The New York Jets had struggled for the better part of a decade by the time the early 1980’s had been reached. They had been on top of the world when quarterback Joe Namath had predicted a Super Bowl III victory and the had followed through with it. The bulk of the 1970’s though were not a fun time to be a Jets fan.
On September 25th, 1983 though, Richard Todd and the New York Jets gave the fans at Shea Stadium in New York something to cheer about. The Los Angeles Rams had come to town with a 2-1 record and sensational running back Eric Dickerson lighting up the young season. The 1-2 Jets didn’t have a lot to look forward to at that point as another down season had been predicted for them. Richard Todd would make sure that this game would be something to see though.
The game started out with an early 85 yard touchdown run by none other than Eric Dickerson. The Jets would respond with a 15 yard touchdown pass from Todd to Wesley Walker. Eric Dickerson would get his second touchdown of the day though and at the end of the first quarter the Jets would be behind 14-7. The only scoring in the second quarter would come thanks to a blocked field goal which was returned by the Jets’ Jerry Holmes 57 yards for a game tying touchdown.
The third quarter saw the Rams go in the lead again, this time thanks to a field goal by Chuck Nelson. Wesley Walker would catch his second touchdown pass of the game, this time a 37 yarder from Todd, and the Jets would take their first lead as at the end of the third quarter it was New York 21 and Los Angeles 17. The Jets extended their lead to a full seven points after a 22 yard Pat Leahy field goal in the fourth quarter. A two yard pass from Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo to Mike Guman would make it a tie game at the end of regulation play. In overtime, the Jets would eventually move the ball down the field and would win it on a Pat Leahy 26 yard field goal.
Eric Dickerson had an awesome game, finishing with 28 carries for 192 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 45 yards too. But his Rams had lost and the Jets had won the game, thanks in large part to the stats that quarterback Richard Todd had put up. He would finish with 37 completions on 50 attempts for 446 yards and two touchdowns. Todd would also complete passes to nine different players that day: Wesley Walker, Dwayne Crutchfield, Bruce Harper, Scott Dierking, Jerome Barkum, Lam Jones, Freeman McNeil, Derrick Gaffney, and Mickey Shuler.
The Rams were on the way up behind their promising young superstar running back, but on that day it was Richard Todd and the New York Jets who came out on top.