The Los Angeles Rams fell, 34-17, to the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night in Week 2 of the preseason. However, when it comes to the preseason, it’s less about the final score and the result and more about how the players perform on the field and the process.
Despite their second loss of the preseason, there are some positives that the Rams can take out of the game. LA was also sloppy in some areas. Here’s a quick stock up, stock down look at the Rams roster after the loss to the Raiders
Stock Up: RB Ronnie Rivers
There is a lot of debate on whether or not the Rams will keep three or four running backs. They still may end up just keeping three with Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, and Zach Evans. However, Rivers isn’t going down without a fight.
Rivers had nine carries for 42 yards on Saturday evening against the Raiders. With Evans being just a rookie, it might make sense to keep Rivers as a player who has experience in the offense. He also brings value on special teams as a returner. Rivers played well and is someone that the Rams like. He made a strong case for the roster with his latest performance.
Stock Down: Edge Rushers
There has been some discussion that the Rams should or might consider bringing in a veteran edge rusher. This is something that they desperate need even if it’s just to show the younger guys the ropes. The Rams young edge rushers have potential, but as it stands, they aren’t getting the job done. Aaron Donald’s presence may help a little bit, but these guys will still need to win one-on-one matchups.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of options for the Rams on the free agent market. Jadeveon Clowney was signed by the Baltimore Ravens and Justin Houston signed with the Carolina Panthers. Robert Quinn ran into legal problems over the weekend which would rule him out. Kyle Van Noy could be an option as would be Carlos Dunlap. However, do either of those players want to enter a rebuild situation?
Stock Up: RG Tremayne Ancrhum
The offensive line’s pass-blocking as a whole was pretty good against the Raiders. They gave up three total pressures. With that said, Anchrum continued to build off of a strong performance last week as well.
Right guard is an interesting situation as it’s clear that the Rams want Joe Noteboom to start somewhere on the offensive line given his contract. The issue is that he lost the left tackle competition and he can’t play left guard with Steve Avila at that spot. That leaves right guard, but Anchrum is playing well and Noteboom can’t stay healthy. At what point do the Rams stop doubling down on Noteboom? Anchrum has been the Rams’ best pass-blocking offensive lineman in the preseason and should start.
Stock Down: QB Stetson Bennett
After having a strong debut against the Los Angeles Chargers, Bennett wasn’t as sharp against the Raiders. He’s lucky he only threw the one interception. Bennett had two chances in a two-minute drill and didn’t pick up a first down. For much of the night, Bennett seemed off and appeared like he wasn’t seeing the field clearly.
The rookie quarterback did have some nice throws and finished strong with a rushing touchdown. With that said, it makes you wonder if the Rams do only end up keeping two quarterbacks or if they keep Brett Rypien for the time being.
Stock Up: S Quindell Johnson
The Rams aren’t going to be able to keep all of their young safeties. In all likelihood, four or five will make the roster and another two will make it on the practice squad. Still, it’s important for these guys to separate themselves. Last week it was Tyler Ingle. This week, Quentin Lake and Johnson each made some nice plays.
In the fourth quarter, the Raiders had 2nd-and-goal from the four-yard line. The Raiders ran a jet sweep to Tre Tucker and Johnson came up and made a really nice open field tackle. The Raiders scored on the next play, but it wasn’t an easy play to make. Throughout the game, Johnson showed his versatility lining up in the box and as a free safety. He may not make the final roster, but he’ll certainly be a practice squad candidate.