In front of a massive crowd announced as 91,046 tickets distributed, the Los Angeles Rams lit the torch at the LA Memorial Coliseum and re-lit the fire of NFL football in the City of Angels.
Most importantly, the LA Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks, 9-3, and managed to claim their first win in over two decades on Sunday.
Following a pregame concert put on by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a series of pregame theatrics, LA pushed aside the distractions and started the game strong. The home team took less than five minutes to best its offensive output from all 60 minutes in Week 1. The LA Rams scored their first points since 1994 when Greg Zuerlein converted a 39-yard field goal following an impressive opening drive that started on LA's 25-yard line and finished on Seattle's 21-yard line.
Seattle struggled to find its offensive footing in the first half, as the Rams' defense came up with stop after stop. The Seahawks would eventually level the score with a 23-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka early in the second quarter, but even those points seemed like a victory for the Rams' defense because Seattle had been facing first and goal at LA's four-yard line before coming away with only three points.
The Rams suffered from dropped passes and failed to open up Seattle's defense in the first half, but the home team did put up another three points via Zuerlein's 28-yard field goal late in the second quarter. Similar to Seattle, the Rams had been facing 1st and goal on Seattle's four-yard line, so those three points felt like a missed opportunity to record the LA Rams' first touchdown since 1994.
At the intermission, the Rams led the Seahawks 6-3, which accurately depicted the Rams' stuttering offense and LA's stocky defense.
The third quarter featured a battle of field position, but the Rams crept into field goal range at the conclusion of the period. Early in the fourth quarter, the Rams doubled their advantage, as Zuerlein hit another field goal and gave LA a 9-3 lead.
The Rams' defense continued to frustrate the Seahawks' offense late in the game. LA led the Seahawks 9-3 at the two-minute warning but gave the ball back to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks one last time.
Wilson immediately completed a 53-yard pass and suddenly put the Rams' defense under pressure with 1:33 showing on the game clock. Trailing by six points and on the 35-yard line, Seattle needed a touchdown to take the lead, which seemed all too simple.
Moments later, howeer, Wilson completed a pass that approached the first down marker, but LA Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree stripped the ball loose, and the Rams recovered the football with less than a minute remaining. That sealed the result, and Rams quarterback Case Keenum took a knee to end the contest.
On Sunday, the LA Rams claimed their first victory since 1994 in front of more than 91,000 fans at the LA Colisuem. Undoubtedly, the NFL is back in LA.
Quotes: "We had many opportunities. We have a lot of things that we have to correct, made some mistakes, but when it's said and done, we take the win. That's an outstanding football team, and they're always in it until the end." - Rams coach Jeff Fisher after the game.
"You know, I like touchdowns, but I love winning." - Rams quarterback Case Keenum after the game.
Notes: (Rams) Kenny Britt led the Rams with 94 receiving yards and six receptions. Case Keenum threw for 239 yards on 18/30, with no interceptions and no touchdowns. Todd Gurley rushed for 51 yards on 19 carries.
(Seahawks) Russell Wilson throw for 254 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions on 22/35. Christine Michael led Seattle with 10 carries for 60 yards, while Wilson only rushed for 14 yards on five carries. Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett finished with 99 yards, though 53 of those came on one long completion during Seattle's late charge.