Rams Deny Saints Playoff Berth In 1983 – VIDEO
For New Orleans Saints fans, this is one of the most crushing defeats in team history.
Yes, this brings back unpleasant memories, but it also helps us to appreciate the success that the Saints have had in recent years even more.
The year was 1983, and the Saints went into their last game of the year, facing the Los Angeles Rams, with an opportunity to secure the first winning season in franchise history, as well as the first playoff berth.
Both came in with identical 8-7 records. If the Saints won, they were in the playoffs. If the Rams won, they would need help to reach the playoffs, which they eventually got.
The Saints led, 24-23, with under 2:00 to go, and had the Rams pinned deep in their own territory, at the 5-yard line.
Los Angeles quarterback Vince Ferragamo gave his team an opportunity however, completing 6-of-7 passes, for 70 yards, and setting-up a 42-yard field goal attempt by Mike Lansford.
Lansford kicked the ball just inside the left upright, handing the Saints one of the most devastating loses in franchise history.
That kick was only the sour exclamation point on a crazy game, and year, however.
In that Saints/Rams game, the Rams didn't score an offensive touchdown, and the Lansford field goal was the only offensive points Los Angeles scored the whole afternoon. The Rams intercepted two Ken Stabler passes, and returned them for touchdowns, returned a punt for a touchdown, and scored on a safety.
Heartbreaking, and frustrating, to say the least.
To make matters worse, of the six losses that the Saints had in '83, six of them were by a touchdown, or less, and in five of those six losses, the Rams finale included, the Saints actually out-gained the opposition, in terms of total yards.
Oh, and that game took place exactly week day prior to Christmas.
This game, and that season, may have been the most crushing for a franchise, and it's fans, that had way too many in their first 30-plus years.
This is the kick by Lansford, with commentary from Jack Buck and former Saints head coach Hank Stram, for CBS Sports.