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Rams close out historical tenure at LA Memorial Coliseum with a victory
By Jonathan Bassey, Contributing Writer
Published December 30, 2019

Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) made three touchdown passes against the Cardinals (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

The Rams called the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home for 38 historical seasons. A 31-24 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday closed out the 2019 season for the Rams as well as their tenure at the Coliseum, as the team will play the inaugural season at SoFi Stadium in 2020 located in Inglewood, California. 

While playing at the Coliseum from 1946 to 1979 and returning to Los Angeles for the 2016 season until now, the Rams reached two Super Bowl appearances, acquired 14 divisional titles, and racked up 163 home victories both during the regular season and playoffs. 

68,655 Rams faithful packed the Coliseums seats to show support in the final game of a disappointing season, but celebrate all that has been accomplished in 38 seasons.  

 

 “I will miss playing in the Coliseum. I’m excited for SoFi (Stadium), I’m really excited for SoFi. What (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke has done there and created there is going to be something that I don’t think the world has ever seen, really, honestly,” said Rams Quarterback Jared Goff. “It’ll be a lot of fun, but I will miss the Coliseum and will miss the history of it, the lighting of the torch, the fireworks, the whole thing. The fans, the fanbase we’ve built here, how much louder it was this year compared to my first year and just seeing it grow is really cool. That’s the biggest part I’ll miss.”

In a meaningless game already eliminated from playoff contention, Goff led the Rams to a celebratory farewell ending in the final game of the season throwing for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp had 7 receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown, and tight end Tyler Higbee who has been on fire down the final stretch hauled in 8 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. 

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) hands ball off to running back Kenyan Drake (41) (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

“I thought we played well today. I thought we came out and showed up. I think it speaks to the level of character of the guys on this team and our coaches,” said Goff. “We showed up in a game that doesn’t matter, played really well on offense and were able to move the ball. I thought we played really well as a team. We really gelled today and did a good job.”

 

The Rams defense was lights out, intercepting Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray twice and recovering two fumbles. 

“I always say, if I didn’t turn the ball over, I feel like we would’ve won the game just because we were moving the ball and those were kind of crucial turnovers. I’ve just got to learn from it, move on and we’ll get better from it,” said Murray.

With 11:26 left to play in the fourth quarter Rams Safety Taylor Rapp intercepted Murray for the Quarterbacks fourth turnover of the day. The Rapp interception led to a 6 play 71-yard drive ending with a 11-yard touchdown strike from Goff to wide receiver Robert Woods giving the Rams a 31-17 lead with 7:26 left in the fourth, essentially putting the Cardinals to rest. 

Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) had 67 receiving yards and one touchdown (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

“Any time you get the ball back to the offense, get them opportunities to score points, it’s big. I think a lot of guys on the back end made big plays for us,” said Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on generating turnovers. “The quarterback (Kyler Murray), he made some good throws downfield, but I think overall, our guys did a great job.”

 

Expectations of the Rams making it back to the grand stage of the Super Bowl were high. The 9-7 finish and failure to make the playoffs is an utter disappointment felt from the top of the Rams organization down to the fans. 

Rams fans were able to take the field to see a firework show after the game (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

The new beginning in 2020 at SoFi stadium is the perfect remedy for a team needing to reclaim their identity. As the Rams head into the offseason the existing issues of personnel, consistency, and play calling need to be addressed and handled if another Superbowl appearance is to be reached. 

Expected to open in July 2020, SoFi stadium is located at the former site of the Hollywood Park Racetrack serving as the new home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, and is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022. 

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