RAM DEFENSE
With less than 8 minutes to go in the 5th game of the 1967 season, the 3-1 Rams were losing to the 4-0 Colts 24-14.
The Colts and the Rams were in the same division called the Coastal. There was no wildcard teams back then and a Colt win virtually gives them the division.
The Rams Bruce Gossett kicks a 47 yard FG that bounces thru the uprights and makes the score 24-17 Colts.
Johnny Unitas, who was the expert at closing out games was rushed hard by the fearsome foursome and didn't see Maxie Baughan, who intercepted the pass, giving the Rams the ball on the Colts 18 yard line.
Rams QB Roman Gabriel finds Bernie Casey in the endzone to make the score 24-24. The Rams settle for a tie.
After the game in the Ram's locker room, Head Coach George Allen said "A tie can't hurt us, we play the Colts in the last game of the season and if we wind up tied for first, we will win the division by beating them."
The very next week the Rams have another tie game against Washington. But, so do the Colts (what are the odds of that).
The Colts and Rams win the rest of their games. So the 11-0-2 Colts meet the 10-1-2 Rams and the winner wins the division.
Both teams felt each other out for the first quarter or so, like two heavy-weights in a title bout. After one quarter of play, the Colts have a 7-3 lead.
The Rams took over on their 20 after Baltimore's kicker Lou Michaels missed a field goal. On the first play, the Rams called a play-action pass, it worked perfectly.
The line did a great job of buying Roman Gabrial some time, the backs sold the fake and Snow ran a good route. He was behind the defense when Gabriel heaved the ball about 60 yards and into his arms.
He look it the rest of the way untouched for a touchdown.
The Rams scored 14 unanswered points in the second quarter, taking control of the game. The sudden surge wasn't all the offense's doing.
The defense helped build on that lead when Deacon forced Unitas into throwing a wobbly pass that we intercepted.
Using some quick-hit pass plays, the Rams drove the ball down into Colts territory and scored on a 23-yard pass to Casey, which gave the Rams a 17-7 lead at the half.
When the third quarter began, the defense wasn't going to let them score and the Ram offense still had a few touchdowns left in them. LB Jack Pardee helped set up a field goal with another interception of Unitas, and after the Colts trimmed the lead to 20-10 with a field goal of their own, the Rams broke the game open.
In the fourth quarter, they drove the ball 67 yards downfield, hitting paydirt when Gabe connected with Bill Truax on a nine-yard TD pass.
And when it came time to put the game away, it was fitting that it was the Rams defense that set up the offense.
Getting stronger as the day wore on, the defense sacked Unitas three times in four downs.
Dick Bass scored on a two-yard run to give the Rams a 34-10 victory and send the 77,000 fans in the Coliseum home happy.
Gabriel ended up completing 18 of 22 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns.
But the real story was the Rams defense, which sacked Unitas seven times and pressured and pounded him on many other occasions.
You will never see a team go 11-1-2 and stay home for the playoffs. But, the Colts did.
Most of the Colt players said that was the greatest Colt team ever. You talk about a rivalry, this was it. <