What We Saw: Preseason Week 3

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from the final week of the preseason

Rams @ Bengals

Final Score: Bengals 16, Rams 7

Writer: Matthew Theodosopoulos (@FreeMattyTee on Twitter)

 

It’s here! The Super Bowl rematch we’ve all been waiting for. Unfortunately, it’s taking place in a mostly-meaningless preseason game in which most of the starters are not playing, but hey, Super Bowl rematch, baby! The Rams’ offense led by third-year quarterback Bryce Perkins struggled to put points on the board, with the duo of Brandon Allen and Jake Browning doing enough to lead the Bengals to victory. Second-year running back Jake Funk handled several carries but did not do much of anything to stand out.

 

Los Angeles Rams

| Preseason Week 1 | Preseason Week 2 |

 

Quarterback

 

Bryce Perkins: 14/19, 143 yards, 2 Sacks | 8 carries, 33 yards, TD

 

Bryce Perkins handled all the snaps at quarterback for the Rams, continuing to show the promise he has throughout the preseason. He was able to stay patient and step up in the pocket pretty nicely. That being said, the Rams’ offense hardly moved downfield all day. They did not lead a successful drive with points until the 4th quarter when Perkins got them on the board with his insane athleticism.

 

 

Perkins looked good running on some option plays, and despite having a mostly quiet day on offense, looked very capable. He was strip-sacked on one play, but the Rams were able to jump on it. With Matt Stafford safely cemented as QB1, Perkins did what he could to try to de-thrown John Wolford for the QB2 spot.

 

Running Back

 

Jake Funk: 12 carries, 32 yards, Fumble (Lost) | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Trey Ragas: 11 carries, 52 yards, Fumble (Lost) | 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard

 

Jake Funk got the starting nod at running back, but he looked anything but impressive. He struggled to find much room at all and did little to create yards on his own. He also had a fumble late in a drive with the Rams knocking at the door. The coaching staff gave him the start to see what he could do and he did not do all that much. With the health of both top dogs Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson constantly up in the air, Funk is a necessary name to know in case either, or both, miss time. Trey Ragas ran a little bit better than Funk but also had an ugly fumble himself late in the third quarter.

 

 

The Rams drafted Kyren Williams in the fifth round of the 2022 draft, and coach Sean McVay said after the game that they decided not to play him as an integral part of the plan for the 2022 season. With that knowledge, you’re probably looking at one more running back to make the roster.

 

Wide Receiver / Tight End

 

Lance McCutcheon: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 76 yards

Jared Pinkney: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards

Landen Akers: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards

Austin Tramell: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards

Roger Carter Jr.: 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards

Jacob Harris: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

 

Lance McCutcheon kept up his preseason dominance as Bryce’s favorite target yet again and looked very solid doing it. McCutcheon has had at least five catches in every preseason game this season, with this his lowest yardage total at 76. Not a bad exhibition period for a guy looking to possibly be the wide receiver three behind Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. He showed great ability to track the ball in the air and was really the only Rams wide receiver to stand out at all.

 

 

As mentioned, the Rams’ wide receiver depth chart gets a little bit foggy after the first two names after the Van Jefferson injury. McCutcheon has certainly made a name for himself this preseason. Definitely keep his name on your radar.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

| Preseason Week 1 | Preseason Week 2 |

 

Quarterback 

 

Brandon Allen: 11/15, 130 yards, 2 sacks | 1 carry, 3 yards

Jake Browning: 19/24, 173 yards, TD | 1 carry, 12 yards

 

With Joe Burrow not seeing any preseason action, Brandon Allen got the start in the Bengals preseason finale. Allen looked good, dealing with pressure and making quick strikes early. He delivered a nice deep ball on their second drive of the game.

 

 

Allen did fine moving the ball and getting the Bengals in favorable positions. However, he was unable to lead any touchdown drives. Jake Browning came in for the last drive of the first half and then continued to play the entirety of the second half. Browning looked fine and almost led a 2-minute drill touchdown on the drive he played in the first half. However, the touchdown was called back on a penalty, and the Bengals settled for another field goal. He is capable of bailing on a collapsing pocket, showing nice escapability. I liked what I saw from both quarterbacks.

 

Running Back

 

Chris Evans: 5 carries, 10 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Trayveon Williams: 7 carries, 22 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 40 yards

 

There is little to say about the running back performances for the Bengals. Chris Evans started the game but did not run very inspired at all. Trayveon Williams wasn’t much better, though he was more of a presence in the passing game, catching four balls. With Joe Mixon clearly the bellcow in this offense and Semaje Perrine established as the pass-catcher/third-down guy, Evans and Williams are battling for that backup spot to Mixon. Evans probably has the lead at this point.

 

Wide Receiver / Tight End

 

Trenton Irwin: 10 targets, 9 receptions, 93 yards

Kendric Pryor: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 65 yards | 1 carry, 2 yards

Kwamie Lassiter II: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 42 yards

Stanley Morgan: 2 targets, 1 reception, 32 yards

Mike Thomas: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards

Justin Rigg: 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards, TD

Trent Taylor: 1 target

Thaddeus Moss: 1 target

Nick Eubanks: 1 target

 

The Bengals wide receiver room may already feel crowded with incumbents Ja’Marr ChaseTee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd taking up three spots, but there’s always room for more productive players at wide receiver. Mike Thomas and Stanley Morgan played early, a sign they could have the inside track at the WR4 and WR5 spots on the roster. Trent Taylor seems to have carved himself out a role as the team’s punt returner. Trenton Irwin established himself as a favorite target for the quarterbacks, catching 9 balls on 10 targets. Irwin showcased very reliable hands and has set himself up nicely to make the team. With such a crowded WR room, talented players like Kendric Pryor and Kwamie Lassiter II could end up being cut despite showing promise.

 

 

In any case, it will be difficult to find reliable fantasy output beyond the big three Bengals targets. If one of them were to go down, Thomas and Stanley could become more interesting.

Thad Moss caught a touchdown at the end of the first half, but it was called back after he was flagged for offensive pass interference. Tight ends did very little in this game. Hayden Hurst and Drew Sample remain at tight end for the Bengals.

 

Thank you for reading!

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