Seven takeaways from Rams’ NFL preseason win over Chargers

Seven takeaways from Rams NFL preseason win over Chargers

he defending Super Bowl champion Rams opened the preseason against the Chargers on Saturday night at SoFi Stadium.

Here are observations from the Rams’ 29-22 victory:

Bryce Perkins off to a good start

Perkins completed 10 of 17 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown in seven carries.

He showed his running ability and toughness when he broke four tackles on a scramble for a first down.

It was good start for a player making a bid for a start-of-season roster spot for the second season in a row.

Tutu Atwell remained on the sideline

Atwell, a second-year pro trying to put a disappointing rookie season behind him, was the talk of Rams training camp.

He made impressive catches nearly every workout and earned praise from coach Sean McVay, who said Atwell would play during preseason games.

But the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Atwell never left the sideline against the Chargers.

Did McVay think the risk of injury was too great?

Atwell and second-year pro Ben Skowronek will be counted on if starting receiver Van Jefferson does not recover from knee surgery in time for the Sept. 8 opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Offensive coordinator Liam Coen called plays

McVay said he affords assistants preseason play-calling opportunities because he benefited from the experience when he was an assistant in Washington. Former Commanders coach Jay Gruden let McVay call plays during the preseason.

“Jay Gruden comes up to me before one of our preseason games and says, ‘Do you want to call it?’” McVay said last week. “And I say, ‘Yeah, heck yeah.’… It’s in a good setting where we’re not really trying to game plan, but you’re getting the experience of using the headset, communicating in the 42-second play clock, making calls that are reactive defensively.”

Receiver Lance McCutcheon could be a player to watch

The 6-3, 202-pound McCutcheon signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent from Montana State.

McCutcheon impressed coaches during offseason workouts, and he made a huge play against the Chargers.

In the second quarter, McCutcheon ran a route along the left sideline and out-muscled two defenders for a pass before running about 30 yards for a 60-yard scoring play.

He also caught a two-point conversion pass.

Alaric Jackson in line to be a swing tackle

With Andrew Whitworth retired and gone to the broadcast booth, the Rams gave Joe Noteboom a three-year extension that includes $25 million in guarantees.

But who backs up Noteboom at left tackle?

It might be the 6-7, 285-pound Jackson, a second-year pro who signed with the Rams last year as an undrafted free agent from Iowa.

If Jackson continues to develop, he could serve as a valuable swing tackle behind Noteboom and right tackle Rob Havenstein.

Rookie Logan Bruss started at right guard

The Rams are in no hurry to rush Bruss into the lineup during the regular season, but Saturday night’s work served as a step in that direction.

Bruss played in the first half and helped the Rams rush for 67 yards and pass for 73.

Coleman Shelton is the front-runner to start at right guard against the Bills. But Shelton’s ability to play three interior line positions makes him a valuable commodity as a backup when the Rams deem Bruss ready to start.

Rookie Kyren Williams did not play

Williams, a fifth-round draft pick from Notre Dame, suffered a broken foot during offseason workouts and did not come off the physically unable to perform list until near the end of training camp.

Williams went through team drills last week, but the training staff is proceeding with caution with a player who could provide depth behind Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson.

Second-year pro Jake Funk started against the Chargers. He rushed for 16 yards in six carries. A.J. Rose rushed for a touchdown.

Rams feel at home as SoFi Stadium visitors

The Rams were the visiting team, and they will be the visitors when they play the Chargers during the regular season on New Year’s Day.

The Rams were the visiting team for Super Bowl LVI, and they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

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