The Los Angeles Rams fell to the Houston Texans 24-20, following a game-winning drive by third-string quarterback Jeff Driskel on Friday night at SoFi Stadium.
Driskel found Mason Schreck for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 1:05 left in the fourth to help Houston erase a seven-point deficit to improve to 2-0 in the preseason. Los Angeles fell to 1-1 with the loss.
“Two weeks in a row where offensively we needed to score, and defensively we need to stop them at the end,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said. “I talk a lot about situational football and how we love as many of these opportunities as possible.”
The Super Bowl champion Rams rested its starters as planned for a second consecutive week and instead gave backup quarterback John Wolford an opportunity to take the field as a starter for the first time since 2020.
Texans starting quarterback Davis Mills took the field for the first time of the preseason and finished 10-of-17 for 96 yards and connected with fellow second-year wideout Nico Collins for an 18-yard touchdown.
“I was really pleased with the defense in the first half, with the exception of that two-play sequence,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “Overall, a lot of good things to be able to look at.”
Texans rookie tight end Teagan Quitoriano caught a six-yard touchdown from backup quarterback Kyle Allen early in the third quarter only before Los Angeles would quickly respond.
Roger Carter Jr. found the end zone off a muffed punt that led to a scoop and score for the Rams late in the third and Trey Ragas rushed 7 yards for a touchdown to retake a 20-17 lead with 5:11 to play in the fourth.
Wolford passed for 142 yards in the first half and completed six passes to tight end Brycen Hopkins for 41 yards. Bryce Perkins split play caller reps for the Rams and was efficient finishing 11-of-13 for 127 yards in the second half.
The Rams battled upfront but were ultimately sacked six times for a loss of 36 yards and only rushed for 46 yards on the ground.
“It’s part of the game,” Wolford said. “Those guys are battling up front, and (the Texans) have got their 1’s in, and (the offensive line) is doing the best they can. We knew that going in, and I think we did a good job, all things considered.”
Rams wide receiver Lance McCutcheon continued his stellar play, finishing with five catches for 98 yards on the night, now totaling 10 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns through two preseason games.
The undrafted free agent out of Montana State proved he belonged in his week one debut and did so yet again in week two, this time, running an impressive route past the third overall pick in the 2022 draft in Derek Stingley for a 22-yard gain.
“You can’t deny the fact that he showed up again and made the plays that he was asked to make,” McVay said. “Did a good job off the play action on running a good route, kind of got on the blind spot of an outstanding player in Stingley.”
The Rams will conclude its preseason finale on the road with a rematch of SuperBowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.