Chuck Knox, who had coached the Rams for the previous five seasons, left the team after the 1977 season to join the Buffalo Bills.
In February, 1978, Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom hired former Rams coach George Allen, with much media fanfare. Allen had coached the Rams from 1966–1970, and had recently been dismissed by the Washington Redskins, whom he had coached from 1971–1977.
His second stint as the Rams' head coach was an unfortunate experience for all concerned. Allen did not have full authority over personnel and thus worked with general manager Don Klosterman to oversee a talented roster that had made the team a perennial playoff challenger. Allen brought with him his scrupulous discipline and attention to detail, which extended to practice-field protocol and dining-hall decorum. Almost immediately, a group of Ram players chafed at the regulations, and some made their grievances public. A few, including standout linebacker Isiah Robertson, briefly left camp.
As newspaper reports were quoting players expressing confidence that differences would be resolved, the Rams played listlessly and lost the first two games of the 1978 exhibition schedule. Rosenbloom decided that for the season to be salvaged a change must be made, and the announcement of Allen's abrupt dismissal was made on August 13, 1978, just weeks before the season opener. Many of Allen's own players were surprised by the decision. Defensive coordinator Ray Malavasi, well-respected and liked by players (and the only holdover from Chuck Knox' staff), replaced Allen.
Rams got some early bragging rights against the defending Super Bowl champs. Pat Haden's 42-yard bomb in the third quarter to Willie Miller and Rod Perry's interception return TD provided the winning points.
Bucs QB Doug Williams left early with a broken jaw, but backup Mike Rae nearly led a comeback to a major upset with his passing and running (4 scrambles for 95 yards). Bucs tied it in fourth on a tipped TD pass from Rae to J.K. McKay, but Corral won it with a late field goal as Rams narrowly avoided a third straight loss.
Browns dominated on a cold, rainy day, intercepting three Pat Haden passes and getting a 57-yard TD run by Greg Pruitt. Rams RB Lawrence McCutcheon suffered a severe calf muscle pull and was declared out for the season.
This one was won by the Rams' pass defense. Giants had only 12 completions in 34 attempts and 4 interceptions, including one returned for a TD by Pat Thomas. Giants ran ball well (185 yards), but it wasn't enough.
Rams jumped to a 13–0 lead at home, but couldn't hold back the Bengals as kicker Chris Bahr won it with two late field goals. Pat Haden threw for a then-career-high 283 yards despite injuring his passing thumb in the third quarter.
After the game was tied 10–10 at halftime, the Rams dominated the second half by scoring 24 unanswered points. After the Vikings opened up the scoring with a field goal, Los Angeles marched 59 yards to score on quarterback Pat Haden's 9-yard touchdown pass to Willie Miller.
This game was a tough defensive struggle until Charlie Waters intercepted two Pat Haden passes intended for tight end Terry Nelson. Waters' first interception came in the middle of the third and led to a 5-yard TD run by Tony Dorsett. Rams kicker Frank Corrall missed two first half field goal attempts, and with the score 14–0, the Rams were stopped on 4th and inches at the Dallas 21 yard line. Roger Staubach then led a touchdown drive that ended with a TD pass to Billy Joe Dupree. Thomas Henderson, who had said in pre-game interviews that the Rams "didn't have enough class to go to the Super Bowl", backed up his words by capping the scoring with a 58-yard interception return touchdown.