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How did rookies fare against Broncos in preseason finale?

Tre Tomlinson got disqualified; Stetson Bennett should’ve been disqualified

Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams went winless in preseason this year following a punchless loss to the Denver Broncos on Saturday night. LA lost all their preseason games by double-digits and failed to make a single matchup competitive.

It’s very evident that this Rams team needs better depth. They’re in for a painfully long year if some of their youngsters can’t catch on reasonably quick. Let’s rip off the band-aid now and dive a progress check on some notable first-year players from Week 3 of preseason.

Stetson Bennett

Not to overreact about anything that happens in preseason but is it wrong to be concerned about Stetson Bennett? Like super-duper concerned?

Bennett had a fairly decent (albeit average) showing in Week 1 against the Chargers. He was fortunate to escape that game without any turnovers. Whatever good fortune Bennett had vanished in a flash as he tossed three interceptions in the final two matchups against the Raiders and Broncos. The Georgia product had a very up and down first preseason that was all down after the Chargers game.

Again, I’m not trying to overreact over a preseason result. Yet the two picks Bennett threw in the shutout were all kinds of ugly. The first was thrown into double coverage which is a sin for every quarterback. Bennett appeared to zero in on the left side of the field as soon as the ball was snapped which is also a major no-no.

I have no clue what in the hell Bennett was trying to achieve on his second pick of the game as he threw the ball right into the waiting hands of Denver’s rookie linebacker, Drew Sanders. It was almost like Stets was playing Madden and hit the wrong button on his Xbox controller. Even so, someone hitting the wrong button on said controller would’ve made a smarter decision.

Points for the forced fumble though. Given the last two preseason games, I think Sean McVay should be thinking long and hard over who he names QB2. Bennett has