Team Spirit author Mark Stewart talks about the OVERTIME web page.

Mark picks his favorite Rams

What’s new with the Los Angeles Rams? That’s what this page is all about.

The Team Spirit OVERTIME website begins where the Team Spirit books end.

That’s because football never stands still … And I can never squeeze everything I want into 48 pages!

Scroll down for team updates, player profiles, and stats you won’t find in the book. Click on the videos to the left to hear me talk about Team Spirit OVERTIME as well as my favorite players. And take a look below at some of the Rams collectibles I have in my home—pretty cool, right?

Enjoy this site, check back whenever you like, and contact me with any questions or comments.

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2022 Season

2022 Season Roundup: The Rams played 2021 almost injury-free and won the Super Bowl. The 2022 Rams battled injuries all year and finished 5–12. The health of the offensive line was a problem all season and when quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Cooper Kupp landed on the injured list, LA fans knew they would miss the playoffs. Even Aaron Donald, star of the defense, missed time. The Rams will not only have to stay healthy in 2023: the team needs to improve its pass defense on the line and in the secondary.

September 23, 2022: In a win over the Arizona Cardinals, Aaron Donald became just the second defensive tackle to reach 100 career sacks. The first was John Randle. Sacks did not become an official statistic until 1982.

2022 Season Preview: Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp will draw lots of double-teams in the Rams’ passing attack this year. Which is why the team added Allen Robinson, who was the prime receiving target for several years with the Chicago Bears. You can’t double-team two guys without asking for big trouble. The LA defense, which chewed up opponents in 2021, might be even better in 2022 thanks to veteran Bobby Wagner, who joins Aaron Donald on a ferocious D.

January 09, 2022: Cooper Kupp became the first player since 2005 to win the pass-receiving “triple crown.” He led the NFL with 145 catches, 1,947 yards, and 16 touchdowns.

2021 Season

2021 Season Roundup: The Rams made bold moves in 2021 and they paid off with a Super Bowl victory. New quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 41 touchdowns, while veterans Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller played well after joining LA during the season. Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp were the Rams’ best players and they led a fourth-quarter comeback win over the Bengals in the Super Bowl. Kupp was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year and caught the game-winning pass from Stafford in the Super Bowl.

2021 Season Preview: One of the biggest moves of the off-season was LA’s decision to replace quarterback Jared Goff with rifle-armed Matthew Stafford. With talented targets including newcomer DeSean Jackson, Stafford could pass the Rams to a division title and all the way to the Super Bowl. That may depend on the defense, which counts on the shutdown skills of cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Injuries can change the picture in a hurry in the NFL, but if Stafford and his teammates stay healthy, they could have 10 wins by Thanksgiving.

2020 Season

2020 Season Roundup: Defense was the name of the game for the Rams in 2020. Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and Jalen Ramsey led a unit that allowed just over 18 points a game. The LA offense had its moments, too. Jared Goff threw for almost 4,000 yards, with wideouts Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods combining for 182 catches. The Rams finished second to the Seahawks in the NFC West but beat them in the playoffs. Unfortunately, LA didn’t have enough firepower to get past the Packers in the next round.

2020 Season Roundup: The Rams showed how hard it can be to return to the Super Bowl last season. This season, they a super-focused on getting back to the big game. Quarterback Jared Goff should rebound from a poor 2019 and the offensive line hopes to stay injury-free. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald could finish 1-2 in Defensive Player of the Year voting. If that happens, the Rams should easily win a dozen games, even with the 49ers in the same division.

2019 Season

2019 Season Roundup: The Rams just missed a return trip to the playoffs with a 9–7 record. Injuries on offense slowed the team, while the defense didn’t make the big plays it did during its Super Bowl run the year before. The team used running back Todd Gurley less and quarterback Jared Goff more. The result was Gurley’s lowest-ever total of rushing yards, while two receivers—Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp—put up 90-catch seasons. Aaron Donald and Marcus Peters had All-Pro seasons on defense.

2019 Season Preview: Losing the Super Bowl often makes teams better. Rams fans certainly hope so. To return to the big game, L.A. will need another big year from Jared Goff and Todd Gurley will have to stay healthy. The team has talent at every position and a young, dynamic coach. Newcomers Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews give the team greater depth and experience.

