Rams Triumph in Historic Return to Los Angeles

Greg Zuerlein of the Los Angeles Rams kicks a field goal out of a hold by teammate Johnny Hekker to make it 9-3 in the fourth quarter during their NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks, at Los Angeles Coliseum, on September 18, 2016

Los Angeles (AFP) – Kicker Greg Zuerlein booted three field goals and the Los Angeles Rams defence shutdown the Seattle Seahawks to secure a 9-3 win in the first NFL game in Los Angeles since 1994.

Zuerlein on Sunday went three-for-three, kicking field goals of 47, 39 and 28 yards as the newly relocated Rams recovered from a season-opening loss on the road to win the defensive struggle against the 2014 Super Bowl champion Seahawks.

The low-scoring contest is the latest milestone in a homecoming that was only confirmed in January, when NFL owners voted 30-2 to approve the Rams’ return to Los Angeles from St. Louis.

Quarterback Case Keenum completed 18-of-30 passes for 239 yards for the Rams, who were shut out in their season opener 28-0 by the San Francisco 49ers.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers got festivities started Sunday in front of the announced crowd of 91,046 at the Memorial Coliseum with a pre-game concert followed by singer CeeLo Green singing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Those lucky enough to snag tickets had to dig deep into their pockets for the privilege.

A can of beer at the concession cost $14, a bottle of water $7 and parking next to the stadium $80.

The Rams will play their next three seasons out of one of North America’s most iconic sporting venues. The 93-year-old Coliseum has hosted two Olympic opening ceremonies in 1932 and 1984.

The Rams will eventually move into a gleaming 70,000-seat stadium being built in the nearby suburb of Inglewood.

“I love the fact they are playing this game at the Coliseum,” said long-time Rams fan Ted Sams, as he made his way to his seat. “I am going to hate it when they move to the new stadium.”

The Rams wore their throwback blue and gold uniforms. Although they have five decades of history in southern California there is a generation of NFL fans in Los Angeles who have no connection to the team that spent 21 seasons playing in St. Louis.

Sunday’s game marked just the second time the Rams and Seahawks have faced off in the Coliseum, with the other meeting coming in 1976 in a game that was won by the Rams 45-6.

The game also marked the return to the Coliseum of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, a beloved individual in the city because of the time he spent coaching the University of Southern California team that plays in the same historic stadium.