|2009 St. Louis Rams season|
|Owner||Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez|
|Head coach||Steve Spagnuolo|
|General manager||Billy Devaney|
|Home field||Edward Jones Dome|
|Division place||4th NFC West|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||RB Steven Jackson|
|AP All-Pros||Steven Jackson (2nd team)|
Donnie Jones (2nd team)
The 2009 season was the St. Louis Rams' 72nd in the National Football League, and their 15th in St. Louis. Due to the Rams winning only against the Detroit Lions, they finished with the NFL's worst record at 1–15, earning the first overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft in Steve Spagnuolo's first season as a head coach.
The 2009 Rams scored 175 points (10.9 per game), the sixth-fewest for a 16-game NFL season. The Rams threw only twelve combined touchdown passes all season – including one by kicker Josh Brown. Quarterback Marc Bulger led the team with five touchdown passes. Pro Football Reference argues that the 2009 Rams were the worst team fielded in the NFL since the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 1976 and 1977, having a much weaker schedule than the winless 2008 Lions.
In the three seasons from 2007 to 2009, the Rams won a total of six games, this being the worst record over such a period since the Chicago Cardinals during World War II until the 2015 to 2017 Cleveland Browns won only four games. Ironically, the Cardinals never won fewer than four games in any season during their tenure in St. Louis from 1960 through 1987.
The Rams announced that Jim Haslett would not be returning as head coach after a disastrous 2–14 finish to the 2008 season. On January 16, New York Giants’ Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo signed a four-year $11.5 million. deal to be their new head coach.
|St. Louis Rams 2009 staff|
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
|2009 St. Louis Rams draft|
|2||35||James Laurinaitis||LB||Ohio State|
|5||160||Brooks Foster||WR||North Carolina|
|6||196||Keith Null||QB||West Texas A&M|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
|1||August 14||at New York Jets||W 23–20||1–0||Giants Stadium||Recap|
|2||August 21||Atlanta Falcons||L 13–20||1–1||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|3||August 27||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 24–21||2–1||Paul Brown Stadium||Recap|
|4||September 3||Kansas City Chiefs||W 17–9||3–1||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|1||September 13||at Seattle Seahawks||L 0–28||0–1||Qwest Field||Recap|
|2||September 20||at Washington Redskins||L 7–9||0–2||FedExField||Recap|
|3||September 27||Green Bay Packers||L 17–36||0–3||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|4||October 4||at San Francisco 49ers||L 0–35||0–4||Candlestick Park||Recap|
|5||October 11||Minnesota Vikings||L 10–38||0–5||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|6||October 18||at Jacksonville Jaguars||L 20–23 (OT)||0–6||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium||Recap|
|7||October 25||Indianapolis Colts||L 6–42||0–7||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|8||November 1||at Detroit Lions||W 17–10||1–7||Ford Field||Recap|
|10||November 15||New Orleans Saints||L 23–28||1–8||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|11||November 22||Arizona Cardinals||L 13–21||1–9||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|12||November 29||Seattle Seahawks||L 17–27||1–10||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|13||December 6||at Chicago Bears||L 9–17||1–11||Soldier Field||Recap|
|14||December 13||at Tennessee Titans||L 7–47||1–12||LP Field||Recap|
|15||December 20||Houston Texans||L 13–16||1–13||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|16||December 27||at Arizona Cardinals||L 10–31||1–14||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|17||January 3||San Francisco 49ers||L 6–28||1–15||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|(4) Arizona Cardinals||10||6||0||.625||4–2||8–4||375||325||L1|
|San Francisco 49ers||8||8||0||.500||5–1||7–5||330||281||W2|
|St. Louis Rams||1||15||0||.063||0–6||1–11||175||436||L8|
Regular season summaries
Week 1: at Seattle Seahawks
The Rams began their season at Qwest Field with a Week 1 divisional duel with their NFC West rival, the Seattle Seahawks. After a scoreless first quarter, St. Louis trailed in the second quarter as Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Carlson. The Rams appeared to have a game-tying touchdown after blocking a Seattle field goal by Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare late in the quarter. However, it was overturned because there were twelve Rams’ players on the field, leading to a Seahawks 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nate Burleson. In the third quarter, Seattle continued its dominance with Hasselbeck completing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Carlson, along with running back Julius Jones getting a 62-yard touchdown run. From there on out, the Seahawks’ defense helped secure a shutout win.
With this loss, the Rams began their season at 0–1.
Week 2: at Washington Redskins
Hoping to rebound from their shutout loss to the Seahawks, the Rams flew to FedEx Field for a Week 2 duel with the Washington Redskins. St. Louis trailed early as Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham got a 21-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Rams’ deficit increased a Suisham made a 28-yard field goal. Afterwards, St. Louis took the lead as quarterback Marc Bulger completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Laurent Robinson. However, Washington got their lead again as Suisham nailed a 23-yard field goal. From there on out, the Rams were unable to obtain further points.
