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  1. #1
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    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Pats offense, the best ever? Not yet....

    The Greatest Show on Turf
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    The Greatest Show on Turf was the nickname for the offense fielded by the St. Louis Rams offense during 1999, 2000, and 2001 NFL seasons. The offense employed was an explosive passing attack — designed by offensive coordinator Mike Martz and based upon the traditional Coryell offensive system first developed by NFL coach Don Coryell. The Rams set a new NFL record for total offensive yards in 2000, with 7,335. 5,492 of those were passing yards, also a new NFL team record.

    The Greatest Show On Turf was anchored by running back Marshall Faulk, NFL Offensive Player of the Year for three consecutive years from 1999 through 2001, quarterback Kurt Warner, 2-time NFL MVP, the receiving duo of Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, as well as Az-Zahir Hakim and veteran Ricky Proehl. Together they became the only team in NFL history to score 500+ points in 3 consecutive seasons. No other team has ever done it two seasons in a row. Quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk finished first and second in MVP voting each of the three years, also an achievement unmatched by any offense in NFL history.

    The Rams went 13-3, 10-6, and 14-2 in those three seasons, respectively, and reached the playoffs every year. In 1999, the team reached Super Bowl XXXIV and defeated the Tennessee Titans to claim the first franchise championship in almost half a century. The Rams fell early in the 2000 playoffs, but returned the next year to reach Super Bowl XXXVI, where they ultimately fell to the New England Patriots.

    Though much less heralded, the St. Louis defense during those three seasons was critical to the overall team performance. In 2000, when the Rams scrambled just to reach the playoffs, the defense was ranked among the NFL's worst. In 1999 and 2001, when the Rams reached the Super Bowl, the defense statistically ranked among the NFL's best - and ironically enough, it was a defensive stop known as "The Tackle" by Rams linebacker Mike Jones that gave the Greatest Show on Turf its championship.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Records and Achievements
    2 Players
    2.1 Kurt Warner
    2.2 Marshall Faulk
    2.3 Isaac Bruce
    2.4 Torry Holt
    2.5 Az-Zahir Hakim
    2.6 Ricky Proehl
    3 See also



    [edit] Records and Achievements
    The St. Louis Rams scored 526 points in the 1999 season, a team record which was broken in 2000 when they accumulated 540 points. For their last consecutive 500+ season, the Rams scored 503 points in 2001. These three seasons of 1,569 points were the most points scored by any team over any three-year stretch.
    1999: The Rams were first in the league in passing (4,580 yards), yards per pass attempt (8.64), passing touchdowns (41) and total offensive yards (6,639).
    2000: The Rams were first in the league in total offense (7,335 yards), completions (380), passing yards (5,492), yards per pass attempt (9.36), passing touchdowns (37) and rushing touchdowns (26).
    2001: The Rams were again first in the league in total offense (6,930 yards), completions (379), passing yards (4,903), yards per pass attempt (8.90), passing touchdowns (37), rushing touchdowns (20) and yards per rush attempt (4.87)


    Players


    Kurt Warner
    For more details on this topic, see Kurt Warner.
    He was cut in training camp by Green Bay in 1994, and then had a workout with the Chicago Bears fall through due to a spider bite he got on his honeymoon. After being cut by the Packers, Warner stocked shelves at a Hy-Vee supermarket in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He was a starter with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League and then continued to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe before ultimately signing with the Rams as a backup to Trent Green.

    After Green was injured in the 1999 pre-season and would miss the regular season, many speculated that the season was over for St. Louis. However, the Rams — and Warner in particular — lit up defenses throughout the league. Warner threw 41 touchdown passes, setting a new franchise mark, and his 109.2 quarterback rating was the second highest (for a minimum of 200 attempts) in a season next to Steve Young. (The record now is owned solely by Peyton Manning after his record-breaking 2004 season.)

    The Rams finished 13-3, a franchise best record for the 16 game schedule (a mark which would be later broken by the 2001 Rams, when they finished 14-2). Offensive coordinator Mike Martz's innovative variation on the Coryell offensive system suited Warner well; he threw only 13 interceptions during the regular season. Mike Martz, the offensive coordinator of the Rams, was the innovator behind this offense, and he would be regarded as one of the most ingenious coordinators of his time. The Rams first demolished the Minnesota Vikings in a shoot-out in the divisional round, where Warner burned the Minnesota secondary for 391 yards and five touchdowns en route to victory. For the NFC Championship against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Rams won a tight 11-6. Warner had the worst post-season performance of his career, throwing three interceptions to the heavily loaded Buccaneers secondary which featured John Lynch, Donnie Abraham, and Ronde Barber.

