|Los Angeles Rams|
First season: 1936 Cleveland Rams
Royal Blue and Sol|
|General manager||Les Snead|
|Head coach||Sean McVay|
"Fearsome Foursome" (1960's)|
"The Greatest Show on Turf" (1999–2001)
"Mob Squad" (2015-2018)
League championships (3)
Conference championships (8)
Division championships (18)
|Playoff appearances (29)|
1945, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
In Los Angeles metro
In St. Louis
In Los Angeles metro
The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. They are currently members of the West Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Rams have won four NFL Championships (two pre-merger, and two Super Bowls).
The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio as the Cleveland Rams. The NFL considers the franchise as a second incarnation of the previous Cleveland Rams team that was a charter member of the second American Football League. Although the NFL granted membership to the same owner, the NFL considers it a separate entity since only four of the players (William "Bud" Cooper, Harry "The Horse" Mattos, Stan Pincura, and Mike Sebastian) and none of the team's management joined the new NFL team.
The team then became known as the Los Angeles Rams after the club moved to Los Angeles, California in 1946, opting not to compete with Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference. Following the 1979 season in which they reached Super Bowl XIV but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31–19, the Rams moved southeast to nearby Orange County, playing their home games at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim for fifteen seasons (1980–94), keeping the Los Angeles name. The Rams then left Southern California after the 1994 season, moving east to St. Louis, Missouri prior to the 1995 season, becoming the St. Louis Rams. Five seasons later, the team defeated the Tennessee Titans to win Super Bowl XXXIV, 23–16. Two seasons afterwards, the Rams then lost Super Bowl XXXVI, 20–17, to the New England Patriots.
After the 2015 NFL season, the team sought and received approval from the other owners to move back to Los Angeles in time for the 2016 NFL season. The Rams appeared in Super Bowl LIII but lost to the Patriots once again, 13–3. Three years later, the Rams won Super Bowl LVI 23–20 against the Cincinnati Bengals to win their second Super Bowl, and their first as a Los Angeles-based team.
- 1 Franchise history
- 1.1 Cleveland Rams (1936–1945)
- 1.2 First Los Angeles Rams era (1946–1994)
- 1.2.1 1946-1948: Starting over in Los Angeles
- 1.2.2 1949-1956: Three-end formation
- 1.2.3 1957-1964: Newcomers to L.A. and record attendance
- 1.2.4 1965-1969: The Fearsome Foursome
- 1.2.5 1970-1972: Changes
- 1.2.6 1973-1979: NFC West Champs
- 1.2.7 1980–1982: The move to Anaheim
- 1.3 St. Louis Rams (1995–2015)
- 1.4 Second Los Angeles Rams era (2016–present)
- 2 Season-by-season records
- 3 Logo and uniforms
- 4 Radio and television
- 5 Personnel
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Cleveland Rams (1936–1945)
The Cleveland Rams were founded by attorney Homer Marshman in 1936. Their name, the Rams, comes from the nickname of Fordham University. "Rams" was selected to honor the hard work of the football players that came out of that university. They were part of the newly formed American Football League and finished the 1936 regular season in second place with a 5–2–2 record, trailing only the 8–3 record of league champion Boston Shamrocks.
The following year the Rams joined the National Football League on February 12, 1937, and were assigned to the Western division to replace the St. Louis Gunners, who had left the league after a three-game stint in the 1934 season. From the beginning, they were a team marked by frequent moves, playing in three stadiums over several losing seasons.
In June 1941, the Rams were bought by Dan Reeves and Fred Levy, Jr.; Reeves, the principal owner, was an heir to his family's grocery-chain business; when the company was purchased by A&P, he used some of his inheritance to buy the team. in April 1943, Reeves bought out Levy (who later rejoined Reeves in the ownership of the Rams). The franchise suspended operations and sat out the 1943 season because of a shortage of players during World War II and resumed playing in 1944. The team finally achieved success in 1945, which proved to be their last season in Ohio. First, they hired rookie Head Coach Adam Walsh. Then quarterback Bob Waterfield, a rookie from UCLA, passed, ran, and place-kicked his way to the league's Most Valuable Player award and helped the Rams achieve a 9–1 record and winning their first NFL Championship, a 15–14 home field victory over the Washington Redskins on December 16. The victory was provided by a safety; Redskins great Sammy Baugh's pass caromed off the goal post and bounded through his own end zone. The next year rules were changed that made this a mere incomplete pass.
First Los Angeles Rams era (1946–1994)
1946-1948: Starting over in Los Angeles
On January 11, 1946, Reeves pressured the NFL to allow his team to relocate to Los Angeles and its 92,000 seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1946, despite the fact that the closest NFL city was over 1,700 miles away in Chicago. At the time, the NFL did not allow African-Americans to play in the league. The commissioners of the Los Angeles Coliseum stipulated as part of the agreement that the team be integrated, and the team signed UCLA players Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, who became the first two blacks to play in the NFL, post World War II.
The Rams were the second NFL team to represent Los Angeles but the first to actually play there; the Los Angeles Buccaneers, a traveling team stocked with Southern California natives, played in 1926. The Rams played their first pre-season game against the Washington Redskins in front of a crowd of 95,000 fans. The team finished their first season in LA with a 6-4-1 record, second place behind the Chicago Bears. At the end of the season Walsh was fired as head coach.
The Coliseum, built in 1922 and used in the 1932 Summer Olympics, was the home of the Rams for more than thirty years. In 1948, halfback Fred Gehrke painted horns on the Rams' helmets, making the first modern helmet emblem in pro football. The next year, the Rams merged with their rival Coliseum tenants, the Los Angeles Dons of the AAFC, when that league partially merged with the NFL.
1949-1956: Three-end formation
Between 1949 and 1955, the Rams played in the NFL championship game four times, winning once (in 1951). During this period, they had the best offense in the NFL, led by quarterbacks Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin (from 1951). Wide receiver Elroy Hirsch, teamed with fellow Hall-of-Famer Tom Fears, helped create the style of Rams football as one of the first big play receivers. During the 1951 Championship season, Hirsch posted 1,495 receiving yards with 17 touchdowns. The popularity of this wide-open offense enabled the Los Angeles Rams to become the first pro football team to have all its games televised in 1950.
1957-1964: Newcomers to L.A. and record attendance
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Rams went from being the only major professional sports franchise in Southern California and Los Angeles to being one of five. The Los Angeles Dodgers moved from Brooklyn in 1958, the Los Angeles Chargers of the upstart AFL was established in 1960, the Los Angeles Lakers moved from Minneapolis in 1960, and the Los Angeles Angels were awarded to Gene Autry in 1961. In spite of this, the Rams continued to thrive in Southern California. In the first two years after the Dodgers moved to California, the Rams drew an average of 83,681 in 1958 and 74,069 in 1959. The Rams were so popular in Los Angeles that the upstart Chargers chose to move to San Diego rather than attempt to compete with the Rams. The Los Angeles Times put the Chargers plight as such: "Hilton [the Chargers owner at the time] quickly realized that taking on the Rams in L.A. was like beating his head against the wall."
