Touchdown pass for the 33-27 win. However two weeks later they would frustrate their fans with a 31-14 loss to a 0-6 Miami Dolphins team. The loss to the Dolphins would be the start of two months of struggles as the Rams won just two of their next six games, only keeping their playoff hopes alive by beating the Seahawks for a second time. As the season wore on the Rams would rely less on a Marshall Faulk who was slowed by age and injuries as Rookie Stephan Jackson began to take a bulk of the carries. At 6-8 the playoffs were a long shot at best as the Rams entered their final two games of the season. However a solid 20-7 win over a Philadelphia Eagles team not playing their full complement of stars gave them a chance to make the playoffs with a win in their final game. The Rams as they did much of the season needed to rally as Marc Bulger passed for 450 yards as the Rams beat the New York Jets in overtime 32-29 to reach the playoffs at 8-8. In the playoffs the Rams would face the Seahawks for a third time returning to Seattle, and once again pulling off the upset beating the Seahawks 27-20 to become the first 8-8 team to win a playoff game. However a week later the Rams would come crashing back to earth hard as they lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Round 47-17.
2005: The Rams got off to a rough start losing the opener to the San Francisco 49ers 31-28, despite 362 yards passing by Marc Bulger. The Rams would rebound to win the next two games, but a Week 4 loss on the road to the New York Giants exposed their porous defense as they lost 44-24 spoiling a 442 yards passing from Bulger. After a tough 37-31 loss at home to the Seattle Seahawks the Rams season took another rough turn as Marc Bulger suffered a sprained shoulder in a Monday Night 45-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, in which they saw a 17-0 lead quickly disappear. Following a 28-17 win over the New Orleans Saints, Coach Mike Martz was hospitalized with a heart infection. With Assistant Coach Joe Vitt taking over the Rams led by back up Quarterback Jamie Martin and Running Back Steven Jackson who had become the Rams primary back the stunned the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-21 to improve to 4-4. The Rams would get Marc Bulger back in time for a rematch with the Seahawks, but once again were beaten 31-16, as turmoil began to swirl through the front office and the team. Martz who was unable to Coach due to a heart infection was not even being allowed to talk to the team as it became apparent he would be dismissed at the end of the season. Meanwhile Bulger would go down again and so too would back up Jamie Martin as they were forced to rely on third stringer Ryan Fitzpatrick , who did play well leading the Rams to a stunning comeback 33-27 overtime win over the Houston Texans in his first game, but there would be no saving their season as they ended up with a disappointing 6-10 record as former offensive stalwart Marshall Faulk was a shell of his former self scoring just one Touchdown, in what would likely be his final season as lingering knee injuries would force him to miss the entire 2006 season, as Scott Linehan was named the new Rams Coach.
2006: The Scott Linehan era started well in St. Louis as the Rams beat the Denver Broncos 18-10, behind six Jeff Wilkins Field Goals. A week later the Rams took a step backward as the Rams were beaten by the San Francisco 49ers 20-13. A week later the Rams played sloppy again, but won as the Rams defense picked off Kurt Warner three times to hold on to a 16-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. In Week 4 the Rams returned home to host the Detroit Lions who had a familiar face on the sideline with offensive coordinator Mike Martz. In a high scoring game the Rams would win the game in the 4th Quarter when Mark Bulger hit Isaac Bruce in the endzone for a 41-34 from five yards out. After winning a third straight game against the Green Bay Packers on the road the Rams faced the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome with first place in the NFC West on the line. The Rams jumped out to an early 21-7 lead as Quarterback Mark Bulger passed for 360 yards with three touchdowns. However, the Seahawks would rally and would stun the Rams 30-28 on a 54-yard Field Goal by Josh Brown with four seconds left. The loss to the Seahawks would send the Rams reeling as they lost their next five games, before beating the 49ers 20-17 in dramatic fashion as Mark Bulger connected with Kevin Curtis on a game winning five yard Touchdown pass with 27 seconds left. However the Rams could not build off the win as they were their own worst enemy in a 34-20 home loss the Cardinals, committing 126 yards in penalties. The Rams continued to struggle the following week as Devin Hester returned two kickoff for touchdowns as the Rams dropped to 5-8 in a 42-27 loss to the Chicago Bears. Facing the lowly Oakland Raiders the Rams would have their best defensive effort of the season forcing five turnovers in a 20-0 shutout win on the road. A week later at home it would be the offense that carried the day as the Rams beat the Washington Redskins 37-31 in overtime with Mark Bulger passing for 388 yards with four Touchdowns. The Rams would continue to finish the season strong with a 41-21 win over the Minnesota Vikings as Running Stephen Jackson rushed for 142 yards to finish the season with 2,334 All-Purpose Yards and 16 Touchdowns, as Marshal Faulk quietly retired. Despite their strong finish the Rams would fall short of the playoffs with an 8-8 record.
