The Los Angeles Rams finished their preseason homestead with a 21-20 win against the Houston Texans. The Rams defensive line was strong, executing seven quarterback hits and eight pass deflections.
Quarterback Sean Mannion made 11 passes for 68 yards and one touchdown, running back John Kelly made two trips to the end zone with 15 carries for 64 yards. Wide receiver Fred Brown had five catches for 35 yards.
“I think maybe the thing people don’t notice is the way he’s developed in pass protection and route running,” Mannion said about Kelly. “The running ability jumps off to you as the obvious and easiest to see.”
Texans signal caller Brandon Weeden completed 10 passes for 108 yards, running back Alfred Blue made five rushes for 45 yards. Tight end MyCole Pruitt completed four catches for 29 yards.
Both the Texans and the Rams earned a touchdown each in the first quarter, with an interception being the catalyst of each score. Safety Kareem Jackson would gain the pick for Blue to score and an interception from Sam Shield would set up Pharoh Cooper for a touchdown pass.
“Any chance you get the ball off a turnover, we’re expected to capitalize on that situation,” Cooper said.
The Rams edged down the field from the Houston 46-yard line for Kelly to gain a rushing touchdown after eight plays.
“He’s done a really good job,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said about Kelly. “He’s continuing to develop day in and day out.”
Soon after Houston regained possession, wide receiver Sammie Coates Jr. was on a receiving end of a 32-yard play with quarterback Weeden. A few plays later Weeden sent a touchdown pass to wide receiver Braxton Miller.
Los Angeles kept possession for most of the third quarter, escaping from six third downs. Kelly broke free from defenders to make 15-yard run.
“I just took advantage of the soft spot. My linemen, they did a great job blocking up front, gave me a one-on-one with the safety,” Kelly said. “I was able to make him miss, so shout out to my o-line on that one and those receivers that were blocking on the perimeter.”
Houston, however, still had gas in their tank. Quarterback Joe Webb III sent a long pass to wideout Vyncint Smith for a 43-yard play. With the line of scrimmage deep in the red zone, Webb delivered a pass to wide receiver Quan Bray for a score.
With a one-point deficit, Houston attempted a two-point conversion. Linebacker Ejuan Price readily chased down Webb for a sack in the backfield, nullifying the play.
A few projected starters participated on some snaps during the game including defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and safety John Johnson. Despite getting a small amount of in-game reps, Johnson is confident that the marquee players are prepared for the season.
“We’re pros, we practice against probably the best offense in the league,” he said. “We face good competition every day.”
The Rams will conclude their preseason in New Orleans, battling against the Saints on Thursday, August 30 at 5:00P.M.