During this time, the Rams were not as successful on the field as they had been during their first decade. The team's combined record from 1957 to 1964 was 24–35–1 (.408), but the Rams continued to fill the cavernous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum regularly. While the National Football League's average attendance ranged from the low 30,000s to the low 40,000s during this time, the Rams were drawing anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 fans more than the league average. In 1957, the Rams set the all-time NFL attendance record that stood until 2006 and broke the 100,000 mark twice during the 1958 campaign.
1965-1969: The Fearsome Foursome
The 1960s were defined by the Rams great defensive line of Rosey Grier, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, and Lamar Lundy, dubbed the "Fearsome Foursome". This group was put together by then head coach Harland Svare. It was this group of players who restored the on-field luster of the franchise in 1967 when the Rams reached (but lost) the conference championship under legendary coach George Allen. That 1967 squad would become the first NFL team to surpass one million spectators in a season, a feat the Rams would repeat the following year. In each of those two years, the L.A. Rams drew roughly double the number of fans that could be accommodated by their current stadium for a full season.
George Allen led the Rams from 1966–70 and introduced many innovations. These included hiring a young Dick Vermeil as one of the first special teams coaches. Though Allen would enjoy five straight winning seasons and win two divisional titles in his time with the Rams he never won a playoff game with the team, losing in 1967 to Green Bay 28-7 and in 1969 23-20 to Minnesota. Allen would leave after the 1970 season to take the head coaching job for the Washington Redskins.
Quarterback Roman Gabriel played eleven seasons for the Rams dating from 1962-72. From 1967-71, Gabriel led the Rams to either a first- or second-place finish in their division every year. He was voted the MVP of the entire NFL in 1969, for a season in which he threw for 2,549 yards and 24 TDs while leading the Rams to the playoffs. During the 1970 season, Gabriel combined with his primary receiver Jack Snow for 51 receptions totaling 859 yards. This would prove to be the best season of their eight seasons as teammates.
In 1972 Chicago industrialist Robert Irsay purchased the Rams for $19 million and then traded the franchise to Carroll Rosenbloom for his Baltimore Colts and cash. The Rams remained solid contenders in the 1970s, winning seven straight NFC West championships between 1973-79. Though they clearly were the class of the NFC in the 1970s along with the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, they lost the first 4 conference championship games they played in that decade, losing twice each to Minnesota (1974, 1976) and Dallas (1975, 1978).
1973-1979: NFC West Champs
The Rams' coach for this run was Chuck Knox, who led the team through the 1977 season. The Chuck Knox-coached Rams featured an unremarkable offense carried into the playoffs annually by an elite defensive unit. The defining player of the 1970s L.A. Rams was Jack Youngblood. Youngblood was called the 'Perfect Defensive End' by fellow Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen. His toughness was legendary, notably playing on a broken leg during the Rams' run to the 1980 Super Bowl. His blue-collar ethic stood in opposition to the perception that the Rams were a soft "Hollywood" team. However, several Rams players from this period took advantage of their proximity to Hollywood and crossed over into acting after their playing careers ended. Most notable of these was Fred Dryer, who starred in the TV series Hunter from 1984-1991.
1979: First Super Bowl appearance
- Main article: 1979 Los Angeles Rams
Ironically, it was the Rams' weakest divisional winner (an aging 1979 team that only achieved a 9-7 record) that would achieve the team's greatest success in that period. Led by third-year quarterback Vince Ferragamo, the Rams shocked the heavily-favored and two-time defending NFC champion Dallas Cowboys 21-19 in the Divisional Playoffs, then shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-0 in the conference championship game to win the NFC and reach their first Super Bowl. Along with Ferragamo, key players for the Rams were halfback Wendell Tyler, offensive lineman Jackie Slater, and Pro Bowl defenders Jack Youngblood and Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds.
The Rams' opponent in their first Super Bowl was the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The game would be a virtual home game for the Rams as it was played in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. Although some oddsmakers set the Rams as a 10½ point underdog, the Rams played Pittsburgh very tough, leading at halftime 13-10 and at the end of the 3rd quarter 19-17. In the end, however, the Steelers finally asserted themselves, scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter and completely shutting down the Rams offense to win their 4th Super Bowl, 31-19.
1980–1982: The move to Anaheim
Prior to the 1979 Super Bowl season, owner Carroll Rosenbloom died in a drowning accident and his widow, Georgia Frontiere, inherited 70% ownership of the team. Frontiere then fired stepson Steve Rosenbloom and assumed total control of Rams operations. As had been planned prior to Rosenbloom's death, the Rams moved from their longtime home at the Coliseum to Anaheim Stadium in nearby Orange County in 1980. The reason for the move was twofold. First, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was exceedingly difficult to sell out with a capacity of more than 90,000. Former Rams executive Pete Rozelle had since become NFL commissioner, creating a 'black-out rule' preventing any unsold-out game from being broadcast in its local market. Second, this move was following the population pattern in Southern California, which was causing rapid growth of affluent suburbs in greater Orange County. Anaheim Stadium was originally built in 1965 to be the home of baseball's California Angels. To accommodate the Rams' move, the ballpark was reconfigured with luxury suites and enclosed to accommodate crowds of about 69,000 for football.
In 1982, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was occupied by the erstwhile Oakland Raiders. The combined effect of these two moves was to divide the Rams' traditional fanbase in two. This was coupled with the early 1980s being rebuilding years for the club, while the Raiders were winners of Super Bowl XVIII in 1983. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers won NBA championships in 1980 and 1982 en route to winning five titles in that decade, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1981 and 1988, and even the Los Angeles Kings made a deep run in the NHL playoffs in 1982.
1983-1991: Robinson takes over the Rams and the Eric Dickerson era
The hiring of coach John Robinson in 1983 provided a needed boost for pro football in Orange County. The former USC coach led the Rams to the playoffs six times in his nine seasons. They made the NFC Championship Game in 1985, where they would lose to the eventual Champion Chicago Bears. The most notable player for the Rams during that period was running back Eric Dickerson, who was drafted in 1983 out of SMU and won Rookie of the Year. In 1984, Dickerson rushed for 2,105 yards, setting a new NFL record. Dickerson would end his five hugely successful years for the Rams in 1987 by being traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a number of players and draft picks after a bitter contract dispute, shortly after the players' strike that year ended. Dickerson would remain as the Rams' career rushing leader with 7,245 yards until the 2010 season.
Despite the Dickerson trade, the Rams remained contenders due to the arrival of the innovative offensive leadership of Ernie Zampese. Zampese used the intricate timing routes he had used in making the San Diego Chargers a state-of-the-art offense. Under Zampese, the Rams rose steadily from 28th-rated offense in 1986 to 3rd in 1990. In the late 1980s the Rams featured a gifted young QB in Jim Everett, a solid rushing attack, and a fleet of talented WRs. After an 11-5 record during the 1989 regular season, it was a team that seemed destined for greater things, with playoff victories over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card game and the New York Giants in overtime in the divisional round, until a crushing defeat at the hands of their division rival and eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in the 1989 NFC Championship game, 30-3.
Although it was not apparent at the time, the 1989 NFC Championship Game was the end of an era. The Rams did not have another winning season for the rest of their first tenure in Los Angeles before moving to St. Louis. They crumbled to 5–11 in 1990, followed by a 3–13 season in 1991.
