LA is buzzing for the Rams, but how long will the honeymoon last?

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While there is palpable excitement for NFL fans in Los Angeles as they celebrate the return of the Rams to the city after two decades away in St. Louis, there is also a strong sense of "Let's wait and see."

The Rams are not expected to set the league alight with the quality of their play, having posted nine straight losing seasons with just four winning campaigns during their 21 years in St. Louis and a cumulative 64-127-1 record.

In addition, Los Angeles is the nation's second-largest media market and its sports fans have been spoiled for choice over the years, given the many championships won by some of the city's other professional teams.

SEE MORE: Which NFL team has the toughest schedule in 2016?

What is certain, though, is that the Rams will be able to enjoy something of a honeymoon period as their fans flock in big numbers to the iconic Coliseum for the first few home games of the upcoming season.

When the Rams beat the visiting Dallas Cowboys in an exhibition last month, the reported attendance was 89,140 - a preseason record for a game played in the United States – so fan attendance is unlikely to be a problem in the early going.

And while there will be some pressure on head coach Jeff Fisher to produce a winning formula in Los Angeles, most Rams fans will acknowledge he faces a tough task in the ultra-competitive NFC West, arguably the league's toughest division.

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32. Cleveland Browns

2015 record: 3-13

The Browns added Robert Griffin III into the mix to be the primary shotcaller in the post-Johnny Manziel era, and beginning Week 5, Josh Gordon will presumably be back on the field. It's a new era in Cleveland with former baseball exec Paul DePodesta in charge, but it may be a while until they actually bear the fruits of this rebuild.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

31. San Francisco 49ers

2015 record: 5-11

After an unsuccessful run in Philadelphia, Chip Kelly was brought in to help transform the 49ers. Despite efforts to move him, QB Colin Kaepernick could theoretically thrive in Kelly's fast-paced system -- but talent elsewhere is tough to come by.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

30. Tennessee Titans

2015 record: 3-13

Tennessee added DeMarco Murray to its backfield and drafted OT Jack Conklin to help both Murray and Marcus Mariota, so there should be some improvements -- but the Titans are still ways away from competing.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

29. San Diego Chargers

2015 record: 4-12

The Chargers added Joey Bosa to their defensive corps through the draft, but it will still be hard for them to score -- Melvin Gordon, after a subpar rookie campaign, is recovering from microfracture surgery.

(Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)

28. Detroit Lions

2015 record: 7-9

Calvin Johnson is no longer in the mix for Matthew Stafford, which means Golden Tate will need to step up big time if they hope to avoid a huge tail-off in the passing game.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

27. Miami Dolphins

2015 record: 6-10

Adam Gase will have some shiny new toys on both sides of the ball: Arian Foster and Mario Williams were both brought in via free agency, and Laremy Tunsil was drafted in the first round to beef up the offensive line. But Miami won't be able to take the next step until Ryan Tannehill proves he's a legitimate starting NFL quarterback.

(Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

26. New Orleans Saints

2015 record: 7-9

Nick Fairley and Roman Harper have been added to help out a woeful defense, but Drew Brees doesn't have much to work with on his side of the ball.

(Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Verizon)

25. Baltimore Ravens 

2015 record: 5-11

Assuming Mike Wallace eventually passes his conditioning test, he should help Joe Flacco's passing game. Steve Smith and Justin Forsett returning will also help, but with Flacco just eight months removed from tearing his ACL, we're tempering our expectations on this Ravens team.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

24. Los Angeles Rams

2015 record: 7-9

A full season of Todd Gurley being the premiere Rams back is intimidating, but banking on first-year quarterback Jared Goff to come out strong right out of the gate may be asking a bit ambitious.

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2015 record: 6-10

Second-year QB Jameis Winston looks to be in the best shape of his life, and his connection with WR Mike Evans should only strengthen as they gain experience together. Tampa Bay seems to be building an encouraging team.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

22. Chicago Bears

2015 record: 6-10

After missing his rookie season, WR Kevin White is healthy and should help form a dynamic receiving duo with Alshon Jeffery. Chicago lost Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett, however -- not to mention Adam Gase, who took the Dolphins' head coaching job.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

21. Philadelphia Eagles

2015 record: 6-10

Philadelphia selected Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in the draft, so it seems to only be a matter of time before Sam Bradford is supplanted under center.

