ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – On Saturday in Canton, Ohio, Kurt Warner will be the last of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017 to speak, and he will try to sum up his 12-year career. He will undoubtedly talk about his six years in St. Louis, winning two MVP’s, Super Bowl 34 and being named the MVP of that Super Bowl.
In case you forgot a couple, here are his greatest moments with the St. Louis Rams:
Peak of the Greatest Show On Turf
The 1999 St. Louis Rams’ season was Warner’s coming out party. He’d been named the starter after a preseason injury to Trent Green, but was still a no-name around the league.
That season he led the league in TD’s, with 41, and won his first MVP. It was the start of the Rams offense being ranked No. 1 for three consecutive seasons, and they became the NFL’s only team to score more than 500 points in three straight years.
In each year, Warner led the league in completion percentage, with a total of 98 touchdowns and 12,612 yards. He won another MVP in 2001, and finished second in 2000, to his teammate Marshall Faulk, who had finished second the years Warner won.
Warner to Bruce connection in Super Bowl XXXIV
The first half of the Rams v. Titans Super Bowl was uncharacteristic, to say the least, of the Rams. The first three scores of the game were all kicker Jeff Wilkins. Warner would throw a 9-yard TD to Torry Holt to give St. Louis a 16-0 lead. Titans would score 16 unanswered with two Eddie George touchdown runs to put the game tied.
Next would be one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history, Kurt Warner threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce to put the Rams on top 23-16 with barely two minutes left. The throw from Warner would be a crucial one in the game giving the Rams what would be the Super Bowl-winning scoring play.
Pass to Ricky Proehl in 2000 NFC Championship
The Greatest Show on Turf was predominately Warner, Bruce and Faulk, but there were plenty of other supporting cast members – like Ricky Proehl.
In the 2000 NFC Championship the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had picked off Warner three times and held Faulk to a low amount of yards in the game. With St. Louis down by one, and under five minuets to play, Warner and the Rams surprised everyone by throwing Proehl a fade in the end zone.
The touchdown catch to put the Rams over the Bucs and sent the Rams to their first Super Bowl in team history. It’s maybe the one play from the Rams’ 1999 season can rival “The Tackle” in franchise lore.
Re-writing the Rams script
The San Francisco 49ers owned the Rams through the 1990s. St. Louis was 0-17, in their last 17 meetings, against them coming into the 1999 season. Then on October 10, Warner flipped the script.
He threw for five TD’s, tying a franchise record, completed 20 of 23 passes for 323 yards and by day’s end, the Rams had pounded the 49ers 42-20.
Perfect passer rating, revenge on Chargers
In 2000, Warner was named the Rams starter, even with Green back from his injury. And on October 1, the Rams were looking for revenge on the San Diego Chargers who had set Green to the IR with a unnecessary blow to his knee, in a 1999 preseason game.
Head coach Mike Martz wanted to make a statement. The Rams scored on their first 11 possessions — six TD’s and five field goals. Green even got in on the act, throwing a third-quarter TD pass.
As for Warner? He threw football’s perfect game.
He scored the highest QB rating possible – 158.3, by completing 24 of 30 for 390 yards and four TD’s. But said it still was not good enough, who gave the offense a B-plus even though the Rams never had to punt.
“No, we got a few field goals in there,” Warner said after the game. “We’ve got a little more than that in us.”
The sneak in Super Bowl 36
In 12 NFL seasons, Warner had only three rushing TD’s, which explains how caught off guard the New England Patriots were on his two-yard QB sneak in Super Bowl XXXVI.
The 9-yard score capped a 79-yard drive, and cut New Englands’ lead to 17-10 with 9:31 left. Warner later tied the game with a TD pass to Ricky Proehl. Overtime loomed with just 90 seconds left…
We won’t talk about what happened after that.