2007: To say the Rams season did not get off to a flying start would be an understatement, not only did they lose at home to the Carolina Panthers 27-13, but they lost Orlando Pace for the season with a shoulder injury. The loss of Pace seemed to hurt the entire offense as Stephen Jackson had trouble finding holes and struggled through an injury filled season, in which he barley cleared 1000 yards rushing. However, some blames the play calling of Coach Scott Linehan, who seemed to transform the Rams offense to the greatest show on turf to a boring predictable offense that had trouble scoring, which would send the Rams reeling. The Rams followed their opening game loss with another home loss to the San Francisco 49ers as Dante Hall muffed a punt late in the fourth quarter to set up the game winning field goal in a 17-16 win for the 49ers. After dropping their first two games at home the Rams struggled just to stay competitive as they lost their next six games to start 0-8, along the way the Rams scored less then ten points four times and allowed more then 30 points four times. After the bye week the Rams finally awoke from their season long slumber as Marc Bulger led the way with 302 yards passing as the Rams stunned the New Orleans Saints 37-29, the win would be just the boost the Rams needed as they actually won three of their next four games. However, it was just a short reprieve as the Rams ended the season with four straight losses, getting blown out three times including an embarrassing 48-19 loss to close the season against the Arizona Cardinals. Following the season the Rams made some tough choices letting both Isaac Bruce and Jeff Wilkins, who were part of their championship team go. It was also a sad time for the Rams, as longtime owner Georgia Frontiere succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 80 on January 18th.
2008: For the second straight season the Rams stumbled out of the gate, losing their first four games, getting blown out each time. With the bye week in hand the Rams decided to make a change, firing Coach Scott Linehan and replacing him with Jim Haslett the remainder of the season. In their first game under Haslett the Rams came through, beating the Washington Redskins on the road 19-17, as Josh Brown nailed a game winning field goal from 49 yards out as time expired. A week later they would take advantage of an injured Dallas Cowboys team to win their second in a row 34-14. The coaching change appeared to have reawaken the Rams, but it was just a short lived reprieve as they would not win again the rest of the season, losing their final ten games to finish with an awful 2-14 record, as were the first four losses most of the games saw the Rams lose by ten point or more. In a move to refocus on defense the Rams would make another coaching change, hiring New York Giants Defense Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo as their new head coach.
2009: Under new Coach Steve Spagnulo the Rams started the season off on a sour note, as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks on the road 28-0. After a 9-7 loss to the Washington Redskins, the Rams came home for the first time and did not play any better losing to the Green Bay Packers 36-17. Blowout losses would be the norm as the Rams dropped their first seven games, before earning a 17-10 road win over the Detroit Lions. Helping the Rams earn their first win was Kicker Josh Brown, who completed a 36 yard touchdown pass to Daniel Fells. Coming off their bye the Rams played perhaps their best game of the season, as they gave the unbeaten New Orleans Saints all they could handle. However, in the end the Rams would fall to 1-8 with a 28-23 loss at the Edward Jones Dome, as a failed two point conversion in the 4th Quarter stalled the Rams attempt at an upset. Disappointment at home would be a theme for the Rams all season, as they failed to win in front of their home fans all season. In fact their win in Detroit in the middle of the season would be their lone victory as they ended up losing their final eight games on the way to posting a wretched 1-15 season, as Quarterback Marc Bulger struggled again, leading to his release following the season. To replace Bulger, the Rams would use the number one overall pick on 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford out of Oklahoma.