With this loss, St. Louis fell to 0–2.
Week 3: vs. Green Bay Packers
Still searching for their first win of the season, the Rams played their Week 3 home opener against the Green Bay Packers. St. Louis immediately trailed early in the first quarter as Packers kicker Mason Crosby got a 48, a 38, and a 25-yard field goal. Green Bay would increase their lead in the second quarter as fullback John Kuhn got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Rams would respond with the arm of quarterback Kyle Boller, as he hooked up with tight end Daniel Fells on a 16-yard touchdown pass. However, the Packers would strike back with quarterback Aaron Rodgers's 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donald Driver. St. Louis would close out the half with Boller and Fells hooking up with each other again on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
The Rams would inch closer in the third quarter with kicker Josh Brown's 53-yard field goal. However, Green Bay would pull away in the fourth quarter as Rodgers got a 4-yard touchdown run (with a failed PAT) and completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kuhn.
With this loss, St. Louis fell to 0–3.
Starting quarterback Marc Bulger (3-of-4, 23 yards) left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his right shoulder.
Week 4: at San Francisco 49ers
Following their home loss to the Packers, the Rams flew to Candlestick Park for a Week 4 NFC West duel with their hated rival, the San Francisco 49ers. Due to an injury to Marc Bulger, quarterback Kyle Boller got the start.
After a scoreless first quarter, St. Louis’ seasonal struggles continued on the 49ers’ second punt of the game. The ball would hit backup cornerback Quincy Butler's foot and roll into the endzone where backup Niners linebacker Scott McKillop would land on it for a touchdown. San Francisco would continue its dominating run in the third quarter with quarterback Shaun Hill hooking up on a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis, followed by linebacker Patrick Willis returning an interception 23 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers would wrap up their victory march in the fourth quarter with Hill finding wide receiver Josh Morgan on a 24-yard touchdown pass, followed by defensive tackle Ray McDonald returning a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown.
With their second shutout loss of the season, the Rams fell to 0–4.
Week 5: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Hoping to get their first win of the season, the Rams went home, donned their throwback uniforms, and prepared for a Week 5 duel with the Minnesota Vikings. Even though quarterback Marc Bulger was almost back to 100% health, backup quarterback Kyle Boller got the start.
In the first quarter, St. Louis continued to struggle as Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got a 5-yard touchdown run and defensive end Jared Allen returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown. The Rams would get on the board in the second quarter with a 29-yard field goal from kicker Josh Brown, but Minnesota came right back with kicking Ryan Longwell nailing a 47-yard field goal.
The Vikings would continue to make their presence felt in the third quarter with quarterback Brett Favre completing a 13-yard touchdown to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Minnesota would follow it up in the fourth quarter with Peterson's 7-yard touchdown. St. Louis tried to rally as quarterback Marc Bulger completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donnie Avery, but the Vikings would close out the game with running back Chester Taylor's 1-yard touchdown run.
With this loss, the Rams fell to 0–5.
Week 6: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Still on the hunt for their first win of the season, the Rams flew to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for a Week 6 interconference duel with the Jacksonville Jaguars. St. Louis got the opening charge in the first quarter with quarterback Marc Bulger's 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donnie Avery. The Jaguars would answer with running back Maurice Jones-Drew getting a 4-yard touchdown run (with a failed PAT). Afterwards, the Rams would get the only points of the second quarter as kicker Josh Brown nailed a 52-yard field goal.
After a scoreless third quarter, a back-and-forth quarter would ensue. Jones-Drew would help Jacksonville take the lead with a 1-yard touchdown run, yet Rams defensive end Leonard Little would return an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Following a 3-yard touchdown run by Jones-Drew, St. Louis would tie the game with Brown's 27-yard field goal. However, in overtime, the Jaguars got the last laugh as kicker Josh Scobee booted the game-winning 36-yard field goal.
With this loss, the Rams fell to 0–6.
Week 7: vs. Indianapolis Colts
Still trying to get their first win of the season, the Rams went home for a Week 7 interconference duel with the Indianapolis Colts. St. Louis would trail early in the first quarter as Colts quarterback Peyton Manning completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The Rams would answer with a 30-yard field goal from kicker Josh Brown, but Indianapolis answered with Manning's 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. Afterwards, the Colts would get the only score of the second quarter with running back Joseph Addai's 6-yard touchdown run.
St. Louis would begin the third quarter with Brown booting a 45-yard field goal, yet Indianapolis continued their domination as cornerback Jacob Lacey return an interception 35 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, the Colts closed out the game with Manning's 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Austin Collie and running back Chad Simpson's 35-yard touchdown run.
