A Tale of Two Seasons is the perfect way to describe the 1979 Los Angeles Rams. Because they were essentially a 500 team or worst in the first half of 1979. I believe the traditionally lowly and last place New Orléans Saints were poised to not only record their first winning season in 1979, make their first playoff appearance and win their first divisional title.
The Saints had a pretty solid team and with a better coaching staff and avoiding key injuries, maybe the Saints make the NFC Playoffs in 79. But all of these things happening weren’t because they were real good, but the Rams weren’t in the first half of 79. Because they were real beat up in 1979. With all sorts of key injuries in the backfield, offensive line, receivers and on defense as well.
The second half of the 79 Rams season were the real Los Angeles Rams that year. Because they got their players back and found their starting quarterback in Vince Feragamo. Who not only got healthy, but took over the starting QB position. They figured out who they were offensively with Feragamo. A running ball control team, with both short, middle and vertical threats in the passing game.
Which meant defenses including the great Pittsburg Steelers in Super Bowl 14. Because the Rams could run the ball with either Wendell Tyler or Cullen Bryant, but could also beat you deep with Vince Feragamo in the passing game. And had a defense that only the great Steel Curtain Steelers were better than in 79. The 79 Rams were a 12-4 or 13-3 team on paper that were even better than the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC. But with all of their injuries, we didn’t see the great Rams team until the second half of 79 and in the playoffs.