    However, the Rams proved they were more than just a good offensive team, as they prevented Tampa Bay from scoring any touchdowns and only allowed scores from two field goals. The Rams' defense also picked Shaun King off twice along the way en route to a 11-6 win.



    Marshall Faulk
    For more details on this topic, see Marshall Faulk.
    Faulk was traded from the Indianapolis Colts to St. Louis in 1999. Faulk had been an elite player in Indianapolis, but in St. Louis he put up some of the best all-purpose numbers in the history of the NFL. Indianapolis finished 13-3 but were knocked off in the first round, while the Rams eventually went on to win Super Bowl XXXIV.

    It was a storybook season. Faulk's patience and diligence in learning the Rams offense paid off when he totaled 2,429 yards from scrimmage, eclipsing Barry Sanders' 2,358 yards set in 1997. With 1,381 yards rushing (a superb 5.5 yards-per-carry average) and 1,048 receiving yards, Faulk joined Roger Craig as the only men to total 1,000+ yards in each category in a season. For all this effort and success, he was named Offensive Player of the Year and starter for the NFC squad in the 2000 Pro Bowl.

    Faulk was the MVP in 2000, and again the Offensive Player of the Year. He had 1,359 yards rushing in 14 games and set a new NFL record with 26 total TDs, a record that would soon be broken by Priest Holmes, then by Shaun Alexander, and later LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 (although it should be noted Faulk missed 2 games in 2000). Faulk had 18 scores on the ground, setting a new franchise record, and 8 through the air. He also averaged 5+ yards per carry again, this time with 5.4.

    From 1999 to 2001 Marshall Faulk had what may have been the best consecutive seasons in league history. In that span, he scored 59 total TD's, rang up 6,765 total yards of offense (4,122 rushing and 2,643 receiving) and won the Most Valuable Player award and three Offensive Player of the Year awards. He was also named All-NFC, ALL-NFL, and selected for the Pro Bowl in each of those years.



    Isaac Bruce
    For more details on this topic, see Isaac Bruce.
    Bruce was selected in the 2nd round (33rd overall pick) of the NFL Draft in 1994, by the Los Angeles Rams.

    One of the Rams most enduring players, Isaac Bruce is the only remaining player on the roster originally drafted as a Los Angeles Ram, and has been with the team from their years of futility in the 90s to the years of the Greatest Show on Turf.

    Over his career, he has 12,278 yards receiving, 813 receptions, 7 1,000+ Seasons, 39 100+ yardage and 77 receiving touchdowns, all of which are team records he holds. He is arguably one of the best pure route runners to play wide receiver in the NFL.

    Bruce's most notable catch came in Super Bowl XXXIV. With under 2:00 minutes left in the game, he caught a 73-yard pass from QB Kurt Warner, which ultimately would clinch the Rams only Super Bowl win.

    In 1995, he had 1,781 receiving yards, second only to Jerry Rice (1,848) and was 5th ever for receptions (119). During the 1996 season, he led the league in yards (1,338). In 1999, Bruce totaled 1,165 yards receiving on only 77 receptions (15.2 yards per reception) and led the Rams with 12 touchdowns.




    Torry Holt
    For more details on this topic, see Torry Holt.
    A rookie during the Rams' 1999 Super Bowl championship season, Torry Holt has become one of the premier wide receivers in the league. In 6 years, he has had 4 Pro Bowl invitations. Holt also averages the most receiving yards per season, and he has had 2 1,600 yard seasons, giving him a feat only future Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison can match. Holt was criticized earlier in his career because of his lack of touchdowns, and people did not see him as a major red zone option, especially in a goal line situation. However, he silenced all critics by compiling 31 touchdowns in his last 3 seasons. Holt led the league in receptions and yards in 2003, that year the Rams went 12-4 (missing out on homefield advantage due to an upset loss to the Detroit Lions), and lost in a double overtime against the eventual NFC Champions, the Carolina Panthers.



    Az-Zahir Hakim
    For more details on this topic, see Az-Zahir Hakim.
    Hakim was another player instrumental to the success of The Greatest Show on Turf. He was with the Rams for four seasons (1998-2001) before being signed as a free agent to the Detroit Lions. During the 1999 season, he caught 36 passes for 677 yards, which would bring in 8 touchdowns for the Rams. For his four season run with the Rams he accumulated a total of 2,032 yards with 16 touchdown receptions. For the 2006 season, he is currently with the San Diego Chargers.



