The Los Angeles Rams survived the Oakland Raiders’ unyielding second half performance in a 19-15 victory. Special teams were key in the Rams victory, field goals were their only source of scoring in the second half.
“The preseason is a great chance for everybody to get live reps and real game action,” said Rams quarterback Sean Mannion.
He completed 10 passes for 84 yards, running back John Kelly had 18 carries for 56 yards. Undrafted free agent KhaDarel Hodge made two receptions for 57 yards.
“He’s a guy that’s consistently showing up,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said about Hodge. “For him to continue to take these steps in the right directions and then being able to demonstrate that play-making ability has been something that you definitely can’t help but notice and it’s been good to see.”
Quarterback EJ Manuel accumulated 89 passing yards from 10 throws. Running back Chris Warren III made 18 rushes for 110 yards and one touchdown; running back Jalen Richard and tight end Paul Butler made three catches for 35 yards each.
The defense of both teams were relentless in the first quarter, a first down was not made for almost 10 regulated minutes.
Linebacker Ramik Wilson picked up a deflected pass by Raider quarterback Connor Cook. This put Los Angeles in position to score, starting their first possession of the second quarter at Oakland’s 15-yard line.
Kelly would rush the ball and recovered his own fumble to earn a touchdown.
“Whatever I had to do to get in that end zone, that’s what I was going to do,” Kelly said. “[I] tried to go over the top of the guy, he kind of put his helmet on the ball and he helped me out because I got a fumble recovery.”
The Raiders subbed in six-year veteran Manuel and managed a 29-yard passing play to Jalen Richard. This was Oakland’s only first down of the quarter.
Former Prairie View A&M player Hodge kept up the Rams momentum, catching a 47-yard strike from Mannion, this helped lead the Rams to another field goal.
“It was a go route,” Hodge said about this big reception. “I seen the safety in the middle, so I knew [Mannion] would come to me.”
As Oakland’s offense struggled, their defense kept L.A. from the endzone. Kicker Greg Zuerlein made a field goal to end the half with a 13-0 lead.
The Rams reached 16 points after making another field goal. Oakland advanced down the field with rushes from Chris Warren and passes to Butler. Warren etched the Raiders on the scoreboard with a three-yard run. Oakland attempted a two-point conversion and failed, leaving their score at six.
Warren committed a 23-yard rush to push the Raiders deep in Rams territory. After scoring a field goal, Oakland linebacker James Cowser picked off a pass from quarterback Brandon Allen and the Raiders offense returned at the Rams 21-yard line.
Manuel set a pass to wide receiver Griff Whalen for a touchdown, The Raiders were down by one point at 15-16. Oakland attempted another two-point conversion and failed, Raiders head coach John Gruden did not want to risk putting the game into overtime.
Penn State product Sam Ficken kept the Rams away from a loss, executing a 32-yard field goal with five minutes left in the game.
The Rams will battle the Houston Texans at the L.A. Coliseum on August 25, 2018.