Dickerson trotted out on the field to a roar of thunder. Only once, when he rushed for 208 yards against St. Louis this year, had Dickerson ever gained more ground in the NFL than he already had this day, and, as a pro, he'd never heard such a sustained salute as he was hearing now. For Bain and the rest of the offensive line the sensation of noise, of the high they were suddenly riding, was electric. "Let's get it on the very first run," he had yelled while taking the field. "No three, and three, and three.... Let's get a big one, and let's get it now!" Jimmy Raye, the Rams' offensive coordinator, signaled the play from the sideline, and the crowd was now so loud that the players had to tighten the huddle to hear Kemp call it.
Kemp sensed the electricity among his teammates as he shouted the play: 47 gap. It's a staple of Robinson's one-back offense, in which Dickerson takes the hand-off while the two weak-side linemen—Irv Pankey and Kent Hill—pull right, and the three men on the right side—Harrah, Bain and David Hill—block their men in. It's Dickerson's favorite play, giving him the option of cutting up the middle or, if that's clogged, of sweeping the right side.
"Hey, let's concentrate!" Kemp yelled. "Blow 'em off the line. Concentrate on the snap count. Let's not fumble, and no holding penalties. Just think and settle down!" As they broke from the huddle, Bain said, "This is for you, Eric. This is yours."
It was, to be sure. Taking the hand-off, Dickerson chose the high ground outside, a picture play, each man doing his bit. Neither Bain nor David Hill missed this moment. Hill took out his man and glanced over his shoulder, looking for Dickerson. Bain did too. "I wasn't going down and missing the play," he said later. "So I held my guy up—I didn't try to bury him in the ground—and glanced over my shoulder so I could watch it. He crossed that stripe, and I started screaming. I haven't been this excited since my daughter was born."
Dickerson slashed, and squirmed for nine yards before Oiler linebacker Gregg Bingham finally brought him down on the Ram 45-yard line. That run gave him 215 yards for the day on 27 carries—and 2,007 for the season. The Rams mobbed Dickerson on the field. Robinson, who had built his offense around the 6'3", 218-pound Dickerson after making him the second selection overall in the 1983 draft, behind John Elway, took him out of the game and later seemed pleasantly benumbed by it all. "It's shocking how good he is," said Robinson. "Really shocking."
Perhaps the least shocked of all was Dickerson. "I was ready to play today," he said. Clearly, the man was more relieved than anything. "It's fantastic, but I'm glad it's over."
So are those linemen. "What I love about the record is, we won't have to talk about it every day," Harrah said. "Hey, he got the record. We gave him the ball. He's going to put it on his mantel. He can tell his grandkids about it. He'll set more records in this league. He's just starting. There's no telling what this man can do."