    Ricky Proehl
    For more details on this topic, see Ricky Proehl.
    Proehl (WR) has been in the NFL for an impressive 17 seasons and spent 5 of them with the St. Louis Rams between 1998-2002. During this time he was able to accumulate a total of 207 receptions and 2,590 receiving yards. At the 2000 NFC Championship , he caught the -winning touchdown that allowed the Rams to beat Tampa Bay 11-6. Again, he caught a touchdown pass late in the game during Super Bowl XXXVI which at the time tied the at 17-17, but the Patriots kicked a last-second field goal to win 20-17. He played the 2006 season with the Indianapolis Colts, but following their Super Bowl XLI win has retired


  2. #2
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    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    On Thanksgiving 2007 I am so grateful for that Rams era! What a force, what weaponry, what a scoring machine.

    Coach Madness included.

  3. #3
    curleyski Guest

    Cool Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE! i am getting tired of hearing about this years patriots offense being the best EVER, let those weenies score 500 plus for 4 YEARS then i will listen! they do look pretty good though, but i am still pissed about them mugging, holding, tripping, facemasking, encroaching, patriotic feelin', and then last second field goaling us to win the superbowl. the greatest show on turf will never be done by anybody else and may be only remotely copied by some, now lets go rams and have an 8-8 year!!:l HAPPY THANKSGIVING YOU RAMS FANS!!

  4. #4
    Canada Nate Guest

    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I may have missed it but I haven't heard too much about the win this past Sunday being the 500th for the franchise. This from ESPN power rankings comments regarding Rams and Patriots:

    "
    Let's look at the big picture, people! Sure, the Rams won just their second game of the season Sunday, but it was their 500th win as a franchise, sixth most among NFL teams. So take that, Patriots and your measly 379 wins!"


    Oh and to my neighbours to the south, Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. #5
    AlphaRam Guest

    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    They are who we thought they were.

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    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Don't forget, the GSOT didn't play classless football like the Pats are doing, padding their numbers and running up the score. Martz did have a few questionable 4th quarter plays, but no going for it on 4th and 1 when up by 30 in the 4th quarter.
    Our numbers would have been much greater if we had played like the Pats do...

  7. #7
    BigGameMN Guest

    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As much as I hate to admit it this years Pats offense looks like the best I've ever seen. I'll know for sure after the season is over. Oh and I completely disagree that anything they are doing is classless. I call it doing you job. If teams don't like it then let them man up and stop somebody. The Colts had them held to 10 points during the 4th quarter so it can be done.

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    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Doing your job is winning, being classless is going for it on 4th and 1 when you're winning by 30 points and there's 5 min left in the game.

  9. #9
    BigGameMN Guest

    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Doing your job is winning, being classless is going for it on 4th and 1 when you're winning by 30 points and there's 5 min left in the game.
    Oh please. What would you have them do, kick a field goal? Or better yet I guess you think they should start taking knees in the 3rd quarter. If you can't stop the 4th string running back on a dive play then you deserve to have 50 hanged on your head. As a matter of fact I don't think they score enough. I would love to see them hang 80 on somebody.

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    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Except they don't put the 4th string running back in. What I would have them do is what everyone else does, if you're 4th and 1 and ahead by 30 points with 4 minutes left, let the clock run as long as you can and punt the ball or kick a field goal if you're that close. There's no need to go for it.

    If they put their second or third string offense on the field and kept scoring anyway, different story, that's just terrible defense. They don't do that though.

  11. #11
    BigGameMN Guest

    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Except they don't put the 4th string running back in.
    They ran their fullback and their backup fullback who they just signed off their practice squad a month ago 20 times in the 2nd half.

    I know I'm in the minority on this but I just love the way the Patriots are playing right now. Every single person on that team who plays offense are giving everything they have to score a touchdown on every possession regardless of the score. That is how you stay sharp, that is how you continually dominate over 5 months, that is how you become perfect.

  12. #12
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    Re: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    BigGameMN,

    I agree...

    I don't like the Patriots....at all. (In fact for 'ME' they rival the derision with which I view the whiners) Having said that though, I will always tip my hat and give kudos to a talented team that are playing extremely well.

    I can see Brady breaking the TD record this year. I wouldn't be surprised if their offence eclipses what the Rams did in their best season.

    My gripe is, how have they managed to do it? Other than filming other team's playcalling(!) As far as I'm concerned, with the tools we had/have, we should have been a dynasty. At least from 1999-2005..

    Grrr.... bloody Patriots!!

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