With this loss, the Rams fell to 0–7.
Week 8: at Detroit Lions
Still in the hunt for their first win of the season, the Rams flew to Ford Field for a Week 8 duel with the Detroit Lions. St. Louis got the game's first points in the opening quarter as kicker Josh Brown booted a 41-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Lions got on the board due to a Rams miscue. Safety James Butler got an interception in his endzone. He would then run out and then back in, where he would be tackled by Detroit running back Kevin Smith for a safety. Afterwards, St. Louis would close out the half with a trick play. On a fake field goal attempt, Brown would complete a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Fells.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Lions began to rally in the fourth quarter as quarterback Matthew Stafford got a 4-yard touchdown and completed a 2-point conversion pass to running back Maurice Morris. The Rams prevailed as running back Steven Jackson got a 25-yard touchdown run.
With this win, St. Louis snapped a seventeen-game losing streak – their previous win having been against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 of the 2008 season – and provided the first win for rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo before the Rams entered their bye week at 1–7.
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: vs. New Orleans Saints
Coming off their bye week, the Rams went home for a Week 10 duel with the undefeated New Orleans Saints. After a scoreless first quarter, Saints running back Reggie Bush got a 3-yard touchdown run to open the scoring, but the Rams would answer when quarterback Marc Bulger found wide receiver Donnie Avery on a 29-yard touchdown pass. Although New Orleans retook the lead with quarterback Drew Brees’ 15-yard touchdown pass to Bush, St. Louis would close out the half with running back Steven Jackson's 2-yard touchdown run.
The Saints would deliver a huge strike in the third quarter as wide receiver Courtney Roby returned the second half's opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, yet the Rams would keep it close with kicker Josh Brown's 32-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, New Orleans would increase their lead with Brees’ 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robert Meachem. St. Louis tried to rally as Bulger completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Avery (with a failed 2-point conversion), but the Saints’ defense would prevent any further progress.
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–8.
Week 11: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Saints, the Rams went home for an NFC West rivalry match against the Arizona Cardinals.
In the first quarter, St. Louis got on the board first with kicker Josh Brown getting a 40-yard field goal. The Rams fell behind with QB Kurt Warner making a 5-yard touchdown pass to WR Anquan Boldin and then to WR Larry Fitzgerald on an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The Cardinals lead extended as rookie RB Beanie Wells made a 1-yard touchdown run to end the half.
The Rams replied in the third quarter with kicker Josh Brown making a 20-yard field goal. The Rams tried hard to come back into the game in the fourth quarter with RB Steven Jackson running 1 yard to the end zone for a touchdown, but the Cardinals’ defense prevented the case, giving the Rams another loss.
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–9 and stay winless at home, with their home record at 0–5.
Week 12: vs. Seattle Seahawks
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–10 and were officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Week 13: at Chicago Bears
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–11.
Week 14: at Tennessee Titans
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–12.
Week 15: vs. Houston Texans
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–13.
Week 16: at Arizona Cardinals
With this loss, the Rams fell to 1–14.
Week 17: vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Rams ended their season 1–15 and clinched the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
The Rams became the ninth team to finish a season with a 1–15 record, following the 2007 Dolphins. They would later on be joined by the 2016 Cleveland Browns.
Local television blackouts
In the 2009 season, the Rams had three regular season games blacked out on local television. After selling out their first five games, attendance began to drop and the Rams couldn’t sell out their final three games against the Seahawks, Texans, and 49ers. In all of these instances, the Rams fell well short of a sellout and did not even ask for a deadline extension from the NFL to try to sell remaining tickets and avert a blackout. Since 2007, the Rams had only won two games at the Edward Jones Dome.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1978 to 2012, in the regular season, sorted by ascending Points For.
- 2009 St. Louis Rams
- Pro Football Reference; Rams Franchise Encyclopedia
- Pro Football Reference; Detroit Lions Franchise Encyclopedia
- "St. Louis Rams' Jim Haslett in no longer a candidate". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2009-01-16.
- Rams hire Spagnuolo to be head coach, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 17, 2009.
- Rams Agree with Brown, Working on Butler, Bartell Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, St. Louis Rams (February 27, 2009)
- "Bartell agrees to terms, recruits Butler for St. Louis Rams". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2009-03-02.
- St. Louis Rams get James Butler at safety, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10, 2009 Archived March 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Orlando Pace released by St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10, 2009. Accessed 2009-03-14. Archived 2009-08-14.
- Don’t cry over Holt: he had to go, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 13, 2009
- A true professional, Holt will be missed, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 14, 2009 Archived March 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- In surprise move, Rams release leading tackler Tinoisamoa, NFL.com, May 8, 2009