How Many Super Bowls Have the Rams Played In?
The Los Angeles Rams are playing in their second Super Bowl as an actual resident of Los Angeles, and for the second time, they are playing a “home” game.
This year, in the 2022 Super Bowl, they are literally playing at home, with the game against the Cincinnati Bengals being held at the Rams’ home stadium, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
When the Rams went to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history in 1979, the game was played at the Rose Bowl in nearby Pasadena, marking the first time one of the teams was playing in its home region, if not exactly its home stadium.
In between those games, the Rams spent nearly a quarter-century in St. Louis, going to two more Super Bowls and winning the only one in franchise history. Here’s a look at all four previous Rams Super Bowls.
1979: Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
The Rams made the playoffs with a 9-7 record and were being led by their backup quarterback, Vince Ferragamo, who engineered a huge road upset of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round (in Roger Staubach’s last game). The Rams then shut out the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-0 in the NFC Championship Game to reach the Super Bowl for the first time. It marked the first time in Super Bowl history that a team’s backup quarterback started the championship game.
Facing the Steelers, playing in their fourth Super Bowl in six years, the Rams stood toe-to-toe for three quarters, forcing Terry Bradshaw into three interceptions and taking a 19-17 lead late in the third quarter on a halfback-option touchdown pass by Lawrence McCutcheon.
After the Steelers took a 24-19 lead on a 73-yard Bradshaw-to-John Stallworth touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, the Rams drove right back down the field. But Ferragamo then threw his only interception of the game to Jack Lambert, and the Steelers iced the game with a Franco Harris touchdown run for a 31-19 lead.
1999: St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16
The Rams won the only Super Bowl in franchise history at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The 1999 Rams were famous for the Cinderella story of quarterback Kurt Warner, who went from bagging groceries to engineering one of the most prolific offensive performances in NFL history, earning the offense the nickname, “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
But for all the offense, the game would be decided by a terrific individual defensive play. Led by quarterback Steve McNair and running back Eddie George, the Titans rallied from a 16-0 deficit midway through the third quarter to tie the score at 16-16 on an Al Del Greco field goal with 2:12 remaining.
But as they had done all season, the Rams struck back quickly and spectacularly, with Warner connecting with Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown on the first play after Tennessee’s tying field goal, giving the Rams a 23-16 lead.
But the Titans refused to quit, driving down to the Rams’ 10-yard line with six seconds left. The Titans ran a play that called for wide receiver Kevin Dyson to slant over the middle, catch a pass from McNair and run into the end zone.
And the play worked perfectly to plan … except that Rams’ linebacker Mike Jones read the play and was able to tackle Dyson, his arm desperately outstretched with the ball in his hand, a yard short of the goal line as time expired.
2001: New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17
The Rams saw a mirror image of themselves from the 1999 season when they took on the New England Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome in January 2002. The game was played against the backdrop of 9/11, which had taken place four months earlier.
In a bit of fitting poetic license, the team called the Patriots were one of the participants. And they were a true underdog story in the mold of the Warner-led Rams of two years earlier, with sixth-round draft pick Tom Brady replacing an injured Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 and leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl against the now-establishment powerhouse Rams, who were in their second Super Bowl in three seasons.
But for most of this game, it was Bill Belichick’s defense that outplayed Mike Martz’s offense, as the Patriots took a 17-3 second-half lead. Warner would lead a furious fourth-quarter comeback, tying the score at 17-17 with 1:21 left, but Brady would have the final say, leading the Patriots into field goal range before Adam Vinatieri broke the tie at the buzzer for a 20-17 Patriots win.
2018: New England Patriots 13, Los Angeles Rams 3
The final Super Bowl victory in a Patriots uniform for Brady was the first of two Super Bowl appearances for the Rams in four seasons.
With Jared Goff at quarterback, the Rams had the No. 2 offense in the NFL behind Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs. The Rams and Chiefs had combined for the only game in NFL history with both teams topping 50 points, with the Rams winning 54-51.
But this 53rd Super Bowl, played once again in Atlanta, became the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history, with only one touchdown scored, by future Rams running back Sony Michel. That short run was set up by a Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski pass play down to the Rams’ 2-yard line and gave the Patriots a 10-3 lead. The Rams would become just the second team in Super Bowl history to fail to score a touchdown, joining the 1971 Miami Dolphins, who lost Super Bowl 6 to the Dallas Cowboys, 24-3.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference