The Los Angeles Rams just narrowly reeled off their second win in the preseason this past Saturday. Head Coach Sean McVay gave the first-team defense some run, and they looked impressive doing so.
Let’s take a look at how the team fared:
OL Jeremiah Kolone
Kolone was not able to separate himself at all. He allowed a sack on QB Brandon Allen, and had a penalty earlier in the game. For a team that’s invested highly in their backup offensive line, Kolone doesn’t seem destined to be a part of that.
CB Taurean Nixon
Nixon was absolutely torched all game. There was maybe one or two bright instances, like a break on a catch and excellent open field tackle on third-and-long. Outside of that, it was generally all bad for Nixon. He was beat for multiple long catches and had a pass interference penalty.
CB Troy Hill
Hill had a chance to build off of a great end to the season with the postseason game vs the Atlanta Falcons, but has looked sloppy through three games in the preseason. Hill got beat for a touchdown by Braxton Miller. He hasn’t been in great position in pass coverage, and we can only wonder why. With the season-ending injury for CB Kevin Peterson, and question marks on health surrounding CB Sam Shields, Hill had a chance to separate himself. He’s failed to do so.
QB Brandon Allen
Allen was awesome all game. From the moment he stepped in he looked in command of the offense and routinely converted passes to move the chains. There were a handful of throws with defenders bearing down on him that were placed perfectly. I’m not sure there’ll be enough time for Allen to win the #2 quarterback job, but he’s earned the shot to go head-to-head with QB Sean Mannion.
RB John Kelly
Are you tired of seeing Kelly here? I’m not, and I’m not sure this will be his last week here either. Kelly runs extremely tough. He uses his short stature and low center of gravity to his advantage, typically making it impossible for the first defender to bring him down. Kelly’s 15-yard touchdown was gorgeous, take a look:
Guys like John Kelly are the reason why many people suggest RB's shouldn't be drafted in round one.— Sosa (@QBsMVP) August 27, 2018
This cat just has it. A blind man could see it. pic.twitter.com/YaTCzkHkHS
WR Fred Brown
After having a rough performance in week two of the preseason, Brown bounced back nicely with a 5-35-0 line. Typically making catches not too far from the line of scrimmage, Brown improved a ton actually securing passes and taking hits showing his toughness. For Brown, it’s likely too little too late to make the roster, but it always helps to put out good tape.
EDGE Matt Longacre
Longacre wasn’t asked to do much in the game, but it’s nice to finally see him healthy and playing again. Longacre also had a rep on a end/tackle stunt where he came flying in for a sack. With the Rams needing to rely on Longacre this year, it’s a good time in the preseason for him to finally get healthy.
EDGE Ejuan Price
Price has been relatively quiet all offseason, though he showed up in a big way vs the Texans. Price had a sack on a beautiful spin move that was nullified for a non-existent penalty on ILB Micah Kiser. He also had another sack on the two-point conversion attempt to take the lead in the game. Prior to all of that, Price also had a great rep vs the run where he knifed into the backfield and made a tackle-for-loss.
CB Sam Shields
Sam Shields is the man. A former pro bowler, Shields was only available for the Rams because of a concussion history which nearly seen him walk away from the game. Once he was cleared and comfortable to return, the Rams knew they had a potential steal in Shields. So far, so good. Shields had a picture-perfect interception on Saturday, and has essentially cemented his role as the fourth cornerback on the team.
Yeah, Sam Shields is in fact still a stud.— Sosa (@QBsMVP) August 27, 2018
Lines up in off coverage, reads the QB's eyes, makes the break and runs the route for the WR, secures the pick.
Looks like the Shields of old. pic.twitter.com/90TkHnvOIG