The post-expansion NFC West wrapped up its fifteenth year of existence last season, and the team with the most division titles (8), playoff appearances (11), Super Bowl appearances (3), and Super Bowl wins (1) is the Seattle Seahawks. Would anyone like to take a guess as to which team has the fewest of everything I’ve just mentioned? If you picked the St. Louis-turned-Los Angeles Rams, congratulations.
If the Cleveland Browns are the NFL’s Factory of Sadness, then the Rams have at least been the NFC equivalent for more than a decade. This was once the Greatest Show on Turf, for crying out loud! Let’s run down some incredible facts about their long stretch of futility:
- The last time the Rams made the playoffs was in 2004-05, with a record of 8-8 and a point differential of -73. Only the Bills and Browns have failed to make the postseason at least once during that span, so the Rams have the longest drought for any NFC team.
- In that same season, the Rams memorably swept the Seahawks and eliminated them in the wild card round, which is their most recent playoff win. They scored seven touchdowns in their two games at Seattle and averaged 30 points. The Rams have only managed ten touchdowns in their twelve trips to Seattle since the 2005-06 season, and have scored no more than 23 points in any of these games.
- The Rams’ last division-winning season was in 2003-04 and quickly ended in a 29-23 double overtime home loss to the Carolina Panthers. This means that their last home playoff win was in 2001-02, back when the Seahawks were in the AFC West and the Arizona Cardinals were somehow in the NFC East.
- In the 32-team era, the Rams have managed just one season with a winning record (12-4 back in 2003-04), which is the fewest in the NFL. That’s right, even the Bills and Browns have had at least two.
- Hat tip to Scott Kacsmar for this one, so I’ll just embed the tweets here.
The Rams haven't had a 4-game winning streak since late in 2003.— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) July 2, 2017
The Patriots have had 22 winning streaks of 4+ games since 2003.
There have been 265 winning streaks of 4+ games in the NFL since the Rams last had one.— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) July 2, 2017
- The Rams haven’t been three games above .500 since October 2006, when they were 4-1. To add to that, the Rams haven’t been over .500 at any point during the month of December since 2003.
- From 2007-2009, the Rams racked up an incredibly pathetic record of 6-42. For comparison, the Lions went 9-39 in the same time span, although 7 of those wins came in 2007 and none in 2008.
- Offensive DVOA ranking by season (2005-2016) during their playoff drought: 20th, 14th, 31st, 32nd, 32nd, 30th (Bradford era begins), 32nd, 21st, 22nd, 25th, 29th, 32nd (Goff era begins)
- The Rams have been shutout six times since 2005. Only the Raiders (7) have been held to a goose egg on the scoreboard more than them.
- A complete history of Rams starting quarterbacks after Kurt Warner had seen his best days in St. Louis end during the 2002 season: Marc Bulger, Jamie Martin, Scott Covington (Who?), Chris Chandler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gus Frerotte, Brock Berlin, Trent Green, Kyle Boller, Keith Null, Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis, Shaun Hill, Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Jared Goff.
- In 2006, Sunday Night Football on NBC became the marquee primetime game of the week, lessening the value of ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The only time the Rams have featured on SNF on NBC is the 2010 week 17 game against the Seahawks, which was flexed into an otherwise empty slot. Cleveland (2008), Buffalo (2007), and Jacksonville (2008) are the only other teams who’ve only made one regular season appearance on the network.
Of course, as mediocre-to-laughably awful as this franchise has been, they have given the Seahawks a few scares and caused the occasional upset victory. They could’ve had a couple more unlikely wins if not for these Rams-ian failures.
Here is every angle of Jared Goff failing to complete pass to a receiver with no defender within 10 yards of him pic.twitter.com/DZI2OE3tlj— Ben B (@guga31bb) June 30, 2017
One day, the Rams will be good again (and so will the Bills, Browns, and Jaguars). I know there will be jokes in the comments that this will most certainly not be the case, but no team just stays a singular way forever, except the Patriots, who will probably at least make the Super Bowl with Hologram Belichick and a 97-year-old Tom Brady at QB. For now, just enjoy their incompetence and hope that they stay locked in the cellar.