In 1999, the St. Louis Rams went 13-3 and eventually won a Super Bowl by scoring the most points in football with their historic offense that featured Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and Isaac Bruce, and was coached by Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz. In 2017, the Los Angeles Rams are 6-2 at the halfway point of their season by scoring the most points per game in football with their young offense that features Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, and is coached by Sean McVay.
You might think it's crazy to compare the 1999 Rams -- a.k.a "The Greatest Show on Turf" -- to this year's Rams. After all, the 1999 Rams were led by Hall of Famers and the 2017 Rams are led by a 31-year-old coach, and two 23-year-old players.
But it's not as crazy as it sounds. As Reddit user JaguarGator9 pointed out on Saturday, the 2017 Rams are on pace to replicate the 1999 Rams' offensive output. The 1999 Rams scored 526 points. Through eight games, the 2017 Rams have scored 263 points, which means they're on pace to score exactly -- you guessed it -- 526 points like "The Greatest Show on Turf."
(GIF source: The Big Lead)
This is one of those stats that's more freaky than impressive. Don't get me wrong, what the Rams are doing right now is incredible. Last year, they scored an NFL-low 224 points in Jeff Fisher's "middle-school offense." So, they've already surpassed last year's scoring total in eight games under McVay. Their improvement is historic.
The @RamsNFL are on pace to become the first team in @NFLhistory to go from the worst scoring offense (14.0 PPG in 2016) in one season to the best scoring offense (32.9 PPG in 2017) in the next— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 8, 2017
Their 18.9 PPG improvement over last season is also the largest in NFL history
But context matters. We have to acknowledge the difference in eras and how much easier it is today for teams to score with the rulebook being altered to favor offenses.
Again, that doesn't mean what the Rams are doing isn't impressive. It's probably the most impressive accomplishment of the 2017 season. Due to their offensive emergence, the Rams are suddenly a playoff contender and heck, a legitimate threat to end the Seahawks' hegemony in the NFC West. And if they can somehow outscore or match the '99 team's offensive output, well, that'd just be an added bonus to an already successful season.
If they do, they might just go down as The Greatest Show on ... Surf