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  • but long-awaited party ends early for Rams,NFL playoffs return to L.A.

    In the shadow of the Coliseum, where the Rams have not played a playoff game in 39 seasons,Womens Pharoh Cooper Jersey, the most devoted of diehards, dressed in their throwback yellow and blues, can’t help but smile and wonder. A year ago, a playoff berth was no more than an impossible dream.

    the sentimentality fades into the ecstasy of the moment., Womens Todd Gurley II Jersey,at this tailgate, there’s plenty of talk of destiny. It’s the only explanation that seems to justify how this turnaround came to be,Here, but inside the Coliseum

    questions of whether the team might ever catch on in the city have raged on. But on this particular night, but here, as game time approaches. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner who presided over the Rams return,Since the Rams return, the buzz in the building is at a fevered pitch, walks the first row of bleachers obliging autographs and snapping selfies. Goodell’s presence at most NFL stadiums often elicits boos, the sentiment in the building leaves no room for negativity.

    it certainly felt like this night belonged to the Rams. Before the game,Womens Aaron Donald Jersey, as a Kendrick Lamar bass line quaked through the entire bowl,One poster Goodell signs reads “Why not us? Why not now?” And until the final whistle blew and the team’s charmed season met its end,Womens Tyler Higbee Jersey, fans danced on bleachers across the stadium. Players bounced to the beat as they stretched. It wasn’t until the game started that their energy turned anxious and frenetic.

    from Eric Dickerson to Torry Holt to Steven Jackson, splicing the Rams name into a medley of his greatest hits. It was one hell of a party, lined the sidelines. Celebrities made appearances. Snoop Dogg performed at halftime,Rams legends,Authentic Rob Havenstein Jerseyy, rapping in a suitable fog of smoke, in a city that lives for such nights.

    it’s all worth it.”,” said Dave Stanley, one of the original members of the Rams’ fan group,Authentic Tyler Higbee Jersey, “We stuck it out all of these years, the Melonheads. “We hung with the Rams. Now

    For the rest of Los Angeles? Only time will tell whether the Rams have won them over. A long playoff run might’ve gone a long way towards making that a reality.

    the apathy and empty seats were a distant memory. The playoff drought was over. After 32 years,Authentic Jamon Brown Jersey,one-year turnaround for the Rams, the NFL postseason returned, however briefly,But for one night, to Los Angeles. And after a miraculous, it seems clear that the city won’t have to wait much longer to experience it again.

    Construction began Monday on USC’s $270 million project to renovate the historic stadium at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, according to a school spokesman.

    who shared the Coliseum this past season, hosted the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday night. Rain on Monday in L.A. did not delay the start of the project,The start of construction had been delayed about a week while the Rams, the school also said.

    Senior associate athletic director Steve Lopes said earlier in the fall that construction was scheduled to begin once the Rams’ season ended, which was concluded with their 26-13 loss to Atlanta.

    The timeline of the renovation is not expected to be impacted.

    Had the Rams instead defeated the Falcons, construction would have been delayed an additional week and possibly longer if they won in the divisional round and hosted the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 21.

    An official groundbreaking ceremony will be held later this month

    scheduled to be completed by the 2019 season,The project, commences the first major upgrades for the Coliseum in two decades.

    000 to 77,Capacity will ultimately shrink from about 94,500 and include the addition of luxury boxes and club suites.

    Construction will start with the building of a so-called scholarship tower on the south side that will hold the luxury boxes and club suites. It will halt in August prior to the Rams’ first preseason game, then resume once their 2018 season ends.

    000 in 2018 while the renovation is underway,Capacity will be about 80, prompting USC to twice reseat season-ticket holders for this fall and in 2019.

    The Rams will play two more seasons at the Coliseum before moving to their new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.

    Under its lease, USC is required to fund the upgrades for the Coliseum after it obtained management control of the stadium.

    who grew up near Atlanta, the Rams (11-5) are in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. The NFC’s third seed drew a tough matchup with 2016 league MVP Ryan and the Falcons (10-6), and a roster of playmakers including Jared Goff,Led by the 31-year-old McVay, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald, who appear capable of making another conference run.

    But the Rams expect to feed off the excitement of a city hosting its first playoff game since the L.A. Raiders’ last postseason trip 24 years ago.

    ” Goff said. “After football has been gone from here for so long, and we come back in Year 2 and are able to bring a playoff game to the Coliseum,“It’s definitely a cool thing, that’s very cool.”

    the second-year pro coming off a transformative 3, who is in the playoffs for the sixth time in 10 years. Both teams have a wealth of offensive playmakers,804-yard season ,Goff, is eager to face off with Ryan, from Rams MVP candidate Gurley to star Falcons receiver Julio Jones.

    The Falcons are back for their first postseason game since that memorable Super Bowl collapse against New England. That loss could have broken weaker teams, but coach Dan Quinn kept this bunch together — and now they’re the only group in the six-team NFC field that also made the playoffs last season.

    “I love the resiliency and the toughness of this team,” Quinn said.

    The Falcons (10-6) are still working to take the sting out of the meltdown in last year’s Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan leads a once-prolific offense that has struggled to find consistency under new coordinator Steve Sarkisian.

    as the Rams led the NFL with an average of 29.9 points per game during the regular season.,Authentic Pharoh Cooper Jersey, led by 31-year-old coach Sean McVay, who turned second-year quarterback Jared Goff from a bust into a solid starting NFL quarterback over the course of one offseason. In fact,The Rams (11-5) are the new kids on the playoff block, Los Angeles resembles the Atlanta attack of last season

    Atlanta needed a victory against the Carolina Panthers last week to secure the final NFC playoff berth and officially knock the Seahawks out of contention. If not for an inconsequential missed field goal at the end of the Seahawks’ game on Sunday, it would have been the Falcons’ three-point victory in Seattle on Nov. 20 that would have proved the tiebreaker.

    the Falcons could now been seen as playing with house money. They were the third NFC South team to make the field,In some respects,Authentic Todd Gurley II Jersey, and they enter the playoffs with very modest expectations nationally — even as the only team in the conference to return to the postseason from last season.

    ” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “When you’ve been through some of the fire together,Womens Jared Goff Jersey,“I love the resiliency and the toughness of this team, you come out the other side stronger as a brotherhood.”

    which can be a Catch-22. Postseason experience can be invaluable during the pivotal moments of a playoff game,Womens Rob Havenstein Jersey,The Rams have the youngest team in the league, but Los Angeles is also not burdened by the ghosts of playoffs past.

    The young Rams served notice of their immense potential with a 42-7 shellacking of the Seahawks — who had won the NFC West three of the previous four years — in Seattle two weeks ago. Atlanta enters Saturday with 141 combined games of playoff experience on its roster. Los Angeles? Just 21.

    ” McVay said. “When I say that, I have a whole lot of respect for experience and what that does and the value that it provides. But I do think that we’ve got a confident group,Authentic Jared Goff Jersey,“I don’t think it is a concern, a mature group for a young football team.”

    The Falcons have won the past four meetings, the most recent being a 42-14 victory in 2016. But these are two vastly different teams now.