2018 Season

2018 Season Roundup: The Rams won the NFC championship in overtime against the Saints to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2000 season. They fell to the Patriots 13–3 in a tough defensive battle. The Rams were the class of the NFC during the regular season. Todd Gurley led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns and had his second All-Pro season in a row. Jared Goff threw for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns. His favorite receivers were Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. The Rams’ defense starred pass rushers Aaron Donald and Ndomukong Suh. Gurley was the Offensive Player of the Year and Donald was the Defensive Player of the Year. Sean McVay was named Coach of the Year.

November 19, 2018: The Rams defeated the Chiefs 54–51. The 105 total points set a record for a Monday Night Football game. The Chiefs’ 51 points were the most ever scored by a losing team in league history.

2018 Season Preview: After a sensational 11-win season, the Rams will have to prove they can rule the NFC West again. With the always-dangerous Seahawks and improving 49ers in the same division, they won’t have much room for mistakes. Quarterback Jared Goff will have a new receiver to target in 2018, Brandin Cooks, and will continue to use running back Todd Gurley as a key part of the passing game. The Los Angeles defense has lots of star power—the challenge will be for the D to mesh its individual skills for 60 minutes a game.

2017 Season

2017 Season Roundup: The Rams made one of the great turnarounds in NFL history, going from 4–12 to 11–5 in one season. Jared Goff proved that he was a big-time quarterback, Todd Gurley was an unstoppable running back, and Aaron Donald was named Defensive Player of the Year. The Rams’ special teams were the best in the league. A loss to the Falcons in the playoffs was a disappointment for Los Angeles fans, but the team’s future looks bright.

January 1, 2018: Running back Todd Gurley was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time during the 2017 season.

2017 Season Preview: The Rams should double their four wins from 2016 if quarterback Jared Goff continues to improve. He’s got an NFL arm and NFL toughness. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald is playing a new position, but that shouldn’t keep him from getting votes for Defensive Player of the Year.

2016 Season

2016 Season Roundup: The Rams’ first season back in Los Angeles fell short of expectations. After starting the year 3–1, the team collapsed and won only once more. The poor finish cost coach Jeff Fisher his job. Among the few bright spots were receiver Kenny Britt and Aaron Donald. Britt became the first Rams wide receiver since 2007 to reach 1,000 yards. Donald, a ferocious defensive tackle, was the team’s best player and was honored as an All-Pro for the second time.

2016 Season Preview: The Rams begin their second stint in Los Angeles with a chance to have their first winning season since 2003. That will take repeat performances by running back Todd Gurley and defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who were two of the best players at their positions. Los Angeles will also need improvement from its receivers and its pass defense. Most of all, Case Keenum must grow into the quarterback job.

2015 Season

2015 Season Preview: A super-tough defense will have to keep the score low for quarterback Nick Foles, who may not have much help on offense this year. He’ll be depending on a lot of young linemen to protect him. If they step up, the Rams could be a playoff surprise.

2014 Season

January 31, 2015: Defensive Tackle Aaron Donlad was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

September 1, 2014: Another knee injury will keep quarterback Sam Bradford off the field, giving Shaun Hill a chance to break out in 2014. The Rams will need big years out of running back Zac Stacy and pass rushers Chris Long and Robert Quinn if they hope to compete in the NFC West.ess than 100% heading into the season.

2013 Season

December 22, 2013: Robert Quinn had three sacks against the Buccaneers to set a new team record with 18 for the year. He finished 2013 with a total of 19.

November 10, 2013: Tavon Austin returned a punt 98 yards and scored twice more on two long passing plays. He joined Gale Sayers and Randy Moss as the only players 22 or younger to score three TDs of 50 or more yards in the same game.

October 13, 2013: Alec Ogletree intercepted a pass by T.J. Yates of the Texans on the 2 yard line and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest “Pick 6” ever by a rookie, and tied a n NFL record for the longest touchdown return by a linebacker.