1992-1994: Exit from Southern California
Robinson was fired at the end of the 1991 season. However, the return of Chuck Knox as head coach, after his successful stints as head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks, did not boost the Rams' sagging fortunes. His run-oriented offense marked the end of the Zampese tenure in 1993. Knox's game plans called for an offense that was steady, if unspectacular. Unfortunately for the Rams, Knox's offense was not only aesthetically unpleasing but dull as well, especially by 1990s standards. The Rams finished last in the NFC West during all three years of Knox's second stint, and were never serious contenders during this time.
As the losses piled up and the team was seen as playing uninspired football, the Rams' already dwindling fan base was reduced even further. By 1994, support for the Rams had withered to the point where they were barely part of the Los Angeles sports landscape. With sellouts becoming fewer and far between, the Rams saw more of their games blacked out in Southern California. One of the few bright spots during this time was Jerome Bettis, a bruising running back from Notre Dame. Bettis flourished in Knox's offense, running for 1,429 yards as a rookie, and 1,025 in his sophomore effort.
As had become increasingly common with sports franchises, the Rams began to blame much of their misfortune on their stadium situation. Anaheim Stadium was primarily suited for baseball, so the sightlines for football were bad. With Orange County mired in a deep recession resulting largely from defense sector layoffs, the Rams were unable to secure a new or improved stadium in the Los Angeles area, which ultimately cast their future in Southern California into doubt.
By 1995, the Rams franchise had withered to a shadow of its former self. Accusations and excuses were constantly thrown back and forth between the Rams fan base, ownership, and local politicians. Many in the fan base blamed the ownership of Georgia Frontiere for the franchise's woes, while ownership cited the outdated stadium and withering fan support.
Frontiere finally gave up and decided to move the Rams franchise to St. Louis. However, on March 15, 1995, the other league owners rejected her bid to move the franchise by a 21–3–6 vote. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stated after rejecting the move, "This was one of the most complex issues we have had to approach in years. We had to balance the interest of fans in Los Angeles and in St. Louis that we appreciate very much. In my judgment, they did not meet the guidelines we have in place for such a move." The commissioner also added: "Once the bridges have been burned and people get turned off on a sports franchise, years of loyalty is not respected and it is difficult to get it back. By the same token, there are millions of fans in that area who have supported the Rams in an extraordinary way. The Rams have 50 years of history and the last 5 or so years of difficult times can be corrected."
However, Frontiere responded with a thinly veiled threat at a lawsuit. The owners eventually acquiesced to her demands, wary of going through a long, protracted legal battle. Tagliabue simply stated that "The desire to have peace and not be at war was a big factor" in allowing the Rams move to go forward. In a matter of a month, the vote had gone from 21–6 opposed to 23–6 in favor, with the Raiders, who left the Coliseum and returned to Oakland later in 1995, abstaining. Jonathan Kraft, son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, elaborated on the commissioner's remarks by saying that "about five or six owners didn't want to get the other owners into litigation, so they switched their votes." Only six franchises remained in opposition to the Rams move from Los Angeles: the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals (who played in St. Louis from 1960 to 1987), and Washington Redskins. After the vote was over, Dan Rooney publicly stated that he opposed the move of the Los Angeles Rams because "I believe we should support the fans who have supported us for years."
That same year, the then-Los Angeles Raiders were threatening to relocate as well—and did, back to Oakland, leaving Los Angeles, the second-largest media market in the United States, with no NFL team for over twenty seasons.
St. Louis Rams (1995–2015)
1995–1998: Starting over in St. Louis
During the 1995 and 1996 seasons the Rams were under the direction of head coach Rich Brooks. Their most prolific player from their first two seasons was the fan-favorite Isaac Bruce. Then in 1997, Dick Vermeil was hired as the head coach. In 1997, the Rams traded up in the draft to select future All-Pro offensive tackle Orlando Pace.
1999–2004: The Greatest Show on Turf
The Rams were very well known for their high powered offense in 1999. Prior to the season, the Rams traded a second and a fourth round draft pick for future league MVP, Marshall Faulk. The season started with QB Trent Green injuring his leg in preseason that would sideline him for the entire season. Vermeil told the public that the Rams would "Rally around Kurt Warner, and play good football." Warner, a QB that played for the Iowa Barnstormers just a few years prior, synced up with Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce to lead the Rams to one of the most historic Super Bowl offenses in history, posting 526 points for the season. This was the beginning of what would later become known around the league as "The Greatest Show On Turf."
Following the Rams 23–16 win in Super Bowl XXXIV against the Tennessee Titans, Dick Vermeil retired and Vermeil's Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz was promoted. He managed to take the Rams to Super Bowl XXXVI, losing to the New England Patriots. Martz helped the Rams establish a pass-first identity that would post an NFL record amount of points forged over the course of 3 seasons (1999–2001). However, in the first round in the 2004 draft, the Rams chose Oregon State running back Steven Jackson as the 24th pick of the draft. Jackson has been one of the Rams' most successful running backs since the Rams' arrival in St. Louis.
2005–2011: Playoff drought
Although the Rams were one of the most productive teams in NFL history at the time, Martz was criticized by many as careless with game management and often feuding with several players as well as team president and general manager, Jay Zygmunt. However, most of his players respected him and went on record saying they enjoyed him as a coach. In 2005, Mike Martz was ill and hospitalized for several games, allowing assistant head coach Joe Vitt to coach the remainder of the season, although Martz was cleared later in the season, team president John Shaw would not allow him to come back to coach the team.
After the Rams fired Mike Martz, Scott Linehan took control of an 8–8 team in 2006. In 2007, Linehan led the Rams to 3–13. Following the 2007 season, Rams owner Georgia Frontiere died January 18, 2008 after a 28-year ownership commencing in 1979. Ownership of the team passed to her son Dale "Chip" Rosenbloom and daughter Lucia Rodriguez. Chip Rosenbloom was named the new Rams majority owner. Linehan was already faced with scrutiny from several players in the locker room, including Torry Holt and Steven Jackson. Linehan was then fired on September 29, 2008, after the team started the season 0–4. Jim Haslett, Defensive Coordinator under Linehan, was interim head coach for the rest of the 2008 season.
John Shaw then resigned as president, and personnel chief Billy Devaney was promoted to general manager on December 24, 2008, after the resignation of former president of football operations and general manager Jay Zygmunt on December 22.
On January 17, 2009, Steve Spagnuolo, formerly the Defensive Coordinator of the New York Giants, was named the new head coach of the franchise. In his previous post as defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Spagnuolo masterminded a defensive scheme that shut down the potent offense of the previously undefeated and untied New England Patriots, the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl that year. In one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history, the New York Giants defeated the Patriots 17–14. In spite of his success as defensive coordinator with the Giants, Spagnuolo's first season as head coach of the Rams was disappointing as the team won only once in 16 attempts. Spagnuolo hired Pat Shurmur and Ken Flajole as his offensive and defensive coordinator respectively. In Spagnuolo's first offseason with the Rams, they offered Baltimore Raven center Jason Brown a record contract to come play center for the Rams.
