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A brief rundown of the series history between the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.
It is Tuesday again, and it is time for another Packers series history post. Today, I am covering Green Bay's history against the St. Louis Rams. This post presents a challenge for me: the Rams were the first team I did a "Series History" post for last year, so I need to churn out a new article instead of copy/pasting the one I wrote last season.
The Packers and Rams currently have a very long and storied history of playing each other, dating all the way back to 1937. Not only this, but the teams played twice a year from 1937-1966 (except for the 1943 season, when the Rams didn't play due to World War II). The Rams currently lead the series 45-43-2, and the playoff series is tied 1-1.
With the entry of the Cleveland Rams into the NFL, the Packers got two additional games against a team in the Midwest. Early on, the Packers dominated the head-to-head series, winning 12 of the first 14 games. The lone games that were not Packers wins were a loss to the Cleveland Rams in 1939 and a tie in 1940. This stretch of success continued against Cleveland up until the 1945 season.
In that year, the Rams went on a rampage and won nine of ten games, including both contests with the Packers. 1945 was a transition year, as the Rams ended up being perennial contenders for much of the next decade while the Packers sunk into the NFL's cellar. The series reflected this. From 1945-1958, the Rams, first in Cleveland in 1945 and then in Los Angeles from then on until 1994, won 22 of 28 games against the Packers. Most of these games were not close by any stretch of the imagination, either.
The Packers of Lombardi were the powerhouse of the early 1960s, and the series in the early part of that decade showed it. Under Lombardi, the Packers went 11-5-1 against the Rams in the regular season, and 1-0 in the playoffs (more on this later). However, 1967 was again a transition year as the Packers slowly faded into obscurity over the next 25 years while the Rams would end up spending much of that time among the elite teams in the NFL.
As a result of the teams' varying fortunes, the Rams won 13 of the next 17 games against the Packers up until the 1989 season. It is interesting to note that the Packers and Rams played each other nearly every season despite not being in the same division. There was also another notable feature during this span. The Packers did not win a road game against the Rams from 1966 until 1996, 30 years later (the Packers did beat the Raiders in Los Angeles in 1990, so it was not a pure losing streak in a city).
By 1990, the Rams were finally falling apart after 20 years of contending. The Packers beat the Rams in the season opener, and while the Rams won the next game in Los Angeles in 1991, the 1990 game marked the beginning of the current trend. Starting with that game, the Packers have won 10 of 14 games in the series. The yearly Packers-Rams game finally went on hold for the 1998 season, with no regular-season game between the teams after that until 2003. In 2004, Favre, handing off constantly to Najeh Davenport, won in a rout over St. Louis 45-17. Three years later, in 2007, the Packers beat the Rams 33-14 in St. Louis, clinching a first-round bye in the playoffs.
In 2009, Aaron Rodgers made his first start against the Rams as a Packer, and the Packers won 36-17 in St. Louis. The most recent game featured a prolific first-half scoring frenzy, after which neither team could score and the Packers won 24-3 in Lambeau Field.
As I indicated earlier, the Packers and Rams have met twice in the playoffs. The first game was after the 1967 season. In that year, the Rams went into Milwaukee having just beaten the Packers 27-24 in Los Angeles a few weeks earlier. Travis Williams ran for two touchdowns, Chuck Mercein added another, and Henry Jordan was all over Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel as the Packers won 28-7, setting up a second straight Packers-Cowboys NFL Championship game.
In 2001, the Packers, after beating the San Francisco 49ers, went to St. Louis to play the Kurt Warner-led Rams. The Rams defense, however, brought impetus with it, intercepting Brett Favre six times en route to a 45-17 win over the Packers.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the Rams?