1976 Los Angeles Rams season

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1976 Los Angeles Rams season
Head coach Chuck Knox
Owner Carroll Rosenbloom
Home field Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Results
Record 10–3–1
Division place 1st NFC West
Playoff finish Won Divisional (14–12 at Dallas Cowboys)
Lost Conference (24–13 at Minnesota Vikings)

The 1976 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's 39th year with the National Football League and the 31st season in Los Angeles. The Rams continued their dominance of the NFC West, winning their 4th straight division title as well as their 4th straight playoff berth. After a record setting 1975 season in which their defense was nearly untouchable, the Rams were picked by many to win the Super Bowl. Despite not improving on its 12-2 record from 1975, the team continued to be one of the best in the NFL. This Rams team is quite notable for setting many records during the season. One good notable record was breaking the franchise record for points scored in a game with 59 in a 59-0 devouring of the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams would ultimately have another year of success, finishing 10-3-1. In the playoffs, they would beat Dallas 14-12 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. However, the Rams would lose the NFC Championship game to the Minnesota Vikings 24-13.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team

Roster[edit]

1976 Los Angeles Rams roster
Quarterbacks


Running backs

Wide receivers


Tight ends


Offensive linemen


Defensive linemen


Linebackers


Defensive backs


Special teams



Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance Summary
1 September 12, 1976 at Atlanta Falcons W 30–14
53,607
With James Harris injured, Ron Jaworski opened the Rams' season as the starter. Jaworski ran for a touchdown and passed for another, but was injured late. RB's Lawrence McCutcheon and John Cappelletti each ran for over 100 yards and the Ram defense picked off three passes, including an interception return touchdown by CB Monte Jackson.
2 September 19, 1976 at Minnesota Vikings T 10–10
47,310
With Harris and Jaworski both down, the Rams turned to rookie Pat Haden. Haden played it close to the vest with ball-control as McCutcheon and Cappelletti both went over 100 yards rushing for the second straight week. Rams overcame a 10–0 deficit in the fourth to forge the tie.
3 September 26, 1976 New York Giants W 24–10
60,698
Harris returned as the starter and passed for a touchdown as the Rams scored 24 unanswered points after a 10–0 first quarter Giants lead. Rams' defense picked off 4 passes.
4 October 3, 1976 at Miami Dolphins W 31–28
60,753
In perhaps his finest performance as Ram QB, Harris passed for 436 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another as he helped the Rams overcome a 14–0 halftime deficit. Tom Dempsey won it with a late field goal.
5 October 11, 1976 San Francisco 49ers L 16–0
80,532
In a Monday-night showdown against the upstart 49ers, Rams were dominated at home by the Niner defense, especially the pass rush. The 49ers sacked Harris 10 times, six alone by DE Tommy Hart. Harris injured his shoulder late and would miss the next few games.
6 October 17, 1976 Chicago Bears W 20–12
71,751
Rams went with a Haden/Jaworski platoon. McCutcheon scored two touchdowns on a run and on a pass from Haden.
7 October 24, 1976 at New Orleans Saints W 16–10
51,984
Despite being outgained in yards 422–214 and completing only five passes, the Rams won on a Haden-to-Harold Jackson touchdown bomb late. Rams defense did record nine QB sacks. Jaworski would be injured, but Harris would return for the next game.
8 October 31, 1976 Seattle Seahawks W 45–6
52,035
Harris got the start in this blowout and passed for two touchdowns. Monte Jackson had his second interception return touchdown of the season as well.
9 November 7, 1976 at Cincinnati Bengals L 20–12
52,480
Ken Anderson passed for two touchdowns. Harris played the entire game, but coach Chuck Knox announced that Haden would be his starter for the remainder of the season.
10 November 14, 1976 St. Louis Cardinals L 30–28
64,698
Haden started and passed for a touchdown and ran for one, but the Rams couldn't hold off a Cardinal comeback led by Jim Hart's 324 passing yards. Jim Bakken won it with a late FG.
11 November 21, 1976 at San Francisco 49ers W 23–3
58,573
Rams avenged the earlier loss by holding the 49ers to 88 net yards of offense and nine of 28 pass completions. Haden only completed 3 passes, but one was for a touchdown to Ron Jessie. Jackson had his third INT return touchdown.
12 November 28, 1976 New Orleans Saints W 33–14
54,906
Haden threw for two scores and ran for another and McCutcheon had 119 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Rams rolled to a 26–7 halftime lead and cruised. Rams had 323 yards on the ground.
13 December 4, 1976 Atlanta Falcons W 59–0
57,366
McCutcheon scored 3 touchdowns and Haden ran for one. Harris entered the game in the 4th and had a touchdown run and touchdown pass as the Rams mauled the Falcons.
14 December 11, 1976 at Detroit Lions W 20–17
73,470
Haden started, but left the game early with strained knee ligaments. Harris came in and led the Rams to a comeback win, but Haden would be the starter for the playoffs.

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional December 19, 1976 at Dallas Cowboys W 14–12
62,436
Conference Championship December 26, 1976 at Minnesota Vikings L 24–13
47,191

Standings[edit]

NFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Los Angeles Rams(3) 10 3 1 .750 5–1–0 8–2–1 351 190 W4
San Francisco 49ers 8 6 0 .571 4–2 5–5 270 190 W1
New Orleans Saints 4 10 0 .286 2–5 3–8 253 346 L3
Atlanta Falcons 4 10 0 .286 2–5 4–8 172 312 L3
Seattle Seahawks 2 12 0 .143 1–3 1–12 229 429 L5

References[edit]