Another NFL season has come and gone and with it another Super Bowl.
Unsurprisingly the Kansas City Chiefs were back to defend their title, and Tom Brady, in his 10th Super Bowl appearance, is looking for his seventh title.
Instead of leading the New England Patriots, Brady took his talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lead the franchise to its second title. Despite what was projected to be a high-scoring Super Bowl, we got a lopsided game that earned Brady another Super Bowl ring in a 31-9 victory for Tampa Bay.
The Los Angeles Rams worked hard but fell short in the NFC divisional round. They only have one win in franchise history but have made it to the Super Bowl four times.
After a long and challenging season in NFL history with postponed games and fanless stadiums, and a hard-fought Super Bowl, let’s look back at the Rams’ previous Super Bowl appearances.
Super Bowl XIV
Despite a close game through the third quarter, Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 31-19 victory in Super Bowl XIV. In the first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, the Rams put up a valiant effort against one of the best teams in the NFL.
The Rams had a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but failed to compete with the Steelers’ two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. The defense was on fire in the game, picking off Bradshaw three times, but they couldn’t keep up the momentum.
Behind center was Vince Ferragamo, and he managed to keep toe to toe with Bradshaw. Ferragamo threw for 212 yards compared to Bradshaw’s 309. However, the Rams only touchdown throw came from running back Lawrence McCutcheon in a 24-yard pass to Ron Smith.
Super Bowl XXXIV
“One Yard Short,” “The Tackle,” or “The Longest Yard.” No matter what you call Super Bowl XXXIV, the Rams’ only Super Bowl win will always live on in NFL lore. It was their first Super Bowl appearance, let alone their first playoff run since moving to St. Louis before the 1995 season. It was also the team’s first appearance in a decade.
While the game is known for the defensive stop to seal the win, Super Bowl XXXIV was Kurt Warner’s only Super Bowl win. As a promising young quarterback in his second season, Kurt Warner led the game with two touchdown passes, 414 passing yards, and won Super Bowl MVP in a 23-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Do you remember who was on the losing end of that Super Bowl? Head Coach Jeff Fisher, that’s who. A word to the wise, never hire the coach you beat in a championship. It will come back to bite you.
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXVI marked the first Super Bowl meeting between the Rams and the New England Patriots. It was Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl appearance and win, and we all know how that story went.
Kurt Warner had a stellar performance in the second half leading the Rams on two fourth-quarter touchdown drives to tie up the game. He started with a two-yard touchdown run and then a 26-yard touchdown pass. However, they couldn’t prevent the Patriots from marching down the field for a game-winning field goal.
It was the end of the “Greatest Show on Turf.” The Rams made two more playoff appearances before a 12-year long playoff drought. The drought ended when Sean McVay became head coach, and the Rams drafted Jared Goff in 2016.
Super Bowl LIII
Super Bowl LIII was the beginning of the end for Jared Goff in Los Angeles. The Rams were known for a high-powered offense but could only put up a field goal against the New England Patriots. Neither team was able to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. It ultimately sealed the game. Despite the lone New England touchdown, it was a great defensive game.
After the Super Bowl, you could visibly see Goff’s loss of confidence and a regression in his game during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. However, New England’s touchdown drive featured four passes for 67 yards. It’s the main reason the Rams targeted Jalen Ramsey for a trade to sure up the secondary.
While 2020 was a return to form for the Rams after a disappointing 2019 season, next year might be their best year with McVay at the helm. The Rams made an offseason splash announcing a trade with the Detroit Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
While Stafford hasn’t looked like much with Detroit, he’ll have an upgraded offense to rely on and a championship-caliber defense to help him out.
Featured Image: John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated