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Top four wins in the Coliseum's last four years

The Rams celebrate 38 seasons at the Coliseum as they play their final contest of 2019 against the Cardinals.

I think you're really going to love the field design, inspired by the 1951 NFL Championship Game, in which the Rams defeated the Cleveland Browns for their first title in Los Angeles.

And don't miss the opportunity to join us on the field for postgame fireworks and a video tribute.

Let's get nostalgic with my four favorite wins from this most recent four-year stint at L.A.'s most historic house:

4. August 13, 2016. Behind folk hero Nelson Spruce, the Rams rally to beat the Cowboys in the first preseason game of their homecoming.

3. September 27, 2018. Jared Goff's perfect game (158.3 rating) leads the Rams over the Vikings on Thursday Night Football, their fourth victory on their way to an 8-0 start.

2. January 12, 2019. Todd Gurley, C.J. Anderson, and the men in the trenches trample the Cowboys by a 273-50 margin in rushing yards. It was a win that felt even more dominant than the 30-22 score and sent the Rams to the NFC Championship game.

1. November 19, 2018. Amid community tragedy and disaster, the spirit of "L.A. Together" was broadcast to a national audience throughout a breathtaking 54-51 win over Kansas City on Monday Night Football.

Fight On

One of the best things about sharing the Coliseum with USC has been witnessing former Trojans – including Reggie Bush as a member of the Bills in 2016 – come down that tunnel in NFL uniforms.

We can safely say that Sunday will be the last time, and the Week 17 experience will be enriched by all the Trojans on the Rams roster.

Robert Woods has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, taking his career to the next level back home in L.A.

Likewise for Nickell Robey-Coleman, one of the best slot corners in the league.

Clay Matthews bounced back in 2019 with eight sacks in 12 games despite a broken jaw.

I'll be looking for each member of that trio to secure one more memory on that hallowed turf against the Cardinals.

Mundt's Nuts

When the emerging Rams tight end finds pay dirt for the first time as a pro, I'm strongly considering this call: "Crack 'em and pack 'em! Touchdown Johnny Mundt!"

Find out why in the latest Rams Revealed podcast, and remember, it's never too late to make someone's holidays with a care package from Mundt's Nuts.

5 x 100

His fellow tight end Tyler Higbee deserves All-Pro consideration for the season he's had, and in particular, a record-setting month of December.

Beginning with his breakout performance at Arizona, Higbee became the first tight end since the 1970 merger to put together four consecutive games of seven-plus catches and at least 100 yards receiving.

And he can become the first tight end in NFL history to surpass 100 receiving yards in five consecutive games if he does it again in the 2019 finale.

Desert Dominance

On the topic of NFL history, the Rams are the first franchise to win five straight games against a single opponent (Arizona) by scoring at least 30 points and holding their opponent to fewer than 17 points in each.

By any score, one more victory on Sunday would match their longest win streak in the series with the Cardinals (also six straight wins from 1979-87).

Greatest Streak On Turf

There are no playoff scenarios this week, but lest you think there's nothing to play for, consider this: The Rams have not strung together three winning seasons in succession since the Greatest Show on Turf days, 1999-2001.

I'll take a three-year winning streak over the alternative, a three-game losing streak to close out the decade.

Long Time Coming

Pop quiz. No Googling.

Who was the third pick of the Rams 2019 Draft?

After selecting Taylor Rapp (9 starts this year) in the second round and trading up for Darrell Henderson (13 appearances) in the third, who came next?

Before Bobby Evans (6 starts) and Greg Gaines (9 games played) and David Edwards (9 starts) came off the board, with the 79th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams selected...

The pride of Loyola High School, David Long, Jr.

We've seen Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, Darious Williams, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Aqib Talib, and Marcus Peters start at corner this season.

And finally, in Week 17, the third pick of the Rams most recent draft should make his first start, in place of Ramsey.

Murray's Milestone

If he plays through a balky hamstring, how about this company Kyler Murray is almost certain to join?

With 103 yards passing on Sunday, the Cardinals top selection would become the sixth player in NFL history to pass for 3,500 and rush for 500 yards in a season.

