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PFF grades and notes from Rams’ preseason win over Chargers

No surprise - Lance McCutcheon and Bryce Perkins were LA’s highest graded offensive players

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams won their preseason opener on Saturday night - defeating the cross-town rival Los Angeles Chargers in the battle between the SoFi Stadium tenants.

Receiver Lance McCutcheon and quarterback Bryce Perkins played the entire game and carried the offense to victory. The Rams’ offensive line struggled to create much room in the running game, which made it difficult to judge the performance of running backs Jake Funk, Raymond Calais, AJ Rose, and Trey Ragas.

While Robert Rochell, Decobie Durant, and Derion Kendrick have played well in training camp, we only saw them for the first quarter Saturday evening. Jalen Ramsey, David Long, Jr., and Troy Hill are the veteran starters at cornerback, but the young trio will play an important role for LA at times this season.

Here’s how PFF graded the individual performances from the first preseason contest:

Offensive notes:

Top 5 graded players:

1 - Lance McCutcheon, WR: 88.8

2 - Bryce Perkins, QB: 78.9

3 - Tremayne Anchrum, OL: 71.4

4 - Jeremiah Kolone, IOL: 70.4

5 - Jake Funk, RB: 70.4

McCutcheon is making a strong argument to be included on the team’s initial 53-man roster ahead of the regular season, though the receiver room is deep and the numbers game shifts the odds against him.

Perkins recorded an elite 90.0 running grade, but PFF graded his passing at 64.6. In the same ball park for the passing grade last season were Trevor Siemian, Andy Dalton, Baker Mayfield, and Tyler Huntley - which perhaps builds Perkins’ case as a capable backup in the NFL.

It’s not surprising to see Anchrum as the top-graded OL from Saturday night - he’s in his third year with the team and has been highly regarded since being drafted in 2020. It is surprising to see Jeremiah Kolone ahead of players like Logan Bruss, Bobby Evans, and AJ Jackson. Kolone is somewhat of an afterthought when discussing the OL depth chart, but maybe it’s time we take his candidacy for the 53-man roster more seriously.

Jake Funk graded out higher in the pass game (72.3) than the run game (67.6) after taking a screen pass ten yard, but the offensive line didn’t create much room on the ground. Hopefully that won’t be the case in the remaining two preseason games and we can start to see separation in the running back depth competition.

Other Notes:

Perkins often had defenders in his face just after the ball was snapped - and it seemed he was running for his life at times.

That’s because the Rams reserve lineman didn’t hold up in pass protection, and Jackson (27.0), Bruss (7.6), Evans (31.4), and AJ Arcuri (25.7) all received failing grades in pass protection.

Defensive notes:

Top 5 graded players:

1 - Michael Hoecht, DT: 77.0

2 - Jake Hummel, MLB: 70.9

3 - Jake Gervase, MLB: 70.5

4 - Russ Yeast, DB: 69.3

5 - Keir Thomas, EDGE: 67.6

Hoecht received a promising pass rushing grade of 80.5.

Hummel performed well in the tackling front - recording 8 tackles and 3 assists for a grade of 83.0. He also allowed 4 receptions on the same number of targets for 26 yards. Gervase, a converted safety, and Hummel are likely competing for the same roster spot at middle linebacker.

Hoecht, Hummel, and Gervase would be staples on special teams should they make the regular season roster - Hoecht played a ton of special teams reps in the playoffs and Super Bowl a year ago.

Thomas was disruptive rushing the passer - recording 4 total pressures on 15 rushes and earning him a grade of 70.0. PFF has his pass rush win rate at 33.3%, which was the highest figure on the Rams defense.

Other Notes:

Robert Rochell was only on the field for 15 snaps, and Derion Kendrick and Decobie Durant only played 16. Rochell was targeted twice but did not give up a completion. Kendrick gave up a 4-yard completion on 3 targets. Durant surrendered an 11-yard completion on his only target, and he was also credited for a missed tackle which could be a concern due to his lack of size.

Safety Terrell Burgess, who has been in the coaches’ dog house for the better part of the last year and a half, allowed a 41-yard touchdown catch and was graded at 41.0 accordingly. This was his only target in pass defense.