39 YEARS AGO
God has it been 39 years.
Somebody please slow down the time.
Starting the 1973 season, the Los Angeles Rams had a new owner in Carroll Rosenbloom.
A new head coach in Chuck Knox.
A new QB in John Hadl and even new uniforms.
Coming off their first losing season in six years in 1972, the experts said it was a rebuilding year for the Rams.
Picking them no higher than 3rd in the western division.
"CARROLL ROSENBLOOM AND DON KLOSTERMAN
WENT TO WORK"
They fired Tommy Prothro.
Hired Chuck Knox.
Traded Roman Gabriel to the Eagles for Harold Jackson and Tony Baker.
Traded Coy Bacon to the Chargers for John Hadl.
That was just the beginning.
"RAMS TRAINING CAMP"
To most in the media, 1973 was a rebuilding year for the Rams.
Coming off their first losing season in 5 years in 1972 is what they pointed at.
Coach Knox gave Jack Youngblood, Hacksaw Reynolds, Fred Dryer and Larry Brooks heir first job at starting.
1973 was the birth of a New NFL monster named the Los Angeles Rams.
"WEEK 1 RAMS VS CHIEFS"
The Rams were a 9 point underdog as they took the field in Arrowhead Stadium.
The Rams dominated KC in every facet of the game.
Rushing for 280 yards while Hadl completed over 70% of his passes.
The Ram defense keeps KC running attack to under 40 yards for the entire game.
Rams win and go 1-0 with a 23-13 win.
WEEK 2 RAMS VS FALCONS
The experts still didn't think much of the Rams as Atlanta was a 3 point favorite IN LA!!!!
All the Rams did was allow Atlanta just two first downs.
The Ram defense allowed only 88 total yards for the entire game.
The Ram offense had over 220 yards on the ground and Hadl was 12 out of 15 for 160 yards.
Over 75,000 Ramfans saw their team win 31-0 to go 2-0.
ATL AT RAMS
"WEEK 3 RAMS VS NINERS"
The experts still didn't believe in the Rams making them a 3 point underdog.
The Rams ran all day gaining over 250 yards as Hadl threw for over 200 yards at over 75% passing.
Cullen Bryant ran a kickoff back for a 94 yard TD.
The Ram defense intercepted three Niner passes. The Rams whipping the Niners 40-20 to go 3-0.
"WEEK 4 RAMS VS OILERS"
The Rams turned the ball over 4 times making this one of their toughest games of the year.
But, the defense came thru as Dave Elmendorf intercepted the ball late in the 4th quarter.
The Rams held on to stay unbeaten at 4-0 with a hard fought 31-26 victory.
WEEK 5 RAMS VS DALLAS
In one of the most exciting games played in 1973, there was 82,000 at the Coliseum to watch John Hadl hook up with Harold Jackson with 4 TD passes.
Hadl passed for 279 yards.
The defense intercepted three Staubach passes.
But the key play happened late in the 4th quarter on the Rams one yard line.
It was 4th and goal and Dallas went for the TD.
Walt Garrison was met on the half yard line by Merlin Olsen and dropped.
The Rams stay unbeaten with a 5-0 record as they win 37-31.
WEEK 6 RAMS VS PACKERS
Over 80,000 Ramfans were at the Coliseum to see if the Rams can go 6-0.
The offensive line opened holes for the Ram running backs that they gained over 240 rushing.
Hadl hooked up twice with TD passes.
But, the day belong to Fred Dryer as he scored two safeties in one game, which makes him the only ever to do it in the NFL.
The Ram defense held the Packers to under 60 yards for the entire game. The Rams stay perfect at 6-0 with a 24-7 win.
WEEK 7 RAMS VS VIKINGS
The last two unbeaten teams met in Minnesota.
The defenses were both great.
The Rams were minus Mcutcheon and it showed.
The Vikings gave LA it's first loss with a 10-9 win. LA goes 6-1.
WEEK 8 RAMS VS ATLANTA
The Rams make it two losses in a row as they couldn't get going.
The FG kicker for Atlanta kicked 5 FG's for all their points as the Falcons win 15-13.
Making the Rams record 6-2.
WEEK 9 RAMS VS SAINTS
Rams get back to their winning ways as Mcutcheon ran for 168 yards and the defense was awesome.
Over 77,000 Ramfans were at the Coliseum to see the Rams go 7-2 with a 29-7 win.
WEEK 10 RAMS VS NINERS
Over 79,000 Ramfans saw the Rams rush for over 270 yards and the defense hold the Niners to just 7 first downs.
It was the third game of the year that the Ram defense held their opponent to under 100 yards total for the entire game.
The Rams go 8-2 with a 31-13 win.
WEEK 11 RAMS VS SAINTS
The game was tied at the half 10-10.
In the second half the Ram defense shut down the Saints as Hadl hit TE Klein for a TD as the Rams go 9-2 with a 24-13 win.
WEEK 12 RAMS VS BEARS
The Rams clinched the western division by shutting out the Bears 24-0.
The defense again was stellar allowing Chicago only 88 total yards.
Coach Knox is carried on the shoulders of Dryer, Isiah and Elmendorf.
The Rams go 10-2.
WEEK 13 RAMS VS GIANTS
On a Monday Night with over 80,000 in the Coliseum, the Rams showed the Nation what they were made of.
Dominating in every aspect of the game.
From defense, offense and special teams LA was superb.
The Ram defense allowed just 8 first downs for the game.
The Ram offense tripled that with 24 first downs.
Over 7 yards a carry by Bertleson and Mccutcheon.
Isiah Robertson ran a interception for 49 yards for a TD.
The Rams Crushed NY 40-6 to go 11-2.
WEEK 14 RAMS VS BROWNS
Over 88,000 was on hand at the Coliseum to see Jack Youngblood dominate along with the rest of the defense.
The first string offense played just a half but thats all they needed as the Rams win 30-17 to go 12-2.
PLAYOFF GAME RAMS VS DALLAS
Because of an outdated playoff format, the 12-2 Rams were visitors to the 10-4 Cowboys.
The first two offensive plays ran by the Rams were turnovers to Dallas who cashed them in for 14 points.
With less than 6 minutes played in the game it was 17-0 Cowboys.
To make matters worse, the leading scorer for the 1973 season, kicker David Ray of the Rams missed 3 chip shot FG's.
But, the Ram defense brings LA back.
Forcing two turnovers. With minutes to play in the game it is 17-16 Dallas.
For us LA Ramfans it was a beginning of seven straight seasons of very high and very low drama as we circled the wagons with them. Man, do I miss that