The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Chargers in their first preseason game of the season. In the battle of LA, it was the Rams who came out on top 29-22. Here are seven Takeaways from the game.
1. We Will Have To Wait to Catch Tutu In Action
Since the Los Rams selected Tutu Atwell with their second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, fans have been eager to see him make plays on the field. In 2021, Atwell dealt with a huge learning curve, along with a season ending shoulder injury he sustained against the Titans on SNF.
In 2022, though, Tutu came into camp looking to turn heads. The 5’9 University of Louisville product has been showcasing his blazing speed, consistently beating defenders deep down the field in Rams camp. With Van Jefferson’s recent knee injury, there has been some competition at WR3 and Atwell has helped fill that void. Fans were looking forward to seeing that action live last night against the Chargers but that will have to wait as Tutu has carved himself out a role with the Rams offense in 2022, according to this quote from Sean McVay.
“He’s done a great job throughout camp. He’s gonna have a role with this team and we didn’t want to put him at harm’s risk. So he’s gonna be a part of what we’re doing this year and that was because he’s done well, not because he’s done anything other than that.”
Looks like we will have to wait for week 1 to see what TuTu Atwell can bring to this offense.
2. Bryce Perkins Continues To Show Improvement
Over Sean McVay’s tenure with the Los Angeles Rams, he has usually only kept two quarterbacks on the 53 man roster. Last year he kept three, keeping young QB Bryce Perkins on the roster. During the Rams’ preseason games, Perkins shows why he makes it such a hard decision for Sean McVay.
After a slow start for the offense, Bryce Perkins put them on his back and put on a show. Perkins’ arm, escape ability, and athleticism were all on display last night. Completing 10 of 17 passes for 133 yards, he showed excellent efficiency when the ball was in his hands. He connected on a couple pair of touchdown passes, building on what seems like a strong training camp relationship between he and UDFA WR Lance McCutcheon. He also rushed for a score on a goal line read option. It will be interesting how Perkins’ Rams career plays out, as he is showing consistent improvement every time he takes the field.
3. Did Rams Find a Gem in UDFA WR Lance McCutcheon?
For a lot of the Ramily, the focus last night was on the improvement of Tutu Atwell. However it was another WR who stole the show. WR Lance McCutcheon is an undrafted rookie receiver out of Montana State. He put on a show last night, making some outstanding grabs and showcasing some tremendous body control.
McCutcheon recorded 5 catches for 87 yards and 2 scores, including an impressive 60 yard TD catch from Bryce Perkins while breaking away from two defenders. With the Los Angeles Rams suddenly being deep at WR, it will be interesting to see if McCutcheon can steal a roster spot with more impressive performances through the rest of camp and the preseason.
4. Rookie CB Derion Kendrick Looks Good in first NFL Action
A name that continued to be called on Saturday night was rookie CB Derion Kendrick. The Rams are suddenly deep and talented at the CB position, and Kendrick is a big reason why. At 6’0 and 190 pounds, Kendrick is a big physical corner. In the 1st quarter, he dropped a potential interception on a Chase Daniel pass intended for WR Josh Palmer.
This pick would have for sure been taken back for six. Although he did not complete the pick 6, Kendrick showed tremendous awareness, football IQ, and close in speed on the play. His ability to redirect in zone coverage, along with his natural traits in man coverage make him an intriguing young player to watch. He doesn’t quite look like a rookie out there, and I expect Kendrick to garner a good amount of playing time for the Los Angeles Rams this season.
5. Is It Time To Worry About Terrell Burgess?
In the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams selected Safety Terrell Burgess. His skills at safety along with his ability to play Nickel made fans eager to see him play. It has not gone as planned for Burgess, considering his lack of playing time thus far. With him being in the game last night, it is obvious that he hasn’t yet carved out a role with this defense.
In the first quarter last night, Chase Daniel connected on a deep pass for a touchdown with Burgess in coverage. He looked lost on the play, not a good sign for his progress with the team. You have to wonder if time is running out for him to become a contributing player for this squad.
6. Good Signs of Progress for DL Bobby Brown and Earnest Brown
In last years draft the Los Angeles Rams took rookie defensive linemen Bobby Brown and Earnest Brown. Last night, the two showed good signs of progress, making some plays for the Rams. Both Bobby and Earnest registered sacks on the night. Although Bobby Brown will be suspended for the first 6 games of the season, this improvement and progression was good to see. We’ll see if Bobby and Earnest can earn a spot in the regular DL rotation later on in the season.
7. Logan Bruss Struggles Early
We got a glimpse of Rookie Guard Logan Bruss last night against the Chargers. Sean McVay said earlier in the week the Coleman Shelton was starting to take over the competition at right guard. Bruss gave up a bad sack last night on third down, leading to a punt. However, his confidence seemed to rise as the game went on. You can see him firing off the ball, and looking more comfortable as his reps increased. Whether or not Bruss will be a contributor this year is yet to be determined, but it’s good to see him get valuable reps in the preseason against some of the Chargers starters.