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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
    September 5, 2006

    As far as memories go, these didn't make the old orange-covered scrapbook.

    But the last time the Broncos ventured into St. Louis to face the Rams in a season opener, Denver came out at the wrong end of the vapor trail. When the teams were done with each other on that September night in 2000, they had piled up 77 points on 10 touchdowns, 937 yards worth of offense and left two defenses reeling as football America had looked in on the Monday Night Football battle.

    "It was a wild game," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said. "I remember it as a disappointment, though, because we had some chances and we lost. . . . I just remember feeling like we had done so much and we still lost the game."

    "We didn't play any defense in that game," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "Neither team did. No defense at all."

    Much like the regular-season opener Sunday in St. Louis, the Rams had a head coach making his NFL debut on the big headset. This year, it is former Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. In 2000, it was the man Linehan has since replaced, former Rams coach Mike Martz.

    Martz, who had been the Rams offensive coordinator in the team's championship season in 1999, has said that game against the Broncos might have been the offensive pinnacle of the so-called "Greatest Show on Turf" era of Rams football.

    "It's frustrating when you're on defense in a game like that, because basically, they're doing whatever it is they want to do," Wilson said. "And you get to a point in the game where you feel like there isn't anything you can do about it."

    "We just couldn't get it done," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

    "We couldn't slow them down and they couldn't slow us down."

    The Rams are digging out of a 6-10 finish in '05 that featured a pile of injuries, including quarterback Marc Bulger being shipped to injured reserve, to go with a front-office clash worthy of daytime TV that eventually cost Martz his job after he missed part of the season because of a heart ailment.

    The Rams have few players remaining from that game six years ago. While a healthy Bulger is back behind center, St. Louis still has 26 new faces on Linehan's first roster, compared with the start of the regular season last year.

    The Broncos have only eight players remaining from that 2000 game, but Wilson still shakes his head at the thought of two teams punting only three times combined on the night.

    "I dislocated my (right) shoulder, had two interceptions," Wilson said. "But the thing I'll always remember the most probably is us not being able to stop them. And I remember them not being able to stop us, either."

    The Broncos had taken the opening drive 59 yards in only six plays for a touchdown. That was good for at least some momentum, but it also ripped the lid off all of what was to come.

    Then-Broncos quarterback Brian Griese was 19-for-29 passing for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and the Rams' Kurt Warner was 25-for-35 for 441 yards to go with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

    The Rams had three players top 100 yards receiving (Az-Zahir Hakim, Torry Holt and Marshall Faulk) and had three scoring plays of more than 70 yards. One of the most enduring images from the evening is Hakim and Holt sprinting side-by-side along the sideline on a screen pass turned into an 80-yard touchdown by Hakim.

    Billy Jenkins, who played for the Rams and Broncos in his career, missed a tackle near the line of scrimmage on the play.

    "I felt like we really game-planned well for that game," Bowlen said. "We opened up and went right down the field, scored a touchdown. But they did, too. They were coming off the Super Bowl win; they were a very good team."

    The Rams led 35-20 late in the third quarter, but the Broncos scored twice in a span of 58 seconds in the fourth quarter to briefly take the lead, 36-35. The Rams scored on the following possession for the 41- 36 lead, and Denver then took over on its 20-yard line with 2:54 to play.

    But Griese was sacked on back- to-back plays, followed by an incompletion on fourth down, which might have constituted the only defensive stand in the game.

    "It was going to go either way, and we had a chance to put it away a couple times and we just couldn't do it," Shanahan said. " . . . A lot of offense, though, a lot of offense. Both teams went up and down the field, that's for sure."

    "A thousand yards? Man, you just don't see that in the NFL," Wilson said. "You just don't. Hopefully, we won't see it ever again."

    Remember when?

    The last time the Broncos went to St. Louis for a season opener, it was a wild affair with plenty of offense:

    Denver/ St. Louis

    Total net yards 424 /513

    Net passing yards 274 /433

    Passing TDs 2 /3

    Rushing yards 150/ 80

    Rushing TDs 1/ 2

  2. #2
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    i was at this game and it was one of the most exciting games i have seen,i have never seen the dome louder than it was that night.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    There is hope, Denver was creamed vs Miami opening game last season. The Rams are going to need touchdowns from inside the Red Zone.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    If we could only get a couple of exciting plays early in the game, at least one on each side of the ball, maybe the dome will ignite its realtime, real LOUD FANS going WILD, I mean, L-O-U-D and make it its 12th man!

    Yes, perhaps one more of those... 'enduring images'. :r The Holt / Hakim chat.


  5. #5
    bruce4life's Avatar
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    Re: Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    the good times oh i miss them...

  6. #6
    ramsbruce's Avatar
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    Re: Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    I will never forget Holt and Hakim racing down the sideline side by side.

  7. #7
    maineram Guest

    Re: Broncos have some bad memories from last trip to St. Louis

    Here's to a Rams offensive explosion and a Bronco implosion. I will be at that game and will do my best to represent the Clan and creating an unpleasant atmosphere for our week 1 quests.

    Here's to another game of Streaking Ram receivers heading to the endzone...... TOUCHDOWN RAMS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Here's to a beaten Broncos flight home ......:x

    Maineram - :l


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