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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)



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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