2010: Just before the season started the Rams got new ownership as Stan Kroenke took over control of the team. Coming off a 1-15 season the Rams looked for any sign of improvement with a rookie quarterback in Sam Bradford who was named the starter for the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. Bradford played well despite three interceptions in his debut, as the Rams fell short losing 17-13. After a 16-14 road loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Rams earned their first win of the season in Week 3 as Stephen Jackson provided early thunder with a 42 yard first quarter Touchdown run on the way to a 30-16 win. A week later the Rams would earn a second straight win as they beat the Seattle Seahawks 20-3, with Sam Bradford passing for 289 yards with two touchdowns. Winning at home would become a regular event for the Rams as they won their next two games at the Edward Jones Dome, beating the San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers, while losing to the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road. After posting a 4-4 record before the bye week, the Rams stumbled losing to the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. With their season in danger, the Rams got a big game from Sam Bradford who passed for 308 yards with three touchdowns as the Rams earned their first road win against the Denver Broncos 36-33. The Rams would get back to .500 with another road win a week later as they beat the Arizona Cardinals 19-6. With the two wins the Rams were 6-6 and in the thick of the race for the NFC West Title. The six wins also equaled their total wins over the three previous seasons. The Rams three game road swing would end with a 31-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Coming home the Rams would suffer another setback as they were beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs 27-13. Despite the losses the Rams remained in the hunt for the division title. A week later Sam Bradford would set a rookie record for completions as the Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-17. With the win the Rams at 7-8 would head into the final week of the season, needing just a win over the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West. However, playing on Sunday Night, the Rams would come out flat and lost 16-6, finishing the season with a record of 7-9. Quarterback Sam Bradford would end up with the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
2011: After going down to the final game of the season, while battling for the NFC West in 2010, a Rookie of the Year season from Quarterback Sam Bradford there was heavy anticipation for the Rams, especially after a perfect 4-0 record in the preseason. However, when the regular season began the Rams had to run through an early season gauntlet of playoff teams and playoff contenders, as five of their first seven games came against teams that had won ten games or more in the previous season. Despite an early 47 yard Touchdown run from Steven Jackson, the Rams would suffer a 31-13 loss at home. With Jackson on the sideline, the Rams defense continued to struggle as they suffered a 28-16 Monday Night loss to the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. The Rams would continue to go struggle, as they got hammered up and down the beltway against the Baltimore Ravens, who beat them 37-7 and Washington Redskins who won 17-10, with both games at the Edward Jones Dome. Following the bye week, things would not get any better for the Rams, whose offense was nowhere to be found in a 24-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Part of the problem was a weak offensive line that resulted in Sam Bradford being treated like a piñata, getting sacked 36 in 10 games as he missed six with an ankle injury throwing just six touchdown passes. The losing ways for the Rams would continue up to Week 8 when they stunned the New Orleans Saints 31-21. Entering the game the Rams were 0-7 and limping as A.J. Feely go the start for Bradford. Maybe it was inspiration from the St. Louis Cardinals who were having their World Series victory parade on the same day and came to the dome with the trophy before the game, but the Rams had a big day from Steven Jackson who ran for 159 yards with two touchdowns. Sam Bradford would return the following week, but the Rams offense would stall again, as they suffered an agonizing 19-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals as Patrick Peterson returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdown in overtime. During the third quarter the Rams defense recorded two safeties as James Hall sacked John Skelton, who later was called for grounding in the endzone. The Rams would earn a road win in Cleveland a week later, in an ugly 13-12 game, in which Browns kicker Phil Dawson missed a potential game winning Field Goal at the end of regulation. Ugly wins would be better than anything else the Rams could muster the rest of the season as they lost their last seven games, and finished with a record of 2-14 for third time in four seasons. Along the way the Rams were shutout twice as they scored just 193 points during the season, as their opponents scored 407 points for the worse point deferential in the league. Following the season the Rams would dismiss Coach Steve Spagnuolo in favor of Jeff Fisher, who was a longtime coach of the Tennessee Titans, including in Super Bowl XXXIV won by the Rams. With the second overall pick in the draft the Rams would trade down, to allow the Washington Redskins to acquire QB Robert Griffin III, stockpiling draft picks along the way.
