Rams vs. Chargers: Who Wins L.A.’s Heart

The NFL and Los Angeles have had a complicated relationship. Today the City of Angels is home to both the Rams and Chargers but that followed a 21 year stretch without America’s favorite sport.

Various professional football teams called LA home in the early to mid 20th century including the Rams who moved from Cleveland and the Chargers before they left for San Diego after one year. The Raiders made LA a two team town again with their relocation from Oakland in 1982. Due to a split fan base and stadium concerns, both the Raiders and Rams left following the 1994 season.

During the NFL’s two decade absence the country’s second largest media market was used as a bargaining chip for clubs to convince smaller cities to contribute public funds for new stadiums. The threat of relocation was real though for the St. Louis Rams in 2016 and the San Diego Chargers one year later. By the start of the 2017 season LA was home to two NFL franchises again.

How Have the Teams Done Since the Move to LA?

While the Rams’ move was celebrated in the Southland, the Chargers relocation was criticized. The Chargers have been and continue to be a distant third choice among NFL fans in LA. According the TV ratings the Rams were Angelenos’ second choice with the Raiders the top pick.

The Rams began to make up ground as their play improved on the field. Head coach Jeff Fisher fired after going 4-12 in the team’s first season back in LA. Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay was hired to be the Rams next coach. At just 30 years old, he became the youngest head coach in the NFL’s modern era.

McVay turned quarterback Jared Goff from potential bust to potential franchise QB. The Rams went 11-5 in McVay’s first year to 13-3 and Super Bowl runner ups in year two.

Meanwhile, the Chargers hit the LA ground running in their first regular season. Despite an impressive 21-11 combined record their first two years, the Chargers “home field advantage” has been nonexistent in LA.