1985 NFC Championship
Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears
January 12, 1986
After watching Eric Dickerson run for a playoff record 248 yards and the Rams beat the Cowboys 20-0 in the divisional playoffs the previous week from my grandparents’ condo, I had high hopes for LA to beat the big bad Bears in the NFC Championship. Instead, they lost 24-0, and it was a pretty miserable day for me. This game is thought of by most as a lopsided blowout given the shutout score, but in actuality the Rams had their chances to give Chicago a run for their money. With Chicago only up 10-0 right before the half, the Rams had driven down to the bears 5 yard line. They took too long on a play and then tried to call timeout with 1 second left to kick a field goal. The refs didn’t give them the timeout, and the half was over. Had they gotten a chance to kick the field goal, the score would have been 10-3 at half time, and they would have gotten some momentum.
Instead the Bears came out in the 3rd quarter and went up 17-0. The Rams also had a 60 yard pass from Dieter Brock to Ron Brown to the 15 yard line get called back on a questionable call(Brown had stepped out of bounds but was pushed out as a result of illegal contact or pass interference which wasn’t called.) Anyhow, the Rams choked in this game when they were one of the only teams that was at least good enough to beat the bears(they came back to Chicago the following year and got their revenge against them in an epic monday night game.) This was really a heartbreaking loss for probably the best Ram team of the 80’s, and ever since this game I have always hated the Bears.
I watched this game alone in the den, and it was a good one. Steve Dils started the game as QB, but after going down 13-0, the Rams’ Jim Everett made his debut. The Rams were ahead 28-16 in the 4th quarter and then it was 28-23. I was sure that they had it won, but the Patriots won it on a hail mary pass to Irving Fryar with no time left. Being a kid, I was absolutely stunned as I had never seen a game won on a hail mary before. I went to bed extremely depressed, and I think my mom asked me what was wrong. Yep, in 1986 the rams losing mattered to me, and strangely it still does. I’ve relived this ending in my mind a thousand times and have had many unfulfilled fantasies over the years about it turning out differently.
This was a brutal loss for me. I remember I was watching this game right up until it was about to go into overtime. Then my parents called me to dinner and as soon as I was finished I ran down to the basement and turned on the TV to see that the dolphins just won it in overtime. Another memory I have of this game is that there was a ram touchdown that they got after instant replay, a 25 yard pass to Kevin House. There was no time limit for replay back then, and it took like 5 or 10 minutes before they finished reviewing it and gave him the touchdown and the Anaheim crowd went crazy. Had the Rams won this game, they would have clinched the division. Instead, after a dominating season they ended up only getting in the playoffs as a wildcard after losing the final game of the regular season and the division to the 49ers.