2012: The Jeff Fischer era began with the Rams facing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Coming off an awful 2-14 season, the Rams played well in their first game and held a 23-20 lead late in the 4th Quarter behind three interceptions, including a pick six by Cortland Finnegan. However, the Lions would rally to win the game 27-23 as Matthew Stafford hit Kevin Smith for the game winner. In their home opener, the Rams overcame an early deficit to beat the Washington Redskins 31-28, as Sam Bradford’s 4th Quarter pass to Matthew Mulligan and two point run from Darryl Richardson was the deciding factor. The Rams also caught a break as a poor timed unsportsmanlike penalty moved a possible game tying Field Goal by Billy Cundiff. Following a 23-6 loss on the road against the Chicago Bears the Rams got back o back home wins in the division. Against the Seattle Seahawks it was the super leg of Greg Zuerlein that made the difference as the Rams rookie kicker hit four Field Goals, including one from 58 and another from 60 yards, as the Rams won the game 19-13. A week later the Rams would beat the Arizona Cardinals 17-3 to improve to 4-3, marking the first time they were over .500 since 2006. However it would be short-lived as the Rams suffered a 17-14 loss at the hands of the Miami Dolphins as Zuerlein missed a 66 yard attempt at the end of the 4th Quarter. Following a 30-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Lions traveled to London to take on the New England Patriots. They would have been better off sight-seeing as the Patriots clobbered the Rams 45-7. Out of the bye week the Rams came out strong taking an early 14-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. In the second half with Colin Kaepernick coming off the bench to replace an injured Alex Smith, the 49ers rallied to tie the game 24-24. There it would remain as the two teams were unable to score during overtime. It would be the first tie game for the Rams since their move to St. Louis and their first tie against the 49ers since 1968. A week later the Rams would return home and suffered a letdown, as Sam Bradford had three turnovers in a 27-13 loss to the New York Jets. The Rams would play better the following week as they completed a sweep of the Cardinals with a 31-17 win in Arizona. A week later the Rams would face the 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome and again were in overtime, as Greg Zuerlein tied the game 13-13 at the end of regulation. With the game approaching a tie for the second time it was Zuerlein and his explosive foot that secured a 16-13 win with a 54 yard Field Goal.as the game came within 26 seconds of another tie. The Rams would extend their winning streak to three games a week later as Sam Bradford led a late 4th Quarter drive to beat the Buffalo Bills 15-12. However, with a chance to get into serious playoff contention the Rams would suffer a costly 36-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in their final home game of the season. During the game Adrian Peterson rushed for over 200 yards, while the Rams RB Stephen Jackson became the 27th player in NFL history to top 10,000 career rushing yards. Still hoping to finish with a winning record the Rams picked off Josh Freeman four times, with Janoris Jenkins taking one back 41 yards for a touchdown as the Rams beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-13. The Rams season would end with a hard fought 20-13 against the Seahawks. It was the only loss all year for the Rams against the NFC West as they had many things to build off of, during a 7-8-1 season.
