Los Angeles Rams vs Los Angeles Chargers Matchup
The historic Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley once said, “People cut themselves off from their ties of the old life when they come to Los Angeles.”
The Rams and Chargers are proof of that. Originally located in Cleveland, the Rams moved to LA in 1946. After 49 years in LA, they decided to move to St. Louis, Missouri. The new stadium and practice facility lured them in. Eventually Los Angeles came calling, so the Rams packed their bags and moved back in 2016. Owner Stan Kroenke harshly left St. Louis. The NFL paid out the city roughly $790 million for they way the Rams cut ties with their old life.
The Chargers’ story is similar. They were founded in Los Angeles in 1960 before moving to San Diego after one year. In 2017, the Chargers moved back to LA in a shocking move. After 55 years, owner Dean Spanos decided he could make more money in Los Angeles. He sent out a short letter at a press conference he didn’t attend. This was like the football team version of ghosting a city.
Even though both teams are now in Los Angeles, there isn’t much history between the two. There’s been 13 games in this series. The Rams lost 10-31.
The first game was in 1970, San Diego @ Los Angeles. Rams dominated this game 37-10. They’ve only played one time as “The Battle for LA” which was the most recent matchup. Rams won this one 35-23 in 2018.
The only OT game in this series history occurred in 1975. Rams @ Chargers in October. There was no scoring in the first quarter. The Rams kicked a field goal to lead before half. The Chargers scored ten straight in the third to take a 10-3 lead before LA answered with a TD to tie the game. The fourth quarter was a stalemate. OT was ended when the Rams drove down and kicked the game winning field goal to stay undefeated against the Chargers.
2002 was much more high scoring. San Diego was looking to avenge their 26-point defeat two years prior. After getting behind 0-7, the Chargers fired back scoring 17 straight points to lead 17-7 at halftime. LA scored a TD early in the third cutting the lead to three. Chargers then returned a fumble 82 yards to lead 24-14 going into the fourth. Rams QB Marc Bulger took the game over. He threw two TD passes to Isaac Bruce in fourth quarter including the game winner. Bulger finished with 453 yds and 4 TDs.
- Aaron Donald: 3x DPOY (tied for most ever), 7x All-Pro, fasted DT to 100 career sacks in NFL history
- Deacon Jones: 2x DPOY, 8x All-Pro, unofficially the Rams’ sack leader, also invented the term sack
- Marshall Faulk: 1x MVP, 3x OPOY, 6x All-Pro, franchise record 58 rush TDs
- Kurt Warner: 2x MVP, 1x Super Bowl MVP, face of “Greatest Show on Turf” offense
- Phillip Rivers: Franchise leader in pass yds (59,271), pass TDs (397), 6th in NFL history in both pass yds & pass TDs
- Antonio Gates: Most TDs by TE NFL history (116), 3rd most rec yds by TE NFL history (11,841)
- LaDainian Tomlinson: 7th most rush yds NFL history (13,684), 2nd most rush TDs NFL history (145)
- Junior Seau: 1x DPOY, 8x DPOY, franchise leader in tackles (1,480)
Who Wins the Next One?
The Chargers have had much more success at home against the Rams than on the road. They are 3-1 in San Diego compared to 2-6 away. The caveat here is both teams are in LA playing in the same stadium. There’s only been one game played between the two new LA teams which the Rams won. My recommendation here would be to back the Chargers. The Rams have really struggled to run the ball which has been the soft spot for the Chargers’ defense. This game also features multiple future Hall of Famers in Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey. A daunting defense that young Chargers phenom Justin Herbert will look to beat for their first “Battle of LA” win.