Vince Ferragamo played for the Los Angeles Rams (1977–1980 and 1982–1984), Buffalo Bills (1985) and Green Bay Packers (1985–1986). After leading the 9-7 Rams to road victories over the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1979 NFL Playoffs, Ferragamo started for the Rams in Super Bowl XIV, making him the first quarterback to start a Super Bowl in the same season as his first career start, in which the Rams led after three quarters of play before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19.
Ferragamo enjoyed his best statistical season in 1980 in which he threw for 30 touchdowns, tied for second most in the NFL. The Rams again made the playoffs, but were defeated by Dallas, 34-13 in an NFC Wild Card Playoff game.
Ferragamo played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League for just one season in 1981. He was signed to a large contract by both CFL and NFL standards at the time ($600,000, compared to $250,000 the Rams offered him, and the $47,500 they had paid him for 1980.) However, Ferragamo had a difficult time adjusting to the style of Canadian football. Montreal went on to win only 3 games against 13 losses. He was demoted to backup to Gerry Dattilio in the latter half of the season and then third string quarterback for the final 3 games after Ken Johnson arrived in a trade. Ferragamo’s last game in the CFL was a loss to the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Eastern semi-final which he watched from the pressbox. His stats during his one season in Montreal were 175 of 342 passes completed (51.2%) for 2175 yards, with 7 TD passes and 25 interceptions.
On December 26, 1982, Ferragamo threw for 509 yards in a game against the Chicago Bears, at the time the second highest passing mark in league history behind former Ram Norm Van Brocklin. It was the third time in league history that a quarterback had passed for over 500 yards in a game, the first by Norm Van Brocklin (554 yards) and the second by Y.A. Tittle (505 yards). Subsequent to his return, Ferragamo led the Rams back to the NFL playoffs during the 1983 season behind the running of rookie Eric Dickerson. After beating the favored Cowboys in Irving in the wild card matchup 24-17, Ferragamo and the Rams were drubbed by the defending Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl-bound Washington Redskins by the score of 51-7.
In 1984, Ferragamo again started out as the Rams’ starting quarterback. But in a 24-14 loss at Pittsburgh in Week 3, Ferragamo broke his right hand and did not return to the lineup for the remainder of the season. He would never play for the Los Angeles Rams again, playing the next two seasons with the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers.
He has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice, once in 1980 and again in 1981.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes …Vince Ferragamo.
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|