NFL Films: The 1979 Los Angeles Rams: ‘A Tale of Two Seasons’

A Tale of Two Seasons-1979 Los Angeles Rams

Source:NFL Films– Los Angeles Rams head coach Ray Malavasi.

Source:The Daily Press

“It was the Rams’ weakest divisional winner (an aging 1979 team that only achieved a 9–7 record) that achieved 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 upstart 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 was 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 third quarter 19–17. In the end, however, the Steelers asserted themselves, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and shutting down the Rams offense to win their fourth Super Bowl, 31–19.”

From Wikipedia

“This video is a telecast, broadcast, and production of NFL Films. I claim no ownership of this material, and do not profit from it in anyway. This video is intended for historical and educational viewing purposes.”

From Grey Beard

“NFL Films: 79 Rams”

YouTube_ 79 Rams (2016) - Google Search (1)

Source:NFL Films– the Los Angeles Rams taking on their divisional rival Atlanta Falcons in 1979.

From Lafayette Catfey

This photo is also from the 1980 NFL Films about the 1979 Los Angeles Rams called: A Tale of Two Seasons. But the video that this photo is from is not currently available online right now.

NFL Films_ NFL 1979-A Tale of Two Seasons_ The Story of the 1979 Los Angeles Rams _ The Daily Press

Source:NFL Films– hopefully not the best looking Los Angeles Rams cheerleader.

NFL Films likes to dramatize (if not overdramatize their films) and when their doing a team’s season highlights and year and review, they tend to make their shots look more important than they actually are, like the team is going into battle or something, instead of playing a football game.

LA Rams

Source:NFL Films– from the NFL Films documentary about the Los Angeles Rams.

A Tale of Two Seasons is the perfect way to describe the 1979 Los Angeles Rams because they were essentially a 500 team or worst in the first half of 1979. The traditionally lowly and last place New Orleans Saints were poised to not only record their first winning season in 1979, make their first playoff appearance and win their first divisional title, in 1979.

The Saints had a pretty solid team and with a better coaching staff and avoiding key injuries, maybe the Saints make the NFC Playoffs in 79. But all of these things happening weren’t because they were real good, but the Rams weren’t in the first half of 79. Because they were real beat up in 1979 with all sorts of key injuries in the backfield, offensive line, receivers, and on defense as well.

The second half of the 79 Rams season were the real Los Angeles Rams that year. Because they got their players back and found their starting quarterback in Vince Feragamo. Who not only got healthy, but took over the starting QB position. They figured out who they were offensively with Feragamo: a running, ball control team, with both short, middle and vertical threats in the passing game.

With the Rams becoming balanced on offense, it meant defenses including the great Pittsburg Steelers in Super Bowl 14, had to adjust, because the Rams could run the ball with either Wendell Tyler or Cullen Bryant, but could also beat you deep with Vince Feragamo in the passing game. And had a defense that only the great Steel Curtain Steelers were better than in 79.

The 79 Rams were a 12-4 or 13-3 team on paper that were even better than the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC. But with all of their injuries, we didn’t see the great Rams team until the second half of 79 and in the playoffs.

About Erik Schneider

Full-time blogger on a multiple ray of topics and subjects, because of multiple interests.
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