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

20. Atlanta Falcons

2015 record: 8-8

The Falcons are returning much of the same roster that finished 2-7 last year, sans Roddy White and Jake Long. The team added Mo Sanu at a hefty price to replace White's spot on the depth chart, but there's not much about this Atlanta team that gets us excited.

(AP Photo/Todd Kirkland, File)

19. Buffalo Bills

2015 record: 8-8

In typical Rex Ryan fashion, the Bills will likely talk a big game all season long -- especially with the Patriots vulnerable without Tom Brady until Week 5, and the Jets going up against a brutally tough schedule. But does Buffalo have the talent to make the playoffs?

(AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File)

18. Jacksonville Jaguars

2015 record: 5-11

The Jags, at times, looked much better than their 5-11 record last year, and could compete for a potential playoff spot this season. With Blake Bortles able to utilize T.J. Yeldon, Denard Robinson, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson on offense -- and with some infusion of young talent on defense -- Jacksonville should be fun to watch.

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

17. Washington Redskins

2015 record: 9-7

Washington added Josh Norman to help its subpar defensive unit, and the team should have every chance to compete in a wide-open NFC East. Kirk Cousins, playing on a franchise tag, will have everything to prove entering free agency.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

16. Oakland Raiders

2015 record: 7-9

While the Raiders certainly have the pieces to finally piece together a good-to-very-good season, we're not going all-in on this bunch just yet. Though if Amari Cooper avoids a sophomore slump, Oakland should be extremely dangerous on offense -- with incredible potential on the other side of the ball, too.

(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

15. New York Giants

2015 record: 6-10

If NFL games were 50 minutes long instead of 60, last year's Giants would have had one of the best records in the league -- and Tom Coughlin would likely still be the head coach. Bob McAdoo is in charge now, and Victor Cruz could finally make his return to the field this season, flanking Odell Beckham in his third season. The defensive additions of Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon should make an immediate impact.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

14. Dallas Cowboys

2015 record: 4-12

Tony Romo is 36, but a fully healthy season from him could mean the difference between a division title and last year's four-win campaign. Ezekiel Elliott should contribute mightily right away, giving Dallas a great chance in a division that's completely up for grabs.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

13. Houston Texans

2015 record: 9-7

Adding Brock Osweiler is a major gamble, but could pay huge dividends if he can play an adequate enough quarterback to give Houston some sort of offense beyond DeAndre Hopkins' playmaking ability. J.J. Watt may miss the early portion of the season, but with so many versatile athletes on both sides of the ball, Houston should compete with the Colts for the division. 

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

12. Indianapolis Colts

2015 record: 8-8

Andrew Luck's injury derailed Indy's 2015 campaign, but after the front office finally decided to invest in his offensive line, a healthy year could put the Colts right back in contention to go deep into the playoffs.

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

11. Kansas City Chiefs

2015 record: 11-5

The Chiefs are returning much of the same squad as last year, and are largely banking on Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin to carry their passing game. Jamaal Charles remains one of the best backs in the NFL, but his health -- and Andy Reid's willingness to give him the ball enough -- could get in the way of his success.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

10. New York Jets

2015 record: 10-6

The Jets finally got their man in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who enjoyed the most success of his career as a Jet last season. With Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Matt Forte headlining the offense -- while Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Darrelle Revis hold down the other side of the ball -- the Jets could be contenders again after missing out on the playoffs last season despite winning 10 games.

