Touchdown-less Rams beat Seahawks 9-3 on Zuerlein's leg
The Rams were a certifiable hit in their return to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly 22 years. Now if they could just score a touchdown.
They have yet to find the end zone since leaving St. Louis, yet still managed to win their regular-season home debut on Sunday, beating the Seattle Seahawks 9-3 on Greg Zuerlein's three field goals - the longest a 47-yarder in the fourth quarter.
The Rams (1-1) were shut out in a 28-0 loss at San Francisco in their season opener.
"Last week, to put it simple, we got embarrassed," wide receiver Kenny Britt said. "And so to come back like this is good for morale and good for our confidence."
Plenty of penalties slowed down the game for the announced crowd of 91,046 on a searing day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Rams marked the long-awaited occasion by wearing blue-and-gold throwback uniforms for their regular-season home debut.
"You most definitely want to set the tone, especially at home," safety Mark Barron said. "This is what we do at home. When we come home, we win."
With field goals accounting for all the offense, it was hardly the high-scoring show Los Angeles sports fans are known to crave.
At times, the dull roar of chatter was the loudest sound from the crowd until the fourth quarter when they were on their feet cheering the Rams' defense.
Alec Ogletree recovered a fumble by Seattle's Christine Michael at the Los Angeles 29 with 57 seconds left in the game, ending the Seahawks' last scoring bid.
"It kind of happened all so fast," Ogletree said. "I was kind of just roaming the field. I dropped like 30 yards deep, which I don't even think I was supposed to do. I just saw him (Russell Wilson) check it down, I just ran it down."
The drive included an incomplete pass from Wilson and a false start penalty on the Seahawks.
"It was just a great play by those guys," Michael said. "They played a tremendous game. I just got to do better, hold on to the ball in those situations."
Barron had 11 tackles and Ogletree added eight to lead the Rams' defense.
Seattle racked up 10 penalties for 114 yards; the Rams had nine penalties for 78 yards.
The teams put on a defensive slugfest, with passes getting broken up in the end zone, offensive drives ending in punts and neither quarterback airing it out much.
Wilson was 22 of 35 for 254 yards, getting sacked twice. He sprained his right ankle in last week's win over Miami.
Rams starter Case Keenum was 18 of 30 for 239 yards. He was sacked three times.
"I made sure as I'm running out just to savor that moment," Keenum said about emerging from the tunnel to flames and fireworks. "I'm going to remember it forever. It might not have been the prettiest game, but it was a lot of fun."
The victory extended the Rams' recent dominance against their NFC West rival. They've won four of their past five against the Seahawks, including both games last season. The Rams' defensive line has sacked Wilson 18 times in the past five meetings.
"We got to see them twice a year," Barron said, "so we want to establish that and let them know we are coming."
Zuerlein got the Rams on the board in the first quarter with a 39-yard field goal. The Seahawks (1-1) tied it on a 23-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka in the second.
Zuerlein put the Rams in front 6-3 on a 20-yarder with 1:04 left before halftime. Early in the fourth, he made it 9-3 on his longest kick of the game.
The temperature hit 88 degrees under cloudless skies and lead singer Anthony Kiedis stripped off his No. 16 Jared Goff jersey during the Red Hot Chili Peppers' pregame concert in the west end zone. A group of Rams Hall of Famers, including Jackie Slater, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Jack Youngblood helped light the Coliseum's torch, which also burned when the stadium hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.
Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, was promoted to backup for the game after being the inactive third-stringer in the Rams' opening-week loss. Goff practiced with the first-team offense more often during the week, but has yet to make his regular-season debut.
HE SAID IT
"I like touchdowns, but I love winning," Keenum said.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll returned to the Coliseum, where he oversaw Southern California's football dynasty for nine years that included two national championships before jumping to the NFL. Rams coach Jeff Fisher was back in the same stadium where he played for the Trojans in college. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman played for the first time near his hometown of Compton.
LBJ IN THE HOUSE
LeBron James of the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers attended the game as did members of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings.
The Rams sacked Wilson for an 8-yard loss and they recovered the ensuing fumble to end the first half. ... The last time the Rams wore their throwback uniforms was throughout the 1999 season, when they went 13-3 and won the Super Bowl. ... The Seahawks have scored a combined 15 points in their first two games, having beaten Miami 12-10 last week. ... The Rams shared the Hollywood spotlight Sunday with the Emmy Awards, which were being held up the street from the Coliseum.
Seahawks: They host San Francisco next Sunday.
Rams: They travel east next Sunday to play Tampa Bay.