2013: Looking to build off a 7-8-1 season the Rams began the season at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Trailing 24-13 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Rams began to climb back into the game, with Sam Bradford and Jared Cook making several big plays including a one yard touchdown pass, adding a two point conversion to get back within three points. The Rams defense would quickly get those three points after Robert Quinn got a strip sack on Carson Palmer. The Rams would complete the 27-24 comeback win on a Greg Zuerlein 48 yard Field Goal with 45 seconds left in the game. The Rams though could not build on the win as they dropped their next three games allowing more than 30 points in each game. The Rams would get back on track with 34-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4, as Sam Bradford passed for 222 yards with three touchdowns. The Rams would get their first road win a week later, as they walloped the Houston Texans 38-13. Once again, Bradford was solid with three touchdown pass in limited work as the Rams controlled the game from the start and blew it open with two defensive touchdowns, which included a thrilling 98 yard interception return by Alex Ogletree. Looking to improve to 4-3 the Rams had an early misstep against the Carolina Panthers, as Captain Munnerlyn returned a Sam Bradford interception 45 yards for a touchdown 21 seconds into the game. The early interception would have the Rams playing catch up all game, as they ended up losing 30-15. Making matter worse, Bradford suffered a season ending ACL injury trying to run out of bounds in the fourth quarter. With Kellen Clemens starting at quarterback in a Monday Night game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams defense did its best to win the game as they sacked Russell Wilson seven times, with Robert Quinn and Chris Long each taking Wilson down three times. However, one play would spoil the day as Wilson got off an 80 yard bomb to Golden Tate who waved his way into the endzone as the Seahawks escaped with a 14-9 win. A week later the Rams would lose another tough one, as Jeff Fisher’s old team the Tennessee Titans won a back and forth battle in the Edward Jones Dome 28-21. After three straight losses, the Rams would go into the bye week with a surprising performance as they beat the Indianapolis Colts 38-8 on the road. The Rams got on the board early as Chris Long scored the game’s first points with a 45 yard fumble return. The rest of the game was the Tayvon Austin show as the Rams receiver returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown, and followed it up with touchdown receptions of 57 and 81 yards. In total Tayvon Austin had 283 yards with three scores. Austin continued to dazzle after the bye week with an early 65 yard touchdown run as the Rams doubled up the Chicago Bears 42-21. However, it continued to be one step forward and two steps back as the Rams lost their next two games to the Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. The Rams would rebound with a 27-16 upset over the New Orleans Saints as they forced three turnovers and did not allow a touchdown until building a big lead in the fourth quarter. The Rams would split their final two games, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-13 at home and losing on the road to the Seattle Seahawks 27-9. The Rams finished with a 7-9 record.
2014: Before the Rams even began the season, their 20th in St. Louis they were dealt a devastating blow Quarterback Sam Bradford re-injured his ACL and was lost for the season in the pre-season. Nothing would go right for the Rams in the season opener as they were blown out by the Minnesota Vikings 34-6, with back up QB Shaun Hill suffering a strained quad along the way. With Austin Davis starting and the Rams also playing with Chris Long, they were able to rebound for a 19-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2 on a 38 yard Field Goal by Greg Zuerlein with 38 seconds left in a game that featured a long weather delay in Tampa. Returning home Davis and the Rams got off to a strong start as they held a 21-0 lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter, highlighted by a 51 yard TD pass to Brian Quick. However, in the second half the Cowboys would storm and win the game 34-31, as Davis who was strong early had two crucial interceptions in the second half, including a pick six by Bruce Carter that all but sealed the Rams fate. Following their bye week, the Rams got off to a slow start in Philadelphia and appeared heading to a blowout loss, down 34-7 late in the third quarter. The Rams though would not go down without a fight as Austin Davis completed three touchdown drives and got the Rams within a touchdown of the lead. With less than two minutes left the Rams started a drive on their own 7 and quickly got to midfield with a 43 yard pass to Brian Quick. However, the Rams ran out of time and were unable to get much further as the Eagles held on for a 34-28 win. Playing on Monday Night Football in their classic throwback uniforms, the Rams got off to a 14-0 lead against the San Francisco 49ers, but faltered the rest of the way, losing 31-17 to fall to 1-4 on the season. Desperate to get back in the win column, the Rams went to the back of the playbook and found every trick play they could find to build a 21-3 lead on the Seattle Seahawks, including a 90 yard punt return misdirection by Stedman Bailey that even fooled the television cameras. Once again the Rams lead would begin to melt away was the Seahawks pulled to within two at 28-26. With 4th down and 3 at their own 18, Coach Jeff Fisher again rolled the dice with punter Johnny Hekker completing an 18 yard pass to Benny Cunningham for a first down enabling the Rams to run out the clock. The Rams were