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

9. Minnesota Vikings

2015 record: 11-5

If it weren't for an embarrassing missed field goal, the Vikings would've made it to the second round of the postseason last year. With most of the squad returning, the defense still sturdy and QB Teddy Bridgewater a year more mature, Minnesota should be in contention for the postseason once again.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

8. Seattle Seahawks

2015 record: 10-6

Marshawn Lynch is retired, but rookie Thomas Rawls ran for 830 yards as a rookie. He should return from injury in time for camp, so Seattle hopes to maintain their strength in that department. Russell Okung and Bruce Irvin are also both out of the picture, but the Seahawks sturdy defensive foundation remains. The pressure will likely again fall on Russell Wilson to excel with limited weaponry at his disposal -- but he's surprised us in that regard before.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

2015 record: 10-6

At full strength, the Steelers are among the league's best. But with Martavis Bryant out all this season while suspended, and Le'Veon Bell possibly banned until Week 5, Pittsburgh is missing two of its three best playmakers. Still, the team should probably be headed for the postseason -- but can't seem to get out of their own way.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

6. Cincinnati Bengals

2015 record: 12-4

The Bengals looked to finally be on their way toward a deep postseason run last year until a Andy Dalton injury derailed that thought. With much of the same core in tact, 2016 should deliver more of the same pre-Dalton injury results.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

5. Denver Broncos

2015 record: 12-4

Peyton Manning is happy in retirement, and the Broncos are moving forward with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. Considering how mediocre Manning was last year while banged up, though, Sanchez may not be as bad as some think -- and Denver's defense is still among the league's best. 

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

4. New England Patriots

2015 record: 12-4

After more than a year, the Deflategate saga came to an end earlier this month when it was announced that Tom Brady would have to serve his four-game suspension this season. A quarter-season with Jimmy Garoppolo sets them a hair behind the eight-ball, but we're never ones to doubt Bill Belichick.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

3. Green Bay Packers

2015 record: 10-6

After a disappointing 2015 campaign relative to their standards, the Packers are looking to bounce back with a dominant year with Jordy Nelson eyeing a return from a torn ACL. Eddie Lacy was instructed to get in better shape for this season, and if his conditioning has improved, Green Bay could be in the hunt for the NFL's best record.

(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

2. Carolina Panthers 

2015 record: 15-1

It's easy to forget, but the Panthers enjoyed their run to the Super Bowl last season without top receiver Kelvin Benjamin. They lost Josh Norman to Washington, but a strong defensive foundation -- and meaningful game experience -- should have the Panthers in contention for a deep playoff run again this season.

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

1. Arizona Cardinals

Most of last season's impact players are back for 2016, and the team added Chandler Jones, Robert Mathis and Robert Nkemdiche on the defensive end. If Carson Palmer can maintain last season's output at age 36, there's reason to believe the Cardinals can be football's best team in 2016.

(AP Photo/Matt York)

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WAITING GAME

Fisher will also be playing something of a waiting game with his quarterback, as he plans to start the season with Case Keenum, who backed up Nick Foles for the Rams last year and is now a placeholder for the No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff.

"He's not ready, but he's really, really made significant progress," Fisher said of Goff before adding that second-year pro Sean Mannion would initially be the likely back-up to Keenum. "I think it's going to take a little bit more time

"That isn't to say he (Goff) can't be a (No. 2 quarterback])when we start. But if you were starting right now, I'd probably have Sean as the 2."

Overall, Fisher was pleased with how the Rams are shaping up after completing more than 20 practice sessions at University of California, Irvine, and four preseason games with a win-loss record of 2-2.

"From a health standpoint, we're in good shape," Fisher said of the Rams, who are back in the city where they played from 1946 to 1994. "Mentally and emotionally, we're ready to compete. Everybody improves from Day One through the end of camp, so I think we've done that.

"The guys understand the preseason games and they understand that there's a lot of things that go on out here from a football-scheme standpoint that we don't do in preseason games, so they have that realistic picture about them."

As far as the 'big picture' is concerned, the return of the Rams to Los Angeles could be successful well beyond the team's 'honeymoon period' if certain factors coincide, according to sports business expert David Carter.

"The return ... will be significant provided the team is competitive on the field, well run off it, and has a strong understanding of the Southern California marketplace," Carter told Reuters.

"If this were to be the case, the team could certainly attract the corporate and fan dollar over time and become a strong presence in this crowded entertainment market," said Carter, who is executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California.



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