The Los Angeles Rams will play host to the Arizona Cardinals in their 2018 home opener at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Sunday, seeking their first 2-0 start since 2001.
The Rams opened the season with a 33-13 victory at Oakland Monday night, outscoring the Raiders 23-0 in the second half. Arizona lost to Washington, 24-6, in its season opener last Sunday.
The Rams recorded their first sweep of the Cardinals since 2012 in 2017, winning 33-0 in London and 32-16 in Glendale, Arizona. The regular-season series is tied, 38-38-2. The Rams won the only playoff game between the two teams, in 1975 when the Cardinals were based in St. Louis.
Arizona has both a new coach (Steve Wilks) and a new starting quarterback (Sam Bradford), who replaced Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer, who both retired. There were 18 Cardinals who made their debuts with the team in last Sunday's loss to the Redskins.
The game is a matchup of the only two quarterbacks the Rams have selected with the first overall choice in the NFL draft since the inception of the common draft in 1967. The Rams chose Bradford with the first pick in the 2010 draft, when they were based in St. Louis. They selected Jared Goff with the first pick in 2016.
Arizona's roster includes two UCLA alumni, quarterback Josh Rosen, its first-round choice in the 2018 draft, and fullback Derrick Coleman. Rosen did not play in the opener. Rosen (St. John Bosco), is among four Cardinals who played on the high school level in Los Angeles County, along with cornerback Bene Benwikere (Serra), defensive end Benson Mayowa (Inglewood), offensive lineman Daniel Munyer (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame). Coleman is among two Cardinals who played on the high school level in Orange County, he was a teammate of long snapper Aaron Brewer at Troy High School.
For the third consecutive year, the Rams will honor Pro Football Hall of Famers at their season opener. Eric Dickerson, Orlando Pace, Jackie Slater and Jack Youngblood will light the torch in the Peristyle end of the Coliseum.
They will also be on the field at halftime, supporting the youth football programs scrimmaging. Rapper Jay Rock, born Johnny Reed McKinzie Jr., who was raised in Watts and attended Locke High School, will perform on the field before the game.
The rhythm and blues and pop singer Tinashe, who attended Crescenta Valley High School, will sing the national anthem. One hundred firefighters from Los Angeles-area departments will unfurl a "Rock the Rams House" flag in the southeast end zone before player introductions. Immediately following the national anthem, the Rams Empire Booster Club will unfurl the new "Whose House, Rams House" banner in Section 29.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Brice Bartlette will be recognized during the first quarter. He was deployed in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and protected U.S. Embassies in Saudi Arabia and Lithuania. Bartlette's honors include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
The Camarillo Road Runners will scrimmage the Calabasas Wolfpack in the northwest end zone and the Thousand Oaks Titans will scrimmage the Moorpark Musketeers in the southeast end zone at halftime. Patrick Moya, a volunteer with the Hollywood-based Uplift Family Services at Hollygrove will be honored at halftime as the Rams first Community Quarterback honoree of 2018. Donald Rubin will be honored as the season ticket member of the game. The 90-year-old Rubin was also a season ticket holder during the Rams first tenure in Southern California, 1946-94.