LOS ANGELES -- Six days after a demoralizing loss to open their season, the Rams got the win they so badly needed -- the win this city has been waiting 22 years to experience -- on an emotional Sunday afternoon from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Rams sold 91,046 tickets for their first game at the Coliseum since 1979. The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a pregame concert, CeeLo Green sang the national anthem, LeBron James and Magic Johnson were in attendance and the Rams provided a performance worthy of all the pomp and circumstance. They limited the Seahawks -- the team many have picked to win the Super Bowl this season -- to 306 yards from scrimmage and one field goal, notching their third straight victory against Seattle.
"The fans were incredible," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "It made this a tough place to play starting day one, which was really impressive. We had many opportunities, and there's going to be a lot of things we have to correct, and we had some mistakes. But when it's said and done, we take the win. That's an outstanding football team."
Case Keenum went 17-of-35 for 130 yards and two interceptions in a 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, California, on Monday Night Football, prompting incessant debate over whether No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff should immediately displace him as the starting quarterback.
With Goff on the sideline in Week 2, after being promoted from an inactive third-stringer to the primary backup, Keenum went 18-of-30 for 239 yards and zero turnovers against Seattle. He connected with Lance Kendricks on a 44-yard strike down the middle of the field, with Tavon Austin for 27 yards on a crossing route and with Kenny Britt for 36 yards up the sideline with a play-action pass, helping Greg Zuerlein connect on field goals from 39, 28 and 47 yards.
But the story was the defense, particularly the star-studded defensive line.
"Those guys are special, man," Rams cornerback Coty Sensabaugh said. "Those guys are real special."
The Rams' front four repeatedly got to Russell Wilson, producing nine quarterback hits after amassing only one on Monday. Robert Quinn closed out the first half with a fumble-producing sack in enemy territory and had another one negated by a penalty earlier in the game. Will Hayes also picked up a sack, while Aaron Donald added four quarterback hits and two tackles for a loss.
But the biggest stand came at the end of the game, with the Seahawks at the Rams' 35-yard line after a 53-yard hookup between Wilson and Tyler Lockett. The Rams nearly got a sack, the crowd forced a false start and then Alec Ogletree created a fumble from Christine Michael on a short pass, icing the game and delighting the city of Los Angeles.
"It kind of happened so fast, man," Ogletree said of stripping the ball and recovering it himself. "We were playing some type of man coverage, and I was just kind of roaming the field. I dropped like 30 yards deep, which I don’t even think I’m supposed to do. I saw him check it down and I just ran down there."