unable to build off the win of the defending champions, as they suffered an ugly 34-7 loss at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs in the battle of Missouri. Making matters worse both offensive lineman Jake Long and wide receiver Brian Quick suffered season ending injuries. A week later in San Francisco the Rams defense rose to the occasion, sacking Colin Kaepernick eight times, despite managing just 193 total yards, the Rams held a 13-10 lead late as the 49ers stood on the goal line in the closing seconds. With nine seconds left Kaepernick attempted to score from the one and was stripped by James Laurinaitis who preserved the upset win for the Rams. On the road against the Arizona Cardinals the Rams again gave a good account for themselves taking a 14-10 lead, on a 59 yard pass from Austin Davis to Jared Cook. However, two back breaking turnover led directly to touchdowns in the final five minutes as the Cardinals won the game 31-14. Shaun Hill replaced the struggling Austin Davis at quarterback as the Rams hosted the 7-2 Denver Broncos. Hill gave the Rams an early 10-0 lead, completing a 63 yard bomb to Kenny Britt. From there it was all up to the Rams defense as they hit Peyton Manning all day, causing him to have one of the worst games since he joined the Broncos, with just one touchdown and two interceptions as the Rams won the game 22-7 to improve to 6-4. Following a touch 27-24 loss on the road against the San Diego Chargers, the Rams showed the full power of their improving defense with back to back shutouts against the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins. Against the Raiders, the Rams created some controversy when several players held their hands up in protest over the No Bill Grand Jury in the Fergusson Police shooting of Michael Brown. The Rams crushed the Raiders in every way possible with an 89 run by Tre Mason, six sacks and three interceptions including a pick six by Trumaine Johnson to close out a 52-0 win at Edward Jones Dome. A week later the Rams would sack Robert Griffin III seven times with two picks, in a 24-0 white wash of the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. It would mark the Rams last win of the season as they lost their last three games and finished with a record of 6-10. Despite the poor record the Rams had pleanty to build off including Aaron Donald, who was named Defensive Rookie of the Year, after recording 47 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles. Following the season the Rams would make a rare swap of quarterbacks sending Sam Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles.
2015: As the St. Louis Rams began the season, whispers of a return to Los Angeles surrounded the team, as Owner Stan Kroenke was unhappy with the Edward Jones Dome, and was looking at buying land at the former Hollywood Park race track that would be used for a possible stadium. Opening the season against the Seattle Seahawks, the St. Louis Rams gave their fans a thrilling 34-31 overtime win. The game swung back and forth several times with each team returning a punt for a touchdown, with Tavon Austin’s 79-yard return putting the Rams in front 24-13 in the third quarter. After the Seahawks rallied in the fourth quarter to take the lead. Nick Foles drove the Rams down the field and hit Lance Kendricks on a 37-yard score with 56 seconds left, as Greg Zuerlein won it with a 37-yard Field Goal. The Rams were unable to build on the dramatic win as they lost the following week to the Washington Redskins 24-10. Returning home, the game was delayed when pre-game pyrotechnics set fire to the field at the Edward Jones Dome, that would be the only fireworks as the Rams suffered a 12-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A week later Todd Gurley got his first start and rushed for 146 yards as the Rams stunned the Arizona Cardinals 24-22 on the road as Nick Foles had three touchdowns, while the Rams defense sacked Carson Palmer four times. The Rams as they have been too many times in recent season could not find any consistency as Foles was picked off four times the following week as the Rams suffered a 24-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Following the bye week, Todd Gurley scored his first NFL touchdown, while rushing for 94 yards in the second half as the Rams crushed the Cleveland Browns 24-6. Gurley continued to impress the following week, as he ran for 133 yards, highlighted by a 71-yard score as the Rams improved to 4-3 with a 27-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Just as it looked like the Rams were stepping up to be contenders they went into another midseason tailspin, losing their next five games. Nick Foles poor play was blamed for the Rams struggles as he lost his starting job to Case Keenum. The Rams would finally get back in the win column in Week 14, as they beat the Detroit Lions 21-14 as Todd Gurley had a big game, rushing for 140 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Gurley would have a terrific rookie season, rushing for 1,106 yards with ten touchdowns to capture the Offensive Rookie of the Year. A week later wearing all yellow as part of the NFL’s color rush promo, the Rams defeated the red clad Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 in what would be the final game at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams would split their final two games on the road, completing a sweep of the Seahawks with a 23-17 win in Seattle, before closing the year with a 19-16 overtime loss to the 49ers. Following their 7-9 finish the rumors that began as whispers at the start of the season became a reality as the Rams stadium plan in Los Angeles was approved sending the team back to Hollywood, where they played for 49 seasons from 1946-1994. Leaving St. Louis without a NFL team.