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    Rams Top 10 of the Decade

    12.11.2009 12:33 am
    Rams Top 10 of the Decade
    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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    No area team had as many ups and downs during the decade as the St. Louis Rams:

    BEST SEASON OPENER, Sept. 4, 2000

    The Gateway City hadn’t played host to Monday Night Football for 14 seasons, or since Bill Bidwill and the Big Red called St. Louis home. But with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on hand, the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams won a 41-36 track meet over Denver. The Rams scored three TDs of 72 yards or longer. One of them, an 80-yard catch and run by Az-Zahir Hakim, became a signature play of the Greatest Show on Turf. Hakim received an escort down the sidelines by Torry Holt, with the two laughing and joking with each other along the way. It looked like so much fun.

    BIGGEST VICTORY, Jan. 30, 2000

    Do we even need to think about this one? One Super Bowl after another had been b-o-r-i-n-g in recent years, until Tennessee and St. Louis hooked up in Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta. This game had everything. Contrasting styles. Big plays. Big comebacks. And one huge momentum swing. In the end, Rams linebacker Mike Jones brought down Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson just short of the goal line preserving a 23-16 victory. The Lombardi Trophy belonged to St. Louis. Long live The Tackle.

    WORST LOSS, Feb. 3, 2002

    Making their second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons, the heavily favored Rams arrived in New Orleans ready to assert themselves as a dynasty in the making. Instead, the upstart Patriots made it a red, white, and blue Super Bowl less than five months after the 9-11 tragedy. New England jumped to a 17-3 lead before a furious St. Louis rally tied the game 17-17. Just when it looked like the first overtime game in Super Bowl history was upon us, unheralded quarterback Tom Brady led the Pats on a frantic last-second drive, culminating in Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal as time expired.

    BEST CATCH, Jan. 23, 2000

    Tampa Bay’s fast and fierce defense had the Rams on their heels. An intense, physical NFC title game was going the Buccaneers’ way. With the fourth quarter slipping away and the Trans World Dome crowd quiet and nervous, Tampa Bay held a 6-5 lead. Then, Kurt Warner launched a 30-yard pass to Ricky Proehl for one of the most amazing TD’s in playoff history. Proehl had Bucs defender Brian Kelly draped all over him, but managed to get his feet down in bounds with the ball pinned to his side. Afterwards, some called it “The Catch for the Ages.” For the first time, a St. Louis NFL team was headed to the Super Bowl as a result of this 11-6 victory.

    WORST CATCH, Jan. 10, 2004

    Playing Carolina at home in the NFC semifinals, the Rams were rested from a playoff bye week following a 12-4 regular season. The contest was tied 23-23 at the end of regulation, and stayed that way after one overtime. But on the first play of the second OT, Panthers blockers picked up a Rams blitz. Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme calmly threw over the middle to a wide-open Steve Smith, who raced past a diving Jason Sehorn for a 69-yard TD and 29-23 Carolina victory. Talk about sudden death. Gone was the Rams’ 14-game home winning streak. Gone was any chance of reaching the Super Bowl for the third time in five years. And gone was the Greatest Show. . . .

    BEST COMEBACK, Nov. 27, 2005

    “We were pretty much left for dead out there, ” linebacker Trev Faulk said. “Twenty-six seconds? Fourth and 6?” Forget about it. Playing the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium, the Rams trailed 27-17 with half a minute left in regulation. With Harvard rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick in at quarterback, Isaac Bruce caught a 43-yard TD with 26 seconds remaining. After a successful onside kick by Jeff Wilkins, Wilkins kicked a 47-yard field goal sending the game into overtime tied 27-27. In OT, Fitzpatrick connected with Kevin Curtis for a 56-yard TD, and a 33-27 Rams victory.

    WORST HALF, Nov. 9, 2008

    In a league where nearly half the games are decided by a touchdown or less, the Rams were down by 40 at halftime against the New York Jets. That’s right, it was 40-0 at intermission in the Meadowlands. “If someone would’ve told me that we would be down 40 points at halftime, I would’ve probably slapped them in the face,” Leonard Little said. Instead, it was the Jets who slapped, shoved, bruised, bullied, punished and otherwise pummeled the Rams en route to a 47-3 victory. The 40-point deficit tied for the third-largest halftime deficit in the history of the NFL. The Jets scored on all seven first-half possessions.

    BEST/WORST SOAP OPERA, 2005

    The season began with coach Mike Martz upset over his inability to get a contract extension. In early October, Martz took a leave of absence because of a bacterial infection of the heart valve known as endocarditis. He never coached another Rams game. A simmering feud between Martz and president of football operations Jay Zygmunt boiled over on Oct. 23. During a game that day with New Orleans, Martz’s attempts to communicate via cell phone to the coaching staff were blocked by Zygmunt. Later in the year, team president John Shaw was furious with reports of Martz saying team management didn’t really want to win. At the end of the ’05 season, the eccentric offensive guru known as “Mad” Mike had his contract terminated.

    SADDEST FAREWELL, Jan. 18, 2008

    Georgia Frontiere was a chorus girl, a club singer, a philanthropist, and a creative eccentric who wrote poetry and liked astrology. She dined with movie stars and sang at Joseph P. Kennedy’s mansion. At various times, she owned homes in London, Los Angeles, New York, Arizona and her native St. Louis. She married seven times. For 29 years she owned a franchise in the ultimate “old-boys league” _ the National Football League _ and during that time the Rams earned 13 playoff berths and appeared in three Super Bowls. As her son, Chip Rosenbloom, said: “She’s led an extraordinary life.” The woman who brought the NFL back to her hometown in 1995 died after a long fight with breast cancer.

    PLAYER OF THE DECADE

    Tough call. But Isaac Bruce had three of his best seasons in the 1990s, not this decade. Orlando Pace was a rock at left tackle the first half of the decade, before injuries took their toll. Marshall Faulk had unbelievable seasons in 2000 and ’01, and then his knees slowly started to give out. Kurt Warner was league MVP in 2001, but was gone after the ’03 campaign. So it has to be the player known as “Big Game,” the pride of Gibsonville, N.C. _ Torry Holt. From 2000-05, Holt became the first player in NFL history with six consecutive seasons of 1,300 yards receiving or more. He made seven Pro Bowls in the decade. And when he left the Rams following the ’08 season, he had more catches, for more yards, than any NFL player this decade. And with rare exception, he did it all with class and a smile.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
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    Re: Rams Top 10 of the Decade

    To me, the October '04 comeback against the Seahawks would have been a better choice than the game against the Texans.

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    Re: Rams Top 10 of the Decade

    i thought the texans comeback was amazing but beating the seahawks in that game was priceless.

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    Re: Rams Top 10 of the Decade

    that seahawks game always sticks in my memory more

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    Re: Rams Top 10 of the Decade

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    To me, the October '04 comeback against the Seahawks would have been a better choice than the game against the Texans.
    Either one was amazing, but I've heard a few stories from other Rams fans who were there and stayed and saw the comeback. Of course, they LOVED it

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    Re: Rams Top 10 of the Decade

    Agreed Torry Holt is the player of the decade, has been here a long time and has done alot of things for this team.

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