What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

The WWS Team recaps the first week of the NFL Preseason

Rams @ Chargers

Final Score: Rams 29, Chargers 22

Writer: Dan Adams (@Dadams0323 on Twitter)

 

The Rams really get preseason. Not only did they rest all of their starters, and a not insignificant number of key backups, but they also let the play clock run down almost all the way before each snap. They wanted to get in and get out with as little risk of injury as possible. That didn’t stop this from being an exciting game either, as both LA teams came to play. The Chargers opened the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown against broken coverage, but the Rams scored 14 unanswered to get back in the game. After the teams traded touchdowns to start the second half it was an 11-play, 75-yard drive by the Rams to take the lead that ultimately proved to be the difference. The Chargers came close to tying the game late, but a pass from Easton Stick went through the hands of the receiver for an interception that sealed the game. The Rams won 29-22.

 

Los Angeles Rams

 

Quarterback

 

Bryce Perkins: 10/17, 133 yards, 2 TD, 2 Sacks | 8 carries, 39 yards, TD

 

Bryce Perkins handled all the snaps for the Rams and showed some real potential. His passing needs a little work, and he needs to release the ball faster, but his ability to run with the ball is already NFL-ready. Perkins scored a rushing touchdown on a beautiful read-option.

 

 

Perkins was also an escape artist in the pocket, with several nice plays to avoid a sack but none more impressive than this spin move to shake the first defender before breaking another tackle and getting up field.

 

 

Perkins also showed off a nice deep ball, and overall flashed enough potential that if he ever winds up starting a regular season game he should be on everyone’s fantasy radar.

 

Running Back

 

Raymond Calais: 8 carries, 25 yards

A.J. Rose: 8 carries, 19 yards, TD

Jake Funk: 6 carries, 16 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards

Trey Ragas: 4 carries, 9 yards

 

Jake Funk got the start at running back but didn’t stay in the game long. While he was on the field he looked slow and barely got what was blocked for him. A.J. Rose and Raymond Calais handled the majority of the running back work after Funk checked out. Calais showed a bit more burst, while Rose looked to be more powerful. Rose had a great touchdown run, shrugging off a would-be tackler before finding his way into the end zone, and also drew a defensive pass interference on a route down the sideline.

 

Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson both have checkered injury histories, so any running back on the Rams’ final roster is worth monitoring.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Lance McCutcheon: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 87 yards, 2 TD

Austin Trammell: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 27 yards

Brycen Hopkins: 2 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards

J.J. Koski: 1 target

Landen Akers: 1 target

 

If you only caught the highlights you’d be forgiven for thinking Lance McCutcheon was the next coming of Calvin Johnson. McCutcheon made an awesome catch over a defender down the sideline and somehow maintained his balance as two defenders ran into each other, allowing McCutcheon to walk into the end zone.

 

 

McCutcheon wasn’t done though, and again proved to be too big and too strong for the defense to handle when he caught the go-ahead touchdown by easily out-muscling the defensive back.

 

 

No other receiver really stood out, and with the Ram’s receiver depth chart unsettled behind Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson McCutcheon’s name may be one to remember.

 

Los Angeles Chargers

 

Quarterback

 

Chase Daniel: 11/17, 117 yards, 2 TD, Sack | 1 carry, 22 yards

Easton Stick: 16/23, 119 yards, INT, Sack | 2 carries, 6 yards, TD

 

Veteran Chase Daniel got the start tonight and mostly looked how a veteran should look in the preseason. He was lucky to get away with a few risky passes, but for the most part he looked decisivie and easily moved the Chargers down the field for two scoring drives. He did underthrow Joe Reed a bit on the first touchdown pass, but Daniel looked competent enough to run the offense in a pinch should starter Justin Herbert miss any time this year.

Easton Stick took over in the second half and showed off a little bit more athletisicim. He scored on a read option of his own, and his arm strentgth jumped off the screen compared to the other quarterbacks who played tonight.

 

 

 

Running Back

 

Isaiah Spiller: 10 carries, 34 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards

Joshua Kelley: 3 carries, 16 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards

Larry Rountree III: 3 carries, 8 yards

Leddie Brown: 1 carry, -2 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards

 

Joshua Kelley got the start at running back tonight, perhaps a sign that he’s the frontrunner for the backup job behind Austin Ekeler. Kelley was solid, and looked fairly quick with his touches.

Larry Rountree III was the next man in, and he did not look quick at all. He appeared to try to run with a bit more power, but the end result was uninspiring.

Rookie Isaiah Spiller got a long look with both the backups and the third-string offense. The broadcast was raving about him, but for the most part he looked more solid than impressive. He showed good vision and an ability to fall forward, but he did not display any explosiveness and didn’t create any yards that weren’t already there. If he can show he is dependable, which is what he looked like tonight, that might be enough to carve out a role behind Ekeler. Still, for as highly-touted a running back prospect as he was I was expecting a more dominant showing against a lower level of defensive competition.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Jalen Guyton: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards

Joshua Palmer: 4 targets

Michael Bandy: 11 targets, 7 receptions, 73 yards, TD

Joe Reed: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 61 yards, TD

Sage Surratt: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Erik Krommenhoek: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

 

Joe Reed got the party started by capitializing on a defensive miscommunication for an easy 41-yard touchdown.

 

 

Reed is a deep-threat with a chance to play meaningful snaps in an offense led by Justin Herbert, so he’s a name to keep in mind for DFS when the regular season starts. Joshua Palmer and Jalen Guyton made brief appearances in this one. Palmer failed to haul in any of his four targets and had a pretty brutal drop. On the other hand, Guyton made a great play to come back for the ball and bail out Chase Daniel, who had thrown up an ill-advised throw, to convert a third down.

Michael Brandy earned an outstanding eleven targets and was on his way to a dominant performance, including a touchdown where he made it look easy by getting to the edge of the defense and outrunning everyone to the endzone.

 

 

Unfortunately, Bandy also let the ball go through his hands on the last meaningful play of the game which led to the game-ending interception.

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