On May 31, 2009, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the majority owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez officially offered their majority share of Rams for sale. They retained the services of Goldman Sachs, a prominent investment banking firm, to help facilitate the sale of the Rams by evaluating bids and soliciting potential buyers. The sale price was unknown, but at the time Forbes magazine's most recent estimate listed the Rams' value at $929 million. In February 2010 it was reported that Shahid Khan, a businessman from Urbana, Illinois, had signed an agreement to acquire the 60% ownership interest of Rosenbloom and Rodriguez, subject to approval by NFL owners. However, a month later, on the final day to do so, then-minority owner Stan Kroenke announced that he would invoke his right of first refusal to buy the 60 percent of the team that he did not already own, which had the potential be complicated by NFL rules prohibiting NFL teams from owning other teams in markets where there is already an NFL team (through Kroenke Sports Enterprises, his family owns the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, their home arena, the Pepsi Center, and Altitude Sports and Entertainment).
On August 25, 2010, NFL owners unanimously approved Stan Kroenke as the owner of the franchise, on the condition that Kroenke eventually divest his Colorado sports interests - a move that was done by transferring ownership of the Nuggets, Avalanche, the Pepsi Center, and Altitude to his son Josh Kroenke.
The Rams earned the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft after finishing the 2009 season with a 1-15 record. The team used the pick to select quarterback Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. The Rams finished the 2010 season second in the NFC West with a record of 7-9. Rookie quarterback Bradford started all 16 games for the Rams after earning the starting position during the preseason. On October 24, 2010, running back Steven Jackson passed Eric Dickerson as the franchise's career rushing leader.
On February 4, 2011, Bradford was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. He received 44 of the 50 possible from the nationwide panel of media members. Bradford finished the 2010 season off with a 60% completion percentage, 18 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. The last three quarterbacks to win this award are Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004, Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans in 2006, and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons. The team and fans held high expectations for the upcoming season, but due to injuries to starters and poor execution, the Rams fell to a 2–14 record for the 2011 season. On January 2, 2012, head coach Spagnuolo and general manager Devaney were fired. McDaniels also left the team and returned to New England to become their offensive coordinator for the 2012 season.
2012–2015: Final years in St. Louis
Under the terms of the lease that the Rams signed in St. Louis, the Edward Jones Dome was required to be ranked in the top tier of NFL stadiums through the 2015 season. The Rams were free to break the lease and either move without penalty or continue to lease the dome on a year-to-year basis. In May 2012, the dome was ranked by Time magazine as the 7th worst major sports stadium in the United States. In a 2008 Sports Illustrated poll, St. Louis fans ranked it the worst of any NFL stadium with particularly low marks for tailgating, affordability and atmosphere.
On January 20, 2012, it was announced that the Rams would play one home game a season at Wembley Stadium in London for each of the next three seasons. The first game was played against the New England Patriots on October 28, 2012. On August 13, 2012, it was announced that the Rams had withdrawn from the 2013 and 2014 games. At this time, the Rams began negotiations with St. Louis about what steps could be taken to remediate the "top tier" requirement of the lease.
On March 10, 2015, the Rams traded starting quarterback Sam Bradford and a 2015 fifth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles, a 2015 fourth-round pick, and a second-round pick in 2016. Foles had a 14–4 record as starter of the Eagles and an impressive touchdown to interception ratio of 46–17, while Bradford had an 18–30–1 record with the Rams. In the 2015 NFL draft, the Rams drafted running back Todd Gurley. After Gurley was drafted, the Rams traded Zac Stacy to the New York Jets on May 2 for a 7th round pick. Stacy had led the team in rushing in 2013.
The stadium "top tier" negotiations failed to produce a solution to keep the Rams in St. Louis for the long term. On December 17, 2015, the Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31–23 in their final home game in St. Louis; their last game as the St. Louis Rams came two weeks later on the road against the San Francisco 49ers, where they lost in overtime 19–16, before moving back to Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Fans in St. Louis claimed Stan Kroenke, a Missouri native, as well as Kevin Demoff, lied to the fans about their wishes to keep the Rams in St. Louis. In his final years, Kroenke was referred to "Silent Stan" as he refused to speak about the team and the potential move. In a last-ditch effort, St. Louis came up with a viable stadium plan to keep the team, but the NFL and the Rams' position was that the Rams followed the agreed-upon remediation process laid out in the Edward Jones Dome lease, and that St. Louis' hastily put together plan shifted too much of the stadium cost to the Rams franchise. Ultimately, the other NFL teams' owners voted to allow the Rams to move to Los Angeles.
Second Los Angeles Rams era (2016–present)
2016: Return to Los Angeles
On January 5, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that Kroenke and the Stockbridge Capital Group were partnering to develop a new NFL stadium on an Inglewood property owned by Kroenke. On February 24, 2015, the Inglewood City Council approved the stadium and the initiative with construction on the stadium planned to begin in December 2015. The Rams moved to their new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.
The day following the conclusion of the 2015 regular season, the Rams, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers all filed to move to Los Angeles. The same day, the NFL announced that any franchise approved for relocation would need to pay a $550 million fee. On January 12, 2016, the NFL team owners voted 30–2 to allow the Rams to return to Los Angeles. The Rams were the first major league sports team to move since 2011 when the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers left Atlanta and became the new Winnipeg Jets. The team held a press conference at The Forum in Inglewood on January 15, 2016, to announce its return to Los Angeles to start play in the 2016 season and on that day the Rams began a campaign that lasted through February 8 and resulted in more than 56,000 season ticket deposits made. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was the temporary home stadium of the Rams for four seasons (2016 to 2019) until SoFi Stadium was opened for the 2020 season.
On February 4, 2016, the Los Angeles Rams selected Oxnard to be the site of their minicamp, off-season team activities, and off-season program that began on April 18. In March, it was announced that the Rams would be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks. On March 30, California Lutheran University and the Rams reached an agreement that allowed the team to have regular season training operations at CLU's campus for the next two years. The Rams paid for two practice fields, paved parking, and modular buildings constructed on the northwestern corner of the campus.
On April 14, 2016, the Rams traded with the Tennessee Titans for the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, along with a fourth and sixth-round pick in the same draft. To acquire the picks, the Rams traded away their first-round pick, two second-round picks, and a third-round pick in 2016, and their first and third-round picks in the 2017 NFL draft. On April 28, 2016, the Rams made their first selection in the 2016 NFL draft by selecting California quarterback Jared Goff first overall.
In June 2016, it was reported that the Rams had sold 63,000 season tickets, which was short of their goal of 70,000. Later on July 12, 2016, it was reported that they had sold 70,000 tickets, reaching their goal. In July 2016, the Rams signed a three-year agreement with UC Irvine to use the university's facilities for training camp, with an option to extend it to two more years. On July 29, 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Rams would host their first training-camp practice and "Rams Family Day" on Saturday, August 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which was open to the public.
The Rams played their first game in the Los Angeles area since 1994, a 22-year absence, with a preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 13. The Rams won, 28–24, in front of a crowd of 89,140, a record attendance for a pre-season game.
On September 12, 2016, the Rams played their first regular-season game since returning to Los Angeles, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 28–0 at Levi's Stadium. On September 18, in front of over 91,000 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks 9–3 in their first home regular-season game in Los Angeles since 1994, and their first game at the Coliseum since 1979.