September 4, 2013: Coach Jeff Fisher promised he would make a difference in his first year with the St. Louis defense and special teams, and he did. Now he focuses on quarterback Sam Bradford and a very young offense. If Fisher has the same success, the Rams could sneak into the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. The team will need inexperienced players such as Chris Givens, Daryl Richardson, and Brian Quick to play like veterans for that to happen.

2012 Roundup

February 2, 2013: A poor first half doomed the Rams to a third-place finish in the NFC West. Sam Bradford and Stephen Jackson had standout seasons to lead the offense, but the team was outscored by 49 points to finish 7–8–1. The tie was the first in the NFL since 2008.

September 16, 2012: Danny Amendola caught 12 passes in the first half of a game against the Washington Redskins. He was just the second player in NFL history with a dozen reception in one half.

Summer, 2012: Sam Bradford is a year older and wiser, and the Rams have a great new coach in Jeff Fisher. If the blocking holds up, St. Louis could shock the experts and go all the way to the playoffs in 2012.

More Go-To Guys

This old posed shot is the only one I have of Parker Hall. He was a huge star when he entered the military, but he had nothing left when World War II ended. (Author’s Collection)

I thought Roman Gabriel was the coolest guy in football when I was a kid. (Sports Illustrated/TIME Inc.)

Marc Bulger signed this photo. He was cut by the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons before he became the Rams’ quarterback. (Author’s Collection)

  • Parker Hall — Quarterback/Kicker
    Born: 12/10/1916
    Died: 2/8/2005
    Played for Team: 1939 to 1942
    Parker Hall was the Rams’ greatest star when they played in Cleveland. In 1939, he became the first pro to complete 100 passes in a season and was named league MVP as a rookie. Hall was also one of the NFL’s best punters.

  • Jim Benton — Receiver
    Born: 9/25/1916
    Died: 3/28/2001
    Played for Team: 1938 to 1940, 1942 & 1944 to 1947
    Jim Benton had long arms and enormous hands—perfect for catching footballs. When quarterback Bob Waterfield joined the Rams, the two were almost unstoppable. Benton led the NFL in catches once and receiving yards twice.

  • Deacon Jones — Defensive Lineman
    Born: 12/9/1938
    Played for Team: 1961 to 1971
    If an opponent limited Deacon Jones to one or two sacks in a game, it was considered a success. No one during the 1960s was better at getting to the quarterback. Jones often used a move called the head slap, which is now illegal. He would whack a blocker on the side of the helmet and in the instant it took him to recover, Jones would blow past him.

  • Roman Gabriel — Quarterback
    Born: 8/5/1940
    Played for Team: 1962 to 1972
    At 6′ 5″, Roman Gabriel was the biggest quarterback of his era. In 1967, the Rams lost only one game behind him. In 1969, he opened the season with 11 wins in a row. Gabriel was named NFL MVP that season.

  • Henry Ellard — Receiver
    Born: 7/21/1961
    Played for Team: 1983 to 1993
    If there were an award for the highest-jumping receiver, Henry Ellard would have won it every year. Though he stood a shade under six feet, he soared over defensive backs to make spectacular catches. In 1992, he almost qualified for the Olympics in the triple-jump.

  • Marc Bulger — Quarterback
    Born: 4/5/1977
    Played for Team: 2000 to 2009
    When injuries to their quarterbacks threatened to destroy the Rams’ 2002 season, Marc Bulger stepped in to save the day. He went 6–0 before he too was felled by an injury. It wasn’t long after that when the Rams decided that Bulger was their quarterback of the future. He played in two Pro Bowls as a Ram and passed for more than 3,800 yards three times from 2003 to 2006.

More Fun Facts

I always wanted to be called Hacksaw when I was a teenager. But I was forbidden to play with sharp tools, so that wasn’t happening. (Topps, Inc.)

    The Rams’ defensive leader during the 1979 Super Bowl season was Jack Youngblood. He inspired his teammates that year by getting 18 sacks despite playing several games on a broken leg. Merlin Olsen called him the “perfect defensive end.”

    One of the Rams’ most popular players during the 1970s was linebacker Jack Reynolds. He had a scary nickname: Hacksaw. Reynolds got it in college after he sawed a car in half. He was angry after his team lost a game 38–0.

