The Rams preseason came to an official end today, and the team can now look towards Tuesday’s roster deadline and begin preparation for the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday September 8th. With that being said, today’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals marked the end of the road for a lot of men on the current roster, while some have worked their way towards the lifelong dream of making a 53 man roster in the NFL.
The final score today: Rams 7 Bengals 16
The game got off to an awfully slow start, as the Rams could not muster any points in the 1st quarter while the Bengals had a single field goal, as both defenses shined early on with the Rams getting solid pressure on the QB with 2 first quarter sacks. However, Bryce Perkins led a solid drive at the end of the 1st quarter that carried over to the 2nd quarter, however the drive came to an abrupt end inside the 10 yard line following a crucial fumble by Jake Funk that resulted in a Rams turnover.
That turnover then led to 3 more Bengals points, as defensive end Michael Hoecht made a big-time play to sack Brandon Allen in Rams territory to halt a long 13 play drive by Cincinnati, marking the Rams 2nd sack of the first half.
The Rams offense failed to gain any real momentum in the first half as the offensive line continued their struggles in the preseason, forcing Bryce Perkins to rush through reads and failing to create any real lanes to run through for the running backs. The Rams secondary also seemed to be a real weakness, as Bengals QB Brandon Allen went 11/15 for 130 yards in a quarter and some change of action. Jake Browning then came in for Allen at the end of the first half and immediately led yet another FG drive for the Bengals, going 6/7 for 70 yards in his first series of plays, making the halftime score 9-0 Bengals.
The second half got off to an almost identical start, as the Rams first threatening drive ended on a fumble once again, except this time it was Trey Ragas who coughed the ball up just inside of Bengals territory. Luckily, the Rams defense continued their stout play and did not allow the turnover to result in any points.
However, the Rams were finally able to capitalize on a solid drive, scoring a touchdown on an incredible effort by quarterback Bryce Perkins that was set up by a long connection to preseason all-star Lance McCutcheon, making the score 9-7 with around 11 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Bengals would respond on their ensuing drive, scoring off of a Jake Browning to Justin Rigg connection, capping off a 13 play, 75 yard drive to make the score 16-7 Bengals with just over 4 and a half minutes left in the contest.
STAT LEADERS FOR RAMS:
Passing: Bryce Perkins 14/19 143 Yards
Rushing: Trey Ragas 11 carries 52 yards
Receiving: Lance McCutcheon 5 receptions, 76 yards
Tackles: Grant Haley 7
Sacks: Michael Hoect, Keir Thomas 1