On December 12, 2016, the team fired head coach Jeff Fisher after starting the season 4−9. The team announced later that day that John Fassel would be taking over as interim head coach.
2017: Resurgence and first NFC West title since 2003
On January 12, 2017, Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay became the new head coach at the age of 30, which made him the youngest in modern NFL history, surpassing Lane Kiffin who was 31 when hired by the Oakland Raiders in 2007.
The Rams began the year 3–2, much like their previous season in Los Angeles. However, the Rams became a quick surprise in the NFL when they won their next four games in a row, including blowouts of the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. The games were highlighted by the resurgences of Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, who both had mediocre performances in 2016. New acquisitions Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and draft selection Cooper Kupp at wide receiver made such big impacts that analysts were comparing the 2017 Rams to the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams of the late 1990s and early 2000s. After scoring a league-worst 224 points in 2016, the Rams led the league in points scored with 478, the fourth-most in team history.
On November 26, 2017, the Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 26–20. The win was their eighth of the season, which secured the franchise's first non-losing year since 2006, as well as their first in Los Angeles since 1989. A week later, the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals 32–16 to secure a winning season for the first time since the 2003 season. On December 24, 2017, the Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 27–23 to clinch their first NFC West title since 2003, and their first in Los Angeles since 1985; they finished the regular season with an 11–5 record. However, the team met an early exit in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the defending conference champion Atlanta Falcons 26–13.
2018: NFC Champions and Super Bowl LIII
In the 2018 off-season, the Rams acquired Marcus Peters from the Kansas City Chiefs. The team dealt Robert Quinn to the Miami Dolphins and Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants, and lost Trumaine Johnson to the New York Jets in free agency before trading for five-time Pro Bowler Aqib Talib from the Denver Broncos. The team continued building a defensively strong squad by signing free agent Ndamukong Suh, further bolstering their pass rush. Many experts and analysts began to label the Rams as a serious Super Bowl contender, and the Rams continued to build for a deep postseason run by picking up wide receiver Brandin Cooks in a trade with the New England Patriots, which replaced the loss of Sammy Watkins to the Chiefs in free agency. The Rams then signed Cooks and running back Todd Gurley to five-year extensions, and offensive tackle Rob Havenstein to a four-year extension. The Rams ended their off-season by signing defensive tackle Aaron Donald to a six-year contract worth $135 million. Donald had been holding out for some time as he had been seeking a new deal, and thus missed training camp for the second season in a row, despite privately training on his own. Donald's contract made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, though this record was broken a day later when the Chicago Bears signed newly acquired Khalil Mack to a $141 million extension.
The Rams opened their 2018 season on September 10 by defeating the Oakland Raiders 33–13 on Monday Night Football, scoring 23 unanswered second-half points in a game during which head coach McVay took on his former mentor, Jon Gruden, who was making his return to coaching. It was the first of two Monday Night Football appearances for the Rams in the season. The Rams continued their strong start with three straight wins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, shutting out the Arizona Cardinals 34–0 in their home opener in Week 2, defeating their crosstown rival Los Angeles Chargers 35–23 in Week 3 and beating the Minnesota Vikings 38–31 on Thursday Night Football. Los Angeles then went three-for-three on the road with wins at Seattle (33–31), Denver (23–20), and San Francisco (39–10). Returning home in Week 8, Los Angeles rallied to defeat the Green Bay Packers 29–27 to improve to 8–0, their best start since 1969. The Rams were the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL in 2018 until losing on the road to the New Orleans Saints in Week 9 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Rams bounced back with three straight wins, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 36–31, and then winning a wild 54–51 shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Following a bye week, the Rams beat the host Detroit Lions 30–16 in Week 13 to clinch both a playoff berth and their second straight NFC West title. Los Angeles stumbled with back-to-back losses to the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, and in the latter of those two games, franchise running back Todd Gurley suffered a leg injury that later led to inflammation, forcing him to miss the Rams' final two regular-season games, but the team finished strong with victories over the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers to clinch a first-round bye. The Rams' 13–3 record tied for the second-most wins in a single season in franchise history and were the most ever for any NFL team in Los Angeles.
The Rams began their playoff run by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 30–22 in the divisional round to head to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since January 2002. The following week, the Rams beat the New Orleans Saints on the road 26–23 to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since Super Bowl XXXVI in January 2002, and since Super Bowl XIV in January 1980 as a Los Angeles team. The game featured a controversial ending: on a third-down play inside the final two minutes with the score tied at 20, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made contact with Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis well before a pass from Saints quarterback Drew Brees had arrived. Additionally, Robey-Coleman delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit; however, no flag was thrown for pass interference or the illegal hit, leading to outrage from Saints players and fans as this denied New Orleans a first down, which would have likely put the game out of reach. After the game, there was speculation but no clear video evidence that the pass was tipped.
The Rams lost in Super Bowl LIII held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia to the New England Patriots by a score of 13–3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history. Despite their immense talent, the Rams offense was stymied and ineffective throughout the game, being held to no touchdowns and only one field goal. They Rams joined the 1971 Miami Dolphins to only score 3 points in the Super Bowl. It was the first time in 35 years that a Los Angeles team was featured in a Super Bowl, when the Los Angeles Raiders (now the Las Vegas Raiders) defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins (now the Washington Commanders) 38–9 in Super Bowl XVIII.
2019: Post-Super Bowl slump and arrival of Jalen Ramsey
Rumors in the offseason swirled around Todd Gurley and his knee injury, as despite a strong performance in the divisional round against the Cowboys, Gurley's performances in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl LIII were lackluster, and it was later reported after the Super Bowl that Gurley had arthritis in his knee. Nevertheless, Gurley would attempt to play a full slate in 2019. Meanwhile, the Rams' biggest free agency losses included offensive linemen Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan, and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh departed for Tampa Bay. Los Angeles did however make notable acquisitions during free agency, including linebacker Clay Matthews and safety Eric Weddle.
The Rams opened their NFC title defense with a close victory over the Carolina Panthers, 30-27, and followed it up by defeating the New Orleans Saints 27-9 in a highly anticipated rematch of the previous NFC Championship Game. Los Angeles then won their third straight game, a tight battle with the Cleveland Browns, though quarterback Jared Goff seemed to struggle. Goff's struggles would continue into the following week, where the Rams would lose a wild, high-scoring duel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-55. Safety John Johnson, who was one of the team's strongest defensive players, suffered a season-ending injury in the loss. The Rams then met the divisional rival Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, in what was another extremely tight game which saw Clay Matthews flagged for a controversial roughing the passer penalty on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, which kept Seattle's eventual winning drive alive. Greg Zuerlein then missed a last-second field goal, which lost the game for the Rams by one point, 29-30.