    In 1999, Az Hakim scored four touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals. That tied a team record shared by Bob Shaw, Harold Jackson, and Crazylegs Hirsch.

League Leaders

Tom Fears and Elroy Hirsch got a lot of publicity in the 1950s, but their teammate Bob Boyd was also one of the NFL’s best. (Topps, Inc.)

This card of Billy Wade is one of my all-time favorites. (Topps, Inc.)

How many football fans know that this was Bucky Pope on the cover of this old videotape? Bucky once average more than 30 yards per catch for an entire season. His nickname was “The Catawba Claw.” (NFL Films)

Will Sherman specialized in returning interceptions for long touchdowns. (Bell Brands)

    1952 — Dan Towler — 894
    1983 — Eric Dickerson — 1,808
    1984 — Eric Dickerson — 2,105
    1986 — Eric Dickerson — 1,821
    1987 — Charles White — 1,374

    1945 — Jim Benton — 1,067
    1947 — Jim Benton — 981
    1950 — Tom Fears — 1,116
    1951 — Elroy Hirsch — 1,495
    1954 — Bob Boyd — 1,212
    1958 — Del Shofner — 1.097
    1988 — Henry Ellard — 1,414
    1996 — Isaac Bruce — 1,338
    2000 — Torry Holt — 1,635
    2003 — Torry Holt — 1,696

    1954 — Norm Van Brocklin — 2,637
    1958 — Billy Wade — 2,875
    2001 — Kurt Warner — 4,830

    1939 — Johnny Drake — 9
    1940 — Johnny Drake — 9
    1952 — Dan Towler — 10
    1954 — Dan Towler — 11
    1984 — Eric Dickerson — 14 (tied for NFL lead)
    1987 — Charles White — 11 (tied for NFL lead)
    1988 — Greg Bell — 16
    1989 — Greg Bell — 15
    1990 — Cleveland Gary — 14 (tied for NFL lead)
    2017 — Todd Gurley — 13
    2018 — Todd Gurley — 17

    1951 — Elory Hirsch — 17
    1964 — Bucky Pope — 10 (tied for NFL lead)
    1973 — Harold Jackson — 13

    1969 — Roman Gabriel — 24
    1988 — Jim Everett — 31
    1989 — Jim Everett — 29
    2001 — Kurt Warner — 36

    1951 — Elroy Hirsch — 102
    1973 — David Ray — 130
    2000 — Marshall Faulk — 160
    2001 — Marshall Faulk — 128
    2017 — Greg Zuerlein — 158

    1952 — Dick “Night Train” Lane — 14
    1955 — Will Sherman — 11
    1976 — Monte Jackson — 10
    1996 — Keith Lyle — 9 (tied for NFL lead)
    1997 — Ryan McNeil — 9

    1999 — Kevin Carter — 17
    2018 — Aaron Donald — 20.5

Playing for the Championship

1949 NFL Championship Philadelphia Eagles Lost 14–0
1950 NFL Championship Cleveland Browns Lost 24–20
1951 NFL Championship Cleveland Browns Won 24–17
1955 NFL Championship Cleveland Browns Lost 38–14
1974 NFC Championship Minnesota Vikings Lost 14–10
1975 NFC Championship Dallas Cowboys Lost 37–7
1976 NFC Championship Minnesota Vikings Lost 24–13
1978 NFC Championship Dallas Cowboys Lost 28–0
1979 NFC Championship Tampa Bay Buccaneers Won 9–0
1979 Super Bowl XIV Pittsburgh Steelers Lost 31–19
1985 NFC Championship Chicago Bears Lost 24–0
1989 NFC Championship San Francisco 49ers Lost 30–3
1999 NFC Championship Tampa Bay Buccaneers Won 11–6
1999 Super Bowl XXXIV Tennessee Titans Won 23–16
2001 NFC Championship Philadelphia Eagles Won 29–24
2001 Super Bowl XXXVI New England Patriots Lost 20–17
2018 NFC Championship New Orleans Saints Won 26–23
2018 Super Bowl VIII New England Patriots Lost 13–3

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