The others? Randall Cunningham (1988), Daunte Culpepper (2002), Cam Newton (2011), Russell Wilson (2015), Deshaun Watson (2018). Newton is the only other player to do so in his rookie campaign.

In case you're thinking, "What about Lamar Jackson?"

The soon-to-be MVP will rest on Sunday with 3,127 yards passing and 1,206 rushing in 15 games. So he doesn't meet these particular thresholds, but is certainly operating in a whole other league of his own.

The Los Angeles Rams practice ahead of the team's final game home game of the 2019 regular season at the Coliseum against the Cardinals.

Just Fumble Already!

My nomination for mind-boggling NFL stat of the year is the fact that Murray has yet to lose a fumble in 591 combined pass and rush attempts. He's only put three footballs on the ground through 15 games.

He could become the first NFL rookie quarterback to start all 16 games without losing a fumble.

…or Aaron Donald could strip sack him on the opening drive and Dante Fowler could scoop and score. Just saying.

Pass Rushing For The Record

Chandler Jones is coming off another NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor for his four-sack performance in Seattle. His season total is 19, which puts him in a position very similar to where Aaron Donald stood at the end of his 2018 masterpiece – within long striking distance of Michael Strahan's (diluted) sack record of 22.5.

Earlier this month, Rams offensive tackles Andrew Whitworth and Bobby Evans silenced Jones in Glendale. It was the NFL sack leader's second-lowest game grade of the season, according to Pro Football Focus. Can they keep him out of the sack column again?

Fitz's Finale?

Three years ago, in Week 17 at the Coliseum, Larry Fitzgerald caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer in the fourth quarter of a blowout victory over the Rams.

I watched closely as Fitz kept the football and took it with him to the sideline for safekeeping. There had been reports that he was considering retirement (as any 33-year-old receiver would). It felt like a perfect high note on which to finish.

Since then, all he's done is catch 249 more passes for 2,649 additional yards and tacked on 16 receiving touchdowns to his career total.

So if this is Fitzgerald's final game, I'll be honored to witness it in person. But there's absolutely zero chance I'll believe he's retiring until he holds that press conference.

Around the Horns, For the Last Time

As for which Rams could be playing their last game in Royal & Yellow?

Aside from Donald and Jared Goff, it could be the hurrah in Horns for just about anyone. Such is life in the NFL, especially entering an offseason like 2020, where difficult business decisions have to be made.

In the vicinity of potential retirement, the candidates would include Matthews, Eric Weddle, and Andrew Whitworth, though the 38-year-old left tackle has indicated he may not be done yet.

And that group represents one of the primary reasons why Sean McVay has such regrets about not making the playoffs.

"You care so much about the whole team. But it's guys (like them)… that are on the latter half of their career, that you want to work so hard to try to help them achieve a certain level of success," the head coach told us this week.

"It's especially those guys in particular that just make you sick that we don't get a chance to compete afterwards and see these guys get an opportunity to go compete for a championship. Those are things that'll really eat at me for a long, long time."

As for the contractual category, high profile free-agents-to-be include Michael Brockers, Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler, and Greg Zuerlein. It's a virtual certainly that not all of them will be on the sidelines of SoFi Stadium next September.

Everyone mentioned here – along with the rest of the roster – has my admiration and appreciation for all they have given the Rams organization and fan base, both on and off the field.

Goodbye, Bruce

There are certain people so uniquely suited for their roles that you cannot imagine an operation working without them.

When that individual is quite literally the Director of Operations, the concern over replacing him is surely multiplied tenfold.  

Bruce Warwick is leaving the Rams to pursue a new opportunity with the Florida State football program. And while I should be happy for him, his wife, and their sons, I'm too selfish to get there until at least 2020.

The players in the weight room have nothing on the heavy lifting that Bruce and his team do daily, for a fraction of the glory. The scope of their responsibilities would be overwhelming, if not for the relative ease with which they pull it off, season after season, unfailing in their attention to detail.

Thank you, Bruce.

Your buses always ran on time, even if we weren't always on time running for those buses.

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