Gurley, who had suffered a quad injury against Seattle, would miss the Rams' Week 6 bout with the San Francisco 49ers, in addition to Matthews and other key members of the Rams' offensive line. The depleted Rams lost 20-7, a game in which Goff was held to a career-low 78 yards passing and took four sacks. Two days after the loss, cornerback Marcus Peters was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young. Los Angeles then traded two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who contributed well despite playing on a snap count in the Rams' 37-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 in London before dropping a low-scoring battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-12. Between the games against the Bengals and Steelers, Aqib Talib, who was on injured reserve, was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Throughout the season, the Rams' offensive line had taken multiple injuries, which led to second-string players such as Bobby Evans and David Edwards getting significant playing time in the latter half of the year. The Rams, who were also missing wide receiver Robert Woods for a week, defeated the Chicago Bears 17-7 at home before being dismantled by the Baltimore Ravens 45-6, with Baltimore scoring touchdowns on their first six drives while Goff and Gurley, the latter of whom had been significantly limited throughout the season, continued to struggle. Los Angeles responded with a 34-7 rout over the Arizona Cardinals, where rookie safety Taylor Rapp notched his first career interception, which he returned for a touchdown, while Goff threw his first passing touchdown in a month after going all of November without a single one. The team then turned in one of their strongest first-half performances of the year in a 28-12 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, in what was the final primetime NFL game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Rams, however, were unable to keep their momentum in a 21-44 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, dealing the team a devastating blow to their playoff chances and forcing them into a must-win game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams led late in the game, but the 49ers won the wild affair 34-31 via a field goal after a miscommunication between Ramsey and Rapp on the final drive of the game led to a blown coverage, which put San Francisco in scoring position. The loss eliminated the Rams from playoff contention, denying them an opportunity to repeat as NFC Champions, and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016. In their final game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the team went out on a high note, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 31-24.
2020: SoFi Stadium era begins
Like the rest of the NFL, the Rams were forced to navigate a difficult offseason when the global COVID-19 pandemic struck, meaning offseason free-agent visits, college player visits, the Draft, and other team activities would be conducted virtually, and there would be no preseason held. In free agency, the Rams chose to release Todd Gurley after his lackluster 2019, where he finished with career-lows in touchdowns and rushing yards after being significantly limited by his knee injury. The Rams also traded Brandin Cooks, who, due to recurring concussion issues, missed multiple games the previous year. The team filled those holes by drafting running back Cam Akers and receiver Van Jefferson. However, the Rams would lose Cory Littleton and Dante Fowler in free agency, and were set to lose Michael Brockers to the Baltimore Ravens until a failed physical allowed him to return to Los Angeles on a 3-year deal. Kicker Greg Zuerlein would also depart, signing with the Dallas Cowboys, and he was replaced by rookie Sam Sloman. One week before the start of the season, Jalen Ramsey was signed to a 5-year, $102 million deal, making him the highest-paid cornerback in league history.
The Rams' 2020 season also marked the long-awaited opening of SoFi Stadium. At a cost of over $5 billion, SoFi Stadium is the most expensive stadium in the world, and hosts a seating capacity of approximately 70,000. Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic made it impossible for the Rams to host any fans during their inaugural campaign at their new home. The team, which had also undergone a rebranding of logos, colors and uniforms (all of which were met with a mixed-to-negative reception by fans and critics), won their first game of the 2020 season by a score of 20-17 over the Dallas Cowboys, a game which featured a controversial ending, in which Dallas receiver Michael Gallup was flagged for offensive pass interference against Ramsey, which denied Dallas a large gain that would've been enough to put them in scoring position. Many argued that Ramsey "sold it" and was not completely interfered with making a play on the ball. The Rams would win their Week 2 game with a 37-19 rout over the Philadelphia Eagles, where Jared Goff, who appeared to have shrugged off last year's struggles, completed his first 14 consecutive passes and threw for three touchdowns, all to tight end Tyler Higbee. The Rams then took part in a close battle with the Buffalo Bills, who led 28-3 before the Rams nearly pulled off the biggest comeback win in team history, but lost 35-32 on a controversial pass interference call against Darious Williams. Williams, however, would respond by snagging a game-winning interception in a surprisingly low-scoring battle against the New York Giants, with a final score of 17-9.
After a 30-10 win over the Washington Football Team in Week 5, the Rams would struggle in a 24-16 loss to a depleted San Francisco 49ers team. The defense stole the show in a bounce-back 24-10 win over the Chicago Bears in primetime, but the team then suffered an ugly 28-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Despite Los Angeles shutting out Miami in the second half, Jared Goff struggled heavily against Miami's defense, only completed 35 of his 61 pass attempts while throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles. After the bye week, Darious Williams would continue to impress, securing two interceptions in the Rams' 23-16 win over the Seahawks in Week 10. The Rams would then enter a crucial Monday battle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were bolstered by the acquisition of Tom Brady in the offseason. Brady, however, struggled against the Los Angeles defense, as rookie safety Jordan Fuller picked off Brady twice, while Goff turned in a solid performance with just under 400 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, two of which were the first career touchdowns for Akers and Jefferson. Kicker Matt Gay also made his Rams debut. However, Goff went right back to struggling in a 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a game that saw the defense play incredibly strong, but poor decisions and throws from Goff never extended the Rams' lead in time to prevent a comeback. The following week, both the offense and defense shined in a 38-28 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, and in a highly-anticipated rematch of Super Bowl LIII, the Rams dismantled the New England Patriots 24-3. However, in Week 15, in the biggest upset of the year, the Rams shockingly gave the 0-13 New York Jets their first win of the season, 23-20. Los Angeles went down by 13 points before scoring, and crucial mistakes from Goff as well as strong performances from the Jets defense put the game too far out of reach for the Rams offense. At this point in the season, many had suggested that the Rams needed to replace the turnover-prone Goff at quarterback, and calling the otherwise stellar team "a quarterback away" from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Goff, however, broke his thumb late in a 20-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and in their season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, John Wolford made his first career start after Goff had surgery on his throwing hand. Despite not passing for any touchdowns, Wolford played strong, as did the Los Angeles defense, and the Rams took down the Cardinals 18-7, while the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Chicago Bears clinched the Rams a playoff berth.
Wolford was given the start over Goff in the Rams' Wild Card round game against the Seattle Seahawks, though early on in the game, a rough hit by Seahawks safety Jamal Adams took Wolford out of the game with a neck injury. Goff, who was playing with a bandaged throwing thumb, came into the game and helped to steady the Rams' offense while the defense took over the rest of the game, and the Rams eliminated their rivals with a 30-20 win. However, Rams superstar defender Aaron Donald missed most of the second half with a rib injury, and the next week, with Wolford declared out due to his neck injury, Goff had to step in again in the Divisional round against a heavily favored Green Bay Packers team. Goff played a more solid game, but Donald, who was apparently limited by his injury, was a non-factor in the game, and the Packers' mistake-free offense was too much for the Rams to overcome. Green Bay won 32–18 to advance to the NFC Championship, where they would go on to lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31–26.
2021: Matthew Stafford arrives and Super Bowl LVI Title
Before Super Bowl LV had even been played, the Rams agreed to a blockbuster trade, as they dealt an inconsistently performing Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Detroit's own quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Acquiring Stafford came at a steep price, as Los Angeles gave up a 2021 third-round pick and two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. The offseason saw more losses, as defensive coordinator Brandon Staley left to become the head coach of the crosstown rival Chargers, while the team also traded Michael Brockers to the Lions, and chose not to retain impending free agents John Johnson, Gerald Everett and Josh Reynolds. The Rams added more depth at wide receiver, signing free agent DeSean Jackson and drafting Tutu Atwell. Another addition came when the team suffered the loss of Cam Akers for the season due to an Achilles injury, and veteran Sony Michel was tapped as the replacement.
