by fearsomefoursome

It was an offense that seemed futuristic at the time, which was appropriate given the events surrounding the team in 1950. That year, the league permitted unlimited substitution for the first time - paving the way for the more specialized game seen today.

In addition, the Rams of 1950 became the first team to have all of their games televised. The viewers at home that year saw quite a show.

Led by quarterback Bob Waterfield, the Rams of 1950 piled up the points - 466 of them in 12 regular-season games, an average of 38.3 per game. In back-to- back games, they scored like no team before or since, posting 70 and 65 points, two of the four highest regular-season totals in NFL history.

Like the Rams of 1999, the 1950 edition was paced by a quarterback turning in the best season of his career - Waterfield, a 1965 inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame who, like Warner, was in his sixth professional season, but unlike Warner, all of his seasons were in the NFL.

It wasn't just the passing game that fueled the Rams' attack, though. A "Full Elephant" backfield, paced by Dick Hoerner and Paul "Tank" Younger, kept the chains moving and the pressure off of the Waterfield-to-Tom Fears passing combination.

It wasn't enough to win the championship, though.

Standing in the way was the most successful first-year team in NFL history, the Cleveland Browns, who joined the league from the All-America Football Conference and scored a 30-28 title game win on a late-game Lou Groza field goal.

It would be another seven months before the team re-convened for camp to finish the job in 1951, as the Rams weren't quite as explosive but won the league title. In the interim, the Rams were forced to find other work - a surprisingly difficult task.

"Companies didn't want to hire you because they knew you were going to be playing football for six months of the year," Hoerner, who scored a touchdown in the 1951 championship win, told the Associated Press. "I worked as an usher at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita."

Of course, a lot changed from the Rams' 1951 title to their next championship 48 years later, not the least of which was the national media coverage of the team. In fact, the spotlight for the Rams' regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos will be brighter than it was for the team's back-to-back championship game appearances.

And while the team's home has changed, from the blinding bright lights of Los Angeles to the more subdued midwestern environment of St. Louis, the accomplishments of the stars of that 1950 remain at the forefront of the team's history.


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