During the Chuck Noll era of 1969 to 1991, the then Los Angeles Rams faced the Pittsburgh Steelers eight times – more than any other AFC team. Overall, the LA Rams were 4-4 against Noll’s Steelers. This is a respectable statistic considering over the course of his 23 seasons at the helm in Pittsburgh, Chuck Noll had a superior win/loss record of .566 in regular season games and .667 in playoff games.
Of course, the most famous game between the Rams and Steelers was Super Bowl XIV, which resulted in Pittsburgh lifting the Lombardi trophy for the fourth time. At the end of the third quarter, the massive underdog Los Angeles Rams were actually ahead 19-17. Sadly, at least for L.A., it was not stay that way for long, as two unanswered fourth-quarter touchdowns from two of Noll’s fellow Hall of Famers (John Stallworth and Franco Harris) ended the scoring, along with the Rams’ dreams. Noll said after the game, “This probably the best one we’ve ever had.”
Remarkably, that Super Bowl was the first time the Steelers, led by Noll, had beaten the Rams in the NFL era, with the previous three meetings in 1971, 1975 and 1978 all going the way of Los Angeles. It started a trend of victories for the next few meetings, with the Rams having to wait until 1987 to finally hand Noll another defeat. Noll would have the last laugh though, with the final Steelers vs. Rams bout of his reign in 1990 ending 41-10, in favor of Pittsburgh.
This week, with Chuck Noll’s passing, the NFL lost one of the all-time greats. Yes, die-hard Rams fans may feel a lingering resentment towards Noll’s Steelers for denying the franchise their first championship all those years ago. Sometimes, however, you have to put team difference aside and simply acknowledge greatness for what it is…
R.I.P. Chuck Noll.