The Los Angeles Rams did not disappoint their new home crowd Saturday with a 28-24 win against the Dallas Cowboys in their opening preseason game.
“You could tell the fans were loving it. They were excited for some football,” said Rams linebacker Akeem Ayers. “It was a preseason game and everyone was here and stayed the entire game. It was a lot different than what you would usually see during the preseason.”
The journey to the win was no crystal stair for Los Angeles. Dallas wide receiver Lucky Whitehead returned the Ram’s first kickoff. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff had a pass intercepted and got sacked in the second quarter. Goff persevered to get three first downs before sitting out for the second half with a sore shoulder.
Young Rams players brought the team victory in the fourth quarter. Wide Receiver Nelson Spruce received a seven-yard pass from Sean Mannion and muscled past two defenders to fall into the end zone. The score was then at 21-24 with only 7:07 left in regulation.
Briefly after the two-minute warning, running back Aaron Green received a nine-yard pass which led to the defining touchdown, giving the Rams the win. Green ultimately earned 37 receiving yards in four receptions.
“We didn’t win too many games last year, we lost a lot of close games,” said Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson. “For us to come back in this environment with 90,000 people watching, that’s big for us and I’m glad we won.”
The Rams did not leave the Coliseum without their share of battle scars. Spruce suffered a knee sprain and safety Brian Randolph will miss this season with a torn ACL. Both players are among the legion of 2016 undrafted free agents on the team.
The Rams will face the Kansas City Chiefs this Saturday at 6:00 P.M. in the Coliseum. The Chiefs lost in front of their home crowd 16-17 to the Seattle Seahawks.