What are the worst moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. Rams come up just short against “Steel Curtain”
The 1970s Los Angeles Rams might have had the best stretch of fantastic teams that nobody remembers. They won seven straight division titles from 1973-79, a record that stood until the New England Patriots beat it, but the Rams were usually upset in the playoffs because the offense disappeared. They finally broke through with an NFC title in 1979 when they were just 9-7 but got hot in the playoffs. They led Super Bowl XIV into the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then John Stallworth took over. Stallworth caught a 73-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give the Steelers the lead. Then, after Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo was intercepted in Steelers territory with less than six minutes left, Stallworth’s 45-yard catch set up Pittsburgh’s game-sealing touchdown.
4. Jim Everett’s phantom sack
Pick a moment from the 1989 NFC championship game. The Rams were going to take a 10-0 lead in the first quarter when Willie “Flipper” Anderson got wide open, but Jim Everett’s pass hung up long enough for safety Ronnie Lott to knock it away. That turned the game around. And in the third quarter of a 30-3 loss, Everett felt pressure coming on third-and-10 and fell to the ground on his own for an infamous “phantom sack.” Of course, this was probably the origin of radio host Jim Rome mocking Everett, which led to a timeless altercation over Rome calling the quarterback “Chris” Everett.
3. Rams draft Lawrence Phillips, trade Jerome Bettis
What a mind-numbing day in 1996 for the Rams. On draft day, the Rams selected troubled Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips sixth overall and to clear up a starting spot for him, they traded Jerome Bettis to the Pittsburgh Steelers for second- and fourth-round draft picks. Phillips’ off-field problems at Nebraska carried on to the pros and through the end of his life (he committed suicide in prison in 2016). Bettis had a storied career with the Steelers and ended up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Rams made one of the worst draft picks ever and one of the worst trades ever in the same day.
2. Pick a relocation, any relocation
The Rams hold one dubious record: No NFL team has relocated more often (the Oakland Raiders will tie the Rams when they move to Las Vegas). The Rams moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles in 1946, from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995 and from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016. That’s not something you want to be known for.
1. Upset in Super Bowl XXXVI
The 2001 Rams looked unbeatable, especially going into Super Bowl XXXVI against the New England Patriots. Every wonderful upset has a sob story on the other side, and the start of the Patriots’ dynasty coincided with the end of the Rams’ run. With a great game plan from Bill Belichick to take Marshall Faulk out of the game, the Patriots kept the game close and won it at the end on Adam Vinatieri’s field goal as time expired. The Rams haven’t been close to that stage since.