A good kickoff for Rams and Chargers
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (News4usonline) — There’s a lot to take in for the first preseason football game. For the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, their 2022 debut was filled with building blocks and lessons for improvement. The Rams, led by the arm and feet of quarterback Bryce Perkins, handed their city rivals a 29–22 defeat at SoFi Stadium on Aug. 13.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins (16) scrambles for a big run against the Los Angeles Chargers in a preseason NFL game played at SoFi Stadium on Aug. 13, 2022. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline
“What a fun game to be a part of tonight,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said after the game. “Two good teams being able to go at it. A lot of guys that have made major contributions that got a chance to really be able to shine tonight in front of the fans.”
McVay continued, “I thought it was an outstanding atmosphere. I was really pleased with Bryce Perkins, his ability to be able to make plays off schedule, be able to get in and out of the huddle. Obviously, Lance McCutcheon shined in a really big way. Then, I thought the defense was tough throughout. I was also really pleased with our coaching staff, their overall operation.”
The overall numbers of Perkins don’t suggest his dominant play in the game. For the game, Perkins completed 10 of 17 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He also added an additional 39 yards on eight carries. And to boot, he also scooted into the endzone rushing the football on a naked bootleg, giving him three touchdowns on the night.
“It was good getting out there and competing,” Perkins said. “It’s always different going from training camp to the games. A lot of adrenaline to run and the added element of the last-minute touchdown. The guys did a great job, the line did great and I think the receivers did a great job, going out there and competing, and the running backs had some nice runs. It was fun seeing all those guys talking about getting their opportunities and really getting out there and showing off, so it was fun.”
Perkins was not the only player to shine for the Rams. Lance McCutcheon, an undrafted rookie out of Montana State, made the most of his opportunity to impress the Rams’ coaches. McCutcheon is hoping to make the team. His performance against the Chargers just might elevate those chances.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Lance McCutcheon (82) streaks up the sideline to complete a 60-yard touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL preseason game played at SoFi Stadium on Aug. 13, 2022. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline
McCutcheon led the Rams in receiving, grabbing five passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. His 60-yard touchdown reception off a deep throw from Perkins was a thing of beauty. In man coverage, McCutcheon outmaneuvered Deane Leonard of the Chargers for the ball and sped off for the touchdown pass-and-grab. Chargers safety JT Woods collided with Leonard on the play, which allowed McCutcheon to basically walk into the endzone.
“I just saw the ball in the air and I first was just trying to come down with it,” McCutcheon said in a postgame interview. “It ended up being a contested catch and was able to just kind of move the ball away from him and get my arm out of there. That was kind of what happened.”
Playing in his first NFL game, McCutcheon felt the stir of excitement.
“It was awesome,” McCutcheon said. “First NFL game, it felt pretty good to play the way I did. My mom was here. That’s number one for me to have my mom and my aunt here. Being able to, first, just have them here and be able to do what I did, that means a lot to me.”
A good day or good night was also in the cards for Chargers backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Easton Stick. Both Daniel and Stick are competing for the №2 position behind Justin Herbert. Daniel and Stick played exceptionally well against the Rams. Daniel had first dibs at it and went 11-of-17 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Stick was just as impressive, completing 16-of-23 passes.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley (25) rushes for some positive yards in an NFL preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 13, 2022. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline
“I think both of our quarterbacks played well tonight. I thought they both moved the team, took care of the football, make good decisions,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said. “That’s the way they’ve been throughout camp. I think both of them have improved, and that’s what we’ve been looking for. The next game, Easton is going to start the first half and Chase will take the second half. Those guys are in competition, but it’s really healthy competition for our football team. We like our quarterback room a lot. I liked the way both of them played.”
For Daniel, this first game was about working out the rust and a little nervousness.
“I thought it was great to get back under center,” said Daniel. “ You haven’t really been hit in a year because the last time I played was last preseason. A little jittery out there, but I thought we put up a good showing. It was good to get the first drive touchdown.”
“We sort of stalled on the two drives, mainly some misthrows by me,” Daniel added. “We were able to get the two-minute drive out the gate. I thought everyone played really well. It’s the first time playing against someone other than yourself, so that’s always good. You’re getting to see another color and hit it, but for the most part, it looked sharp.”