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LA Rams-LA Chargers Report Card: Back Down To Earth We Go

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The Rams have had some highs this preseason, but the lows were bound to follow.

Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Quarterbacks

C minus grade

Not terrible, but not great either. Starting QB Jared Goff made an extremely impressive play in the pocket, dancing to buy time, and dumped it off to Malcolm Brown for a 22-yard gain. Though he also had a strip sack returned for a TD that some may blame him for holding the ball too long, and a very bad overthrow to an open Sammy Watkins that resulted in an INT. With that being said, he still had the offense effectively move the ball. Sean Mannion had another up and down performance. Lots of hospital balls, but also a nice TD to rookie Josh Reynolds.

Running Backs

B minus grade

With starting RB Todd Gurley not playing, it was Malcolm Brown who got the start. Brown finished with nine carries for 44 yards, and added the one reception for 22 yards. He was impressive - running strong and with vision, and routinely breaking arm tackles. The backup RB spot seems to be in a stranglehold by Brown.

Wide Receivers

A minus grade

Sammy Watkins didn’t get a catch and Cooper Kupp missed the game, though the second starter Robert Woods did have two receptions for 23 yards and looked sharp. The mainstays came from the second group with Josh Reynolds (three catches, 71 yards, one TD) and Pharoh Cooper (five catches for 70 yards). They both looked great, and likely instill a lot of confidence in the WR depth. Paul McRoberts also chipped in three receptions for 41 yards continuing to look like a guy who could very well land on the practice squad.

Tight Ends

C minus grade

Not much of note here. Rookie TE Gerald Everett had two catches for a lowly six yards, and starter Tyler Higbee didn’t register any stats, though he did have a very nice seam route where he beat the LB and could have resulted in a TD if Jared Goff was able to connect with him with a better pass. The play resulted in a pass interference penalty.

Offensive Line

B minus grade

Not much on this front either. Outside of a bad rep by RT Rob Havenstein on the Joey Bosa strip sack TD, there wasn’t many transgressions at all, and the running game under Malcolm Brown was productive. Even with that being said, players like Joey Bosa are special, and allowing one sack isn’t a big deal, it only seemed worse because of the result of the sack.

Defensive Line

D grade

The defensive line didn’t do much of anything notable. Sure, the second stringers were going against the Chargers starters, but they got bullied. There wasn’t a single positive play, whether it was vs the run or pass.

Linebackers

B minus grade

The LB’s were more active than the DL, so they’ll get graded better. Once again, all four starting LB’s were out of the game, but some backups had good games. Most impressive was ILB Josh Forrest who was around the ball all game. Andy Mulumba also chipped in with the Rams only sack.

Defensive Backs

C+

This was a tale of two halves. First, starter Lamarcus Joyner got toasted by Travis Benjamin for a 45-yard TD, and did nothing outside of that. But the backup S’s, did much better. Marqui Christian was very active with seven tackles and one forced fumble, Blake Countess chipped in with three tackles, and Isaiah Johnson also looked impressive. Rookie DB John Johnson looks active and quick all over the field too. Lastly, UDFA Dominique Hatfield reeled down an INT capping off an impressive day for him.

Special Teams

B grade

Starting Kicker Greg Zuerlein looked very good going 3/3 with one of those being a 57-yarder. The punting game also looked fine with two punts for a 52-yard average. The trouble comes with backup K Travis Coons, who missed a game-winning FG, and was subsequently released yesterday.

Coaching

B plus grade

Outside of an unfortunate miserable start, the Rams pitched a three quarter shutout, and were in position to win the game on a short missed FG. Oh, and the Rams officially used the challenge flag, and are officially now 1/1 on the preseason.