Prior to the start of the season, SoFi Stadium was given the clearance to allow fans to attend Rams games for the first time during the pandemic. The Rams opened their 2021 season on Sunday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. In front of a full capacity crowd, Matthew Stafford exploded in his Los Angeles debut, throwing for three touchdowns and 321 yards as the Rams defeated the Bears 34-14. The Rams followed it up with a close 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts before a strong victory against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-24. The Rams were handed their first loss of the season against the division rival Arizona Cardinals, ending their perfect record against the Cardinals under Sean McVay, though the team was able to bounce back in a wild 26-17 win over another division opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, before a blowout win over the New York Giants 38-11. The Rams then squared off with Stafford's former team, the Detroit Lions, while also facing their former quarterback Jared Goff, a back-and-forth matchup that resulted in the Rams prevailing 28-19.
A day after defeating the Lions, the team traded linebacker Kenny Young to the Denver Broncos, and later confirmed that DeSean Jackson would be permitted to seek a trade. Jackson would later be released into free agency after the team was unable to find a trade partner. On Halloween, the Rams offense exploded for a 38-22 win over the Houston Texans. A day after the victory, the Rams made a blockbuster move, acquiring Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller from the Denver Broncos in exchange for two draft picks. However, Miller was unable to make his debut the week he was traded, as he was still dealing with an ankle injury. On November 11, Los Angeles would then make another blockbuster move, signing former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year deal.
However, the new acquisitions did not result in immediate dividends as the Rams lost three straight games to fall to 8-4. Turnovers plagued Los Angeles in both a 28-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football and a 31-10 rout at the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, L.A.'s fifth straight loss to their traditional rival. Following a bye week, the Rams fell on the road to the Green Bay Packers in 36-28 loss to the Packers that dropped Los Angeles to 8-4. A 37-7 win at home versus the Jacksonville Jaguars ended the Rams' skid, which was then followed by a resounding 30-23 victory on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite missing half a dozen starters due to COVID-19 protocols, the Rams pulled away in the second half as Matthew Stafford threw touchdown passes to Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. to thrust L.A. back into the NFC West Division race. Though COVID-19 issues caused the Rams' home game against Seattle to be postponed for two days, Los Angeles clamped down on the Seahawks 20-10 for its third straight victory. In that game, Cooper Kupp caught nine passes for 136 yards and two TDs, and his 122 receptions through 14 games surpassed the Rams' single season receptions record held by Hall of Fame wide receiver Isaac Bruce. The Rams clinched their fourth NFC playoff berth in five seasons the following week by holding off the host Minnesota Vikings 30-23. After going winless (0-3) in November, the Rams won four straight in December. This allowed the Rams to jump ahead to 1st place in the NFC West.
In January, the Rams narrowly defeated the injury-depleted Baltimore Ravens 20–19. However, in the final week of the season, at home, the Rams lost yet again to the San Francisco 49ers in a 27–24 overtime loss, which involved the team blowing a 17–0 lead, and extended their losing streak to the 49ers to 6. However, despite the loss, the Rams clinched the NFC West for the first time since 2018 after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Arizona Cardinals.
In the playoffs, the Rams defeated division rival Arizona Cardinals in the wild card round 34–11, then topped the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30–27 in the Divisional round, before finally defeating divisional rival San Francisco 49ers (which ended a six-game losing streak to their divisional rivals) 20–17 in the NFC Championship Game to reach Super Bowl LVI, where they faced the Cincinnati Bengals. The Rams defeated the Bengals 23–20 and took home their second Super Bowl win as well as their first Super Bowl win in Los Angeles. This also marked the second year in a row that a team that played in the Super Bowl played in their home stadium (SoFi Stadium), as in Super Bowl LV, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in Raymond James Stadium. However, the Rams were designated as the away team, as in even-numbered years, the AFC is designated as the home team.
Logo and uniforms
The Rams were the first professional American football team to have a logo on their helmets. Ever since halfback Fred Gehrke, who worked as a commercial artist in off-seasons, painted ram horns on the team's leather helmets in 1948, the logo has been the club's trademark.
When the team debuted in 1937, the Rams' colors were red and black, featuring red helmets, black uniforms with red shoulders and sleeves, tan pants, and red socks with black and white stripes. One year later they would switch their team colors to gold and royal blue, with gold helmets, white pants, royal blue uniforms with gold numbers and gold shoulders, white pants with a royal stripe, and solid royal blue socks. By the mid-1940s the Rams had adopted gold jerseys (with navy blue serif numerals, navy blue shoulders, gold helmets, white pants with a gold-navy-gold stripe, and gold socks with two navy stripes). The uniforms were unchanged as the team moved to Los Angeles. The helmets were changed to navy in 1947. When Gehrke introduced the horns, they were painted yellow-gold on navy blue helmets. In 1949 the team adopted plastic helmets, and the Rams' horns were rendered by the Riddell company of Des Plaines, Illinois, which baked a painted design into the helmet at its factory. Also in 1949 the serif jersey numerals gave way to more standard block numbers. Wider, bolder horns joined at the helmet center front and curving around the earhole appeared in 1950; this design was somewhat tapered in 1954–1955. Also in 1950 a blue-gold-blue tri-stripe appeared on the pants and "Northwestern University-style" royal blue stripes were added to jersey sleeves. A white border was added to the blue jersey numerals in 1953. So-called "TV numbers" were added on jersey sleeves in 1956. In accordance with a 1957 NFL rule dictating that the home team wear dark, primary-colored jerseys and the road team light shirts, the Rams hurriedly readied for the regular season new royal-blue home jerseys with golden striping and golden front and back numerals with a white border. The white border was removed in 1958. The Rams continued to wear their golden jerseys for 1957 road games, but the following year adopted a white jersey with blue numerals and stripes. In 1962–63 the team's road white jersey featured a UCLA-style blue-gold-blue crescent shoulder tri-stripe.
In 1964, concurrent with a major remodeling of the team's Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home, the colors were changed to a simpler blue and white. The new helmet horns were white, wider, and separated at the helmet center front. The blue jersey had white numerals with two white sleeve stripes. The white jersey featured blue numerals and a wide blue crescent shoulder stripe. A 1964 league rule allowed teams to wear white jerseys for home games and the Rams were among several teams to do so (the Dallas Cowboys, who introduced their blue-white-silverblue uniform that season, have worn white at home ever since). The pants were white with a thick blue stripe. In 1970, in keeping with the standards of the fully-merged NFL and AFL, names appeared on the jersey backs for the first time. The sleeve "TV numbers," quite large compared to those of other teams, were made smaller in 1965. From 1964 to early 1972 the Rams wore white jerseys for every home league game and exhibition, at one point not wearing their blue jerseys at all from 1967 to 1971; it was a tradition that continued under coaches Harland Svare, George Allen, and Tommy Prothro. But new owner Carroll Rosenbloom did not particularly like the Rams' uniforms, so in pursuit of a new look the team wore its seldom-used blue jerseys for most home games in 1972. During that season Rosenbloom's Rams also announced an intention to revive the old blue-and gold colors for 1973, and asked fans to send in design ideas.
