Before an estimated crowd of 90,000, the defending Super Bowl Champions Los Angeles Rams returned to SoFi Stadium Saturday night, defeating their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Chargers, 29-22 in its preseason opener. Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins and undrafted rookie receiver Lance McCutcheon were game standouts as the Rams prepare for first-round cuts on Tuesday.
Perkins, the Rams’ third-string quarterback, went 10 for 17, completing 9 of 16 passes for 133 yards, no interceptions, and scored with a 1-yard TD during the third quarter. “I was pleased with Bryce’s ability to handle all the different situations that came up. He’s a playmaker,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said of Perkins. Former Rams linebacker Troy Reeder now a member of the LA Chargers, knew Perkins would be tough to stop – “I was telling our guys all night, to keep him in the pocket. He’s a special, special player. I think he’s a stud,” Reeder said. “Whenever I’m out there, I’m just trying to compete for my tail off for the guys. I know all those guys are fighting, so I just try to do my part and fight as well,” Perkins said. The Rams’ starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and backups John Wolford and Luis Perez did not play.
Rookie Rams receiver McCutcheon finished the game with five receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns, surely making a case for his place on the Rams roster. Rams running back Asim Rose rushed for the Ram’s first touchdown against the Chargers with a 1-yard TD during the second quarter, followed by a beautiful 60-yard touchdown pass from Perkins to McCutcheon to give the Rams a 14-7 lead. ‘I just saw the ball in the air, and first, I was just trying to come down with it. I went up in a contested catch and was just able to move the ball away and get my arm in there,” McCutcheon said. In third quarter play, Perkins would rush for a 1-yard TD with a two-point conversion pass to McCutcheon. Perkins would find McCutcheon again for an 11-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to put the Rams on top. Coach McVay presented McCutcheon with the game ball after the win over the Chargers. McCutcheon is currently the sixth receiver on the Ram’s depth chart.
The Los Angeles Chargers, in their loss against the Rams, would strike first with QB Chase Daniel finding wide receiver Joe Reed for a 41-yard touchdown. Charger backup QBs Easton Stick and Chase Daniel saw game action while starter Justin Herbert as expected, watched from the sideline. During fourth-quarter play, Stick rushed for a 3-yard TD and completed a successful two-point conversion to tight end Hunter Kampmoyer, a former Oregon Duck standout. The Chargers would score again in the second quarter, with Daniel finding wide receiver Michael Bandy for a 16-yard TD. Bandy finished the night with seven receptions, 73 yards, and 1 TD.
Daniel, a 13-year veteran, was 11 of 17 for 117 yards, while Stick was 16 of 23 for 119 yards and one interception. “I think both played well,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said of his quarterbacks. “They moved the team, took care of the football, and made good decisions. That’s the way they’ve been throughout camp.”
SoFi Stadium will see plenty of action this weekend as the Los Angeles Rams take on the Houston Texans on Friday while the Los Angeles Chargers battle the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.