Over the next week, fans are able to vote on ESPN what they believe the most memorable play in their teams history is and then the winners will go head to head in an NCAA style bracket. As you can imagine there are three plays in Rams history that are being considered, and they are…Ricky Proehl’s touchdown catch against the Buccaneers, Isaac Bruce’s 73 yard touchdown catch in the Super Bowl, and last but not least Mike Jones and “The Tackle”.
Ricky Proehl’s Touchdown Catch
With the Rams surprisingly in a defensive battle down 6-5 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Rams were looking for one big play to get them over the edge and send them so the Super Bowl. In 1999 the Rams had a plethora of options to go to on offense. They had Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim, and…..Ricky Proehl.
In his second year with the Rams, Proehl only had 33 receptions for 349 yards and not a single touchdown in 1999. This was a down year for Proehl as he had over 700 yards the year before to go along with three touchdowns.
On a third-and-4 at Tampa Bay’s 30 with 4 minutes, 50 seconds to go, Proehl would come up big when the Rams needed him the most. Proehl ran a fade route to the left corner of the end zone, leaped and pinned the ball to his left shoulder leaving every Rams fan holding their breath. Proehl reached over with his right arm to secure the ball before landing to complete the 30-yard touchdown grab and give the Rams an 11-6 lead to give the Rams the win and send them to the Super Bowl.
Isaac Bruce’s 73-Yard Touchdown Catch
After conceding a 16-point lead, the St. Louis Rams found themselves tied with the Tennessee Titans with a little over two minutes to go. Rather than simply march down the field, the Rams in ’99 were full of big plays, and that would not change on the big stage.
Rams quarterback Kurt Warner saw a mismatch on the defense that he wanted to exploit and that would include Isaac Bruce. The defense gave Warner what he wanted, and facing Jevon Kearse, also known as the freak, Warner delivered a perfect pass along the right sideline.
Bruce made a great adjustment on the ball that was slightly, but perfectly under thrown allowing the cornerback to fall off-balance and Bruce to make his way to the end zone and giving the Rams a 23-16 lead and give the Titans the ball with a little less than two-minutes left….and that leads us to the last play.
Mike Jones and “The Tackle”
Mike Jones may not have been the best linebacker in the NFL in the 1999 season, but he would be the one that the 1999 season is remembered for. Given that the Rams had scored so quickly, the Rams defense was left exhausted and had allowed the Steve McNair to march the Titans down the field with relative ease.
With six seconds left to go the Titans tried to move Jones with Frank Wycheck which would allow Kevin Dyson to break free underneath and score the touchdown. 99% of the time, that would have worked, but Jones came back to cover Dyson on the slant, wrapped his legs up, and became a brick wall that Dyson couldn’t quite break through.
Dyson came up one-yard short of sending the Super Bowl to its very first overtime, but thankfully Mike Jones was there to make the infamous tackle.
Although all three of these plays played a huge role and are very memorable in the Rams’ franchise, its hard to sway away from the tackle, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. My vote goes to Isaac Bruce’s 73-yard touchdown reception.
Yes, Jones’ tackle won the Rams the Super Bowl, but it was this reception that put the Rams in the lead. The Rams hadn’t scored since the third quarter, but when the big moment came up, the Rams offense was there to save the day.
Just the way Warner stood in the pocket and just took the hit from Kearse, yet still delivering a perfect pass to Bruce, is what makes this play so perfect. After this happened, you almost knew it was meant to be.
Go ahead and let us know what your favorite play in Rams history is in the comments section below, and then if you get a chance, head on over and give it a vote by clicking here.
Tags: St. Louis Rams