Pro Football Teams


St. Louis Rams:

'Bulger'ing at the seams to get back to the Super Bowl

The St. Louis Rams are one of the most successful franchises in the National Football League. The Rams have made 26 playoff appearances, won 15 divisional championships, 5 conference championships and three league championships. The team had an amazing run from 1973-79 in which the team reeled off seven straight divisional titles and one berth in the Super Bowl. The Rams of the ‘70s were led by greats like Lawrence McCutcheon, Jack Youngblood, Harold Jackson, and John Hadl. The Rams remained a contender for many years until the ‘90s came along. From 1990-‘98 the Rams became one of the teams that 2nd string players would get to see the field against. During that span the Rams scraped together a 50-99 record, no divisional titles and no playoff berths. They became the poster kids for ineffective football. Things completely changed in 1999 when the Rams made the acquisition of Colts running back Marshall Faulk. The Rams also brought in quarterback Trent Green who they thought would help Faulk in turning the franchise’s bad luck around. In the first preseason game Green hurt his knee and would not be able to play a single game that season. That’s when former super market stocker/arena football/NFL Europe quarterback Kurt Warner began the long journey to the top of the NFL. The Rams had an offensive explosion and no defense in the NFL could figure out a scheme to stop them. They were dubbed “The Greatest show on Turf.” The Rams set all kinds of offensive records along the way to his first of two MVP awards. The box office was selling Rams tickets like hotcakes. The Rams busted through playoff teams all the way to the Super Bowl where they participated in one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time against the Tennessee Titans. The Rams won the game 23-16 and Warner was named MVP. Warner became one of the best examples of what the everyday man can do if he sticks with his dream and never gives up believing in himself.

Last season the Rams found themselves in a world of hurt. Warner appeared in only two games due to injury and eventually lost his job to backup quarterback Marc Bulger. Marshall Faulk also missed five games due to an injury to his knee and a broken hand. Despite all that the Rams finished with a 12-4 record, won the NFC West, and earned a first round bye. In the second round the Rams squared off against the Carolina Panthers in a game that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The game went into double overtime and ended on a 69 yard Carolina touchdown pass.

The Rams are one of the more talented teams in the NFL, but the salary cap and free agency makes it hard for teams like the Rams to be able to keep all their talent. In spite of that, the Rams only lost four of their main players David Loverne, John St. Clair, Grant Wistrom, and Bryant Young. They only made two free agent pickups in quarterback Chris Chandler and defensive end Sean Moran.

In the draft the Rams were one of few teams that made out like bandits. They traded up to get Oregon State stud running back Stephen Jackson. Jackson seems to be a perfect fit to be Marshall Faulk’s apprentice, an apprentice that cannot be fired by Donald Trump. Jackson was one of the premiere backs in the draft and the Rams got a steal by drafting him with the #24 pick. Jackson has amazing speed; at the NFL combine before the draft he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash which is fast for a wide receiver and blazing for a running back. He’s also a strong back that is 6’3”, 230 lbs., bench presses 355 lbs, and squats 520 lbs.

The Rams offense is in fact “The Greatest Show on Turf.” They are led by running back Marshall Faulk who holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season. Wide receiver Tory Holt had a breakout season last year catching 117 balls for a Tecmo Super Bowl like 1,696 yards and 12 touchdowns. Holt is out to prove he is the best receiver in all the NFL and he took a very big first step last year towards his goal.

The Rams defense has always been somewhat of a liability. They usually don’t have to worry about shutting teams out because the offense will put up points on the board, but the few times the offense has sputtered the defense hasn’t stepped up like they should. Last season they held opponents under 14 points only three times all year. With the losses of Grant Wistrom and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith the Rams defense could be in for a long year.

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