Sunday, January 13, 2019

Rams Bring Back Football Glory Days to Los Angeles

It's Bill Plaschke, at LAT, "Rams’ glory days, and a city’s Super Bowl dreams, return in win over Dallas Cowboys":

After more than two decades of midwinter silence, a city’s football soul came alive again, cutting through the winter chill with a roar that shook the Coliseum down to its soggy ankles.

The Rams are 60 minutes from a Super Bowl.

In only their third season back, the city’s prodigal football sons brought winning playoff football home again, delighting awed witnesses with a frenetic, fireworks-blasting feast.

The Rams are one win from a Super Bowl.

In the greatest, latest football game played around here in many seasons, the Rams spent more than three hours on a soggy field Saturday giving thousands of yellow flag-waving fans a refresher course in January greatness.

This is what a playoff victory looks like. This is how a team survives football’s toughest tournament. This is how the Super Bowl becomes close enough to touch.

“This,” tackle Rob Havenstein said, “was electric.”

This was the Rams’ 30-22 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in a divisional playoff game that sent them to the NFC championship game next week in one of two places.

If the New Orleans Saints defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the Rams will take their toughness to the Big Easy. If the Eagles win, the conference title game will be back in the Coliseum, and won’t that be a hoot?

The winner of that championship game goes to the Super Bowl. Of course that’s how this works, but it never hurts to remind everyone because it’s been a while.

No matter who they play next week, I’m picking the Rams because, as a crowd delightfully dominated by the locals Saturday night, they are once again the Rams.

“That’s a big-time win for us,” coach Sean McVay said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

With a soggy field underneath them from the day’s early rains, with lingering smoke above their helmets from the midgame pyrotechnics, the Rams appeared in the Coliseum as if ghosts from the recent past.

They gained 459 total yards. They rushed for 273 of those yards. They didn’t commit a turnover. They barely made any mistakes. And they held the Cowboys’ great Ezekiel Elliott to 47 yards rushing.

“Our focus was to shut him down,” said Ndamukong Suh, who didn’t need to say anything else.

This was the team that started the season 11-1, not the team that finished it 2-2.

This was the Jared Goff who dominated defenses early, not the one who struggled late. He completed only 15 of 28 passes for 186 yards but managed the game to near perfection.

“This week was a big game, but next week will be a big game as well,” the ever-circumspect quarterback said...

And from former L.A.T. sports reporter Lindsey Thiry, not at ESPN:


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