Saints-Rams NFL Rivalry
The History of the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles/Anaheim/St. Louis Rams Rivalry has been going on for quite a while and it has been a wild one. I’ve put together a gallery of classic NFL images from those games.
But first, a little history of that 50-plus year Saints-Rams rivalry.
The very first regular season game the Saints ever played was against the Rams. The Saints played the Rams at Tulane Stadium way back in 1967 season opener and it was a rookie kick returner named John Gilliam that returned the opening kickoff 94-yards for a touchdown. In the first game of the 1971 season, another rookie named Archie Manning ran a boot leg around the left side of the line with seconds left in the game to defeat the Rams and give the Saints their first opening day win since entering the league.
The Rams and Saints were actually in the same division for 30 years, the old NFC South, and some wild games were played in that time. In the 1970s and 1980s the Rams had some pretty good teams on the field and the inferior Saints were the constant underdog those years. The Rams great Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood actually admitted to “taking it easy” on Archie Manning because he felt so sorry for him. Even so, New Orleans did manage the infrequent upset. In week 8 of the 1978 season the Rams were riding a 7-0 record when the Saints topped them 10-3 after a Manning-to-Tony Galbreath touchdown late in the 4th quarter. In 1981 the Bum Phillips led Saints enjoyed the first ever seasonal sweep of the Rams. In the 1983 season finale, the Rams and Saints were met each other with the winner to advancing to post-season play as a wildcard contender. The Saints had dominated almost the entire game and were protecting a 24-23 lead. Rams QB Vince Ferragamo them marched his team down the field and kicker Mike Landsford booted the game winning fieldgoal as time expired. In 1988, Saints and the Dome Patrol’s historical goal-line stand turned in a 14-10 upset of a powerhouse Rams team and made the cover of Sports Illustrated that week.
There were other notable Saints-Rams games like Flipper Anderson setting a new receiving record against the Saints in 1989 with 15 catches and 336 yards and the Saints rallying back from an 18 point deficit in 2001 to beat Curt Warner‘s “Greatest Show on Turf”. But Saints fans will always remember the playoff game of 2001 and Az-Zahir Hakim‘s late game fumble that was recovered by back-up fullback and special teams’s player Brian Milne. The turnover sealed the Saints first ever playoff win.
All-in-all there have been 75 games played between the Saints and Rams. The Rams hold the edge with 41 wins. The Saints have won 34.