The colors returned to yellow-gold and blue in 1973. The new uniform design consisted of yellow- gold pants and curling rams horns on the sleeves – yellow gold horns curving from the shoulders to the arms on the blue jerseys, which featured golden numerals (a white border around the numerals, similar to the 1957 style, appeared for two exhibitions and was then removed). Players' names were in contrasting white. The white jersey had similarly-shaped blue horns, blue numerals and names. The white jerseys also had yellow gold sleeves. The gold pants included a blue-white-blue tri-stripe, which was gradually widened through the 1970s and early 1980s. The blue socks initially featured two thin golden stripes, but these were rarely visible. From 1973-1976 the Rams were the only team to wear white cleats on the road and royal blue cleats at home. The new golden helmet horns were of identical shape, but for the first time the horn was not factory-painted but instead a decal applied to the helmet. The decal was cut in sections and affixed to accommodate spaces for face-mask and chin-strap attachments, and so the horn curved farther around the ear hole. Jersey numerals were made thicker and blunter in 1975. The Rams primarily wore blue at home with this combination, but after 1977 would wear white on occasion at home, notably for games against the Dallas Cowboys (who usually do not wear their blue jerseys due to the popular notion that the Cowboys' blue jerseys are jinxed) and selected AFC teams. The team wore its white jerseys for most of its 1978 home dates, including its post-season games with the Minnesota Vikings and Cowboys. Standard gray face masks became dark blue in 1981. The Rams wore white jerseys exclusively in the 1982 and 1993 seasons, as well as other selected occasions throughout their 15 seasons in Anaheim.
The team's colors were changed from yellow gold and blue to New Century Gold (old gold) and Millennium (navy) blue in 2000 following the Super Bowl win. A new logo of a ram's head was added to the sleeves and gold stripes were added to the sides of the jerseys. The new gold pants no longer featured any stripes. Blue pants and White pants with a small gold stripe (an extension off the jersey stripe that ended in a point) were also an option with the Rams only electing to wear the white set in a pre-season game in San Diego in 2001. The helmet design essentially remains the same as it was in 1948, except for updates to the coloring, navy blue field with gold horns. The 2000 rams'-horn design features a slightly wider separation at the helmet's center. Both home and away jerseys had a gold stripe that ran down each side, but that only lasted for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
In 2003, the Rams wore blue pants with their white jerseys for a pair of early-season games, but after losses to the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks, the Rams reverted to gold pants with their white jerseys. In 2005, the Rams wore the blue pants again at home against Arizona and on the road against Dallas. In 2007, the Rams wore all possible combinations of their uniforms. They wore the Blue Tops and Gold Pants at home against Carolina, San Francisco, Cleveland, Seattle, and on the road against Dallas. They wore the Blue Tops and Blue Pants at home against Arizona, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh on Marshall Faulk night. They wore the Blue Tops and White Pants on the road in Tampa Bay and at home against Green Bay. They wore White Tops and Gold Pants at New Orleans and San Francisco. They wore White Tops and White Pants at Seattle and Arizona. And they wore White Tops and Blue Pants at Baltimore and Cincinnati. In 2008, the Rams went away with the gold pants. The gold pants were used for only one regular season game at Seattle. The blue jerseys with white pants and white jerseys with blue pants combination were used most of the time. For the 2009 season, the Rams elected to wear the white pants with both jerseys for the majority of the time except the games against the Vikings and Texans (see below) where they wore the throwback jerseys from the 1999 season, week 2 in Washington when they wore gold pants with the blue jersey, and week 12 against Seattle when the wore blue pants with the blue jersey.
Since moving to St. Louis, the Rams have always worn blue at home. Like most other teams playing in a dome, the Rams do not need to wear white to gain an advantage with the heat despite the team's midwestern geographic location. The Rams wore their white jerseys and blue pants in St. Louis against the Dallas Cowboys, on October 19, 2008, forcing the Cowboys to wear their "unlucky" blue uniforms, and won the game 34-14.
The NFL has approved the use of throwback uniforms for the club during the 2009 season to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 1999 World Championship Team. The Rams wore the throwback uniforms for two home games in 2009 - October 11 against the Minnesota Vikings and December 20 against the Houston Texans. The Rams wore their 1999 throwbacks again on October 31, 2010, when they beat the Carolina Panthers 20-10. In 1994, the team's last season in Southern California, the Rams wore jerseys and pants replicating those of their 1951 championship season for their September games with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Pro Football Hall of Famers
Former Rams in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include Joe Namath (12), Ollie Matson (33), Andy Robustelli (81), Dick "Night Train" Lane (also 81), coach Earl "Dutch" Clark, and general manager Tex Schramm. GM and later NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and coach Sid Gillman are also members of the Hall of Fame, but were elected on the basis of their performances with other teams or (in the case of Rozelle) NFL administration.
|Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams Hall of Famers|
|40||Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch||1968||RB, WR||1949–1957|
|67, 48||Les Richter||2011||LB, K||1954–1962|
|25||Norm Van Brocklin||1971||QB, P||1949–1957|
|7||Bob Waterfield||1965||QB, DB, K, P||1945–1952|
St. Louis Football Ring Of Fame
Former Ram players
- 7 Bob Waterfield 1945-1952
- 25 Norm Van Brocklin 1949-1957
- 29 Eric Dickerson 1983-1987
- 40 Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch 1949-1957
- 55 Tom Fears 1948-1956
- 65 Tom Mack 1966-1978
- 74 Merlin Olsen 1962-1976
- 75 David "Deacon" Jones 1961-1971
- 78 Jackie Slater 1976-1995
- 80 Isaac Bruce 1994-2007
- 84 Jack Snow 1964-75; Broadcaster
- 85 Jack Youngblood 1971-1984
Former Team Executives and Coaches
- Head Coach Dick Vermeil 1997-1999
- Owner Carroll Rosenbloom 1972-1979
- Owner Dan Reeves 1941-1971
- Owner Georgia Frontiere 1979-2007
Numbers that have been retired by the Rams.
- 7 Bob Waterfield
- 28 Marshall Faulk
- 29 Eric Dickerson
- 74 Merlin Olsen
- 75 Deacon Jones
- 78 Jackie Slater
- 80 Isaac Bruce
- 85 Jack Youngblood
Radio and television
The Rams were the first NFL team to televise their home games; in a sponsorship arrangement with Admiral television, all home games of the 1950 NFL season were shown locally. The Rams also televised games in the early 1950s. The 1951 NFL Championship Game was the first championship game televised coast-to-coast (via the DuMont Network). During the team's years in Los Angeles all games were broadcast on KMPC radio (710 AM); play-by-play announcers were Bob Kelley (who accompanied the team from Cleveland and worked until his death in 1965), Dick Enberg (1966–77), Al Wisk (1978–79), Bob Starr (1980–89, 1993), Eddie Doucette (1990), Paul Olden (1991–92), and Steve Physioc (1994). Analysts included Gil Stratton, Steve Bailey, Dave Niehaus (1968–72), Don Drysdale (1973–76), Dick Bass (1977–86), Jack Youngblood (1987–91), Jack Snow (1992–94), and Deacon Jones (1994).
Los Angeles Rams current staff
Los Angeles Rams current roster
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