The 1986 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's 49th season in the National Football League, their 39th overall, and their 41stin the Greater Los Angeles Area. The season began with the Rams looking to improve on their 11-5 record from 1985, which ended with them getting shut out by the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game, 24-0. The Rams began the season with three straight wins against the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and Indianapolis Colts. However, in Week 4, the Philadelphia Eagles (0-3) upset the Rams, 34-20. The Rams would then win four of their next five, including a 20-17 win over the Bears in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game. The Rams would then close out the season with losses in four of their final seven games to end the year 10-6, good enough for second place in the NFC West behind the 49ers (10-5-1). In the playoffs, the Rams lost to the Washington Redskins, 19-7, in the NFC Wild Card Game to end the season with an overall record of 10-7.
Jim Everett (Quarterback, Purdue University) was selected by the Houston Oilers as the third pick in the first round, and was the first quarterback taken. Unable to work out a contract agreement with Everett, the Oilers traded his rights to the Rams. In exchange for Everett, the Rams sent the Oilers guard Kent Hill, defensive end William Fuller, their first pick and fifth pick in the 1987 NFL Draft, and their first pick in the 1988 NFL Draft.
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||September 7, 1986
||at St. Louis Cardinals
||Eric Dickerson ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns, which offset a 5-for-21 passing performance by new Ram QB Steve Bartkowski. The Rams sacked Cardinal QB Neil Lomax five times and intercepted him once.
||September 14, 1986
||San Francisco 49ers
||Rams took advantage of the 49ers being without an injured Joe Montana by winning a close one at home on a late FG by Mike Lansford. The Rams would not have another home win against the 49ers until Week 5 of the 1999 season when the team was in St. Louis.
||September 21, 1986
||at Indianapolis Colts
||Bartkowski had a fine day, passing for a touchdown, and Dickerson had 121 yards and another touchdown as Rams dominated. The Colts had only 177 yards of total offense and were sacked seven times.
||September 28, 1986
||at Philadelphia Eagles
||Rams were blown out by an 0-3 Eagles team. Ron Jaworski passed for 3 touchdowns and Keith Byars threw a halfback option pass for another touchdown. Steve Dils replaced an injured Bartkowski and passed for 3 touchdowns late after Philadelphia had built a 34-0 lead.
||October 5, 1986
||Tampa Bay Buccaneers
||Dickerson had 207 yards rushing, including the winning touchdown in overtime.
||October 12, 1986
||at Atlanta Falcons
||Bartkowski returned from injury and passed for 196 yards and a touchdown against his former team, but the Rams couldn't overcome 141 yards rushing and a touchdown by Gerald Riggs and four Mick Luckhurst field goals.
||October 19, 1986
||Rams built an early 14-0 lead behind an 80-yard interception return touchdown by Nolan Cromwell and a rushing touchdown by Dickerson, who had 130 yards, and held on for the win.
||October 26, 1986
||Rams held Falcons to 151 yards of offense. Dickerson had 170 yards and got into the passing act with a touchdown pass to TE David Hill.
||November 3, 1986
||at Chicago Bears
||Despite only six pass completions on the day, Dils threw a game-tying touchdown bomb to Ron Brown and Lansford kicked a 50-yard FG to win it as the Rams upended the defending Super Bowl champs.
||November 9, 1986
||at New Orleans Saints
||Rams lost a defensive struggle on the road.
||November 16, 1986
||New England Patriots
||Coach John Robinson figured the time was right to play Jim Everett, and the rookie QB passed for 3 touchdowns. But, the Rams couldn't overcome a 375-yard passing performance by Tony Eason and two late touchdowns to Irving Fryar, the last coming on a Hail Mary pass as time expired.
||November 23, 1986
||New Orleans Saints
||Rookie Everett had only 7 completions for 56 yards, but ran for a touchdown and Lansford kicked 4 FG's
||November 30, 1986
||at New York Jets
||Rams upended a suddenly slumping Jets team on the road with a touchdown pass from Everett and a touchdown run by Dickerson.
||December 7, 1986
||Rams dominated the Cowboys at home with 212 yards passing and a touchdown by Everett, a 41-yard touchdown run by Barry Redden, and five sacks, including one for a safety.
||December 14, 1986
||Everett was good in this game (251 yards passing, 2 touchdowns), but Dan Marino was better, passing for 403 yards and 5 touchdowns, including the winning one to Mark Duper in OT.
||December 19, 1986
||at San Francisco 49ers
||Needing a victory to win the NFC West division, the 49ers outplayed the Rams, holding Everett to 13-35 passing and intercepting him three times. 49ers also had four sacks.
||December 28, 1986
||at Washington Redskins
||Eric Dickerson ran for 158 yards on 26 carries, but fumbled three times and the Rams had six turnovers against the host Redskins.
Awards and records
- Eric Dickerson, NFC Pro Bowl selection
- Eric Dickerson, All-Pro selection
- Eric Dickerson, NFL Offensive Player of the Year
- Eric Dickerson, UPI NFC Player of the Year
- Carl Ekern, NFC Pro Bowl selection
- Jerry Gray, NFC Pro Bowl selection
- Dennis Harrah, NFC Pro Bowl selection
- LeRoy Irvin, NFC Pro Bowl selection
- Jackie Slater, NFC Pro Bowl selection
- Doug Smith, NFC Pro Bowl selection
Let's Ram It
The team recorded a promotional video, Let's Ram It by "The Rammers", starring multiple players with solo verses:
- Verse 1: Jackie Slater, Nolan Cromwell, Gary Jeter, Norwood Vann, Dennis Harrah
- Verse 2: David Hill, Jim Collins, Ron Brown, Tony Hunter
- Verse 3: Barry Redden, Carl Ekern, Johnnie Johnson, LeRoy Irvin, Eric Dickerson
Dance segments of the video show the above players, plus Tom Newberry. The song features a number of double entendre lyrics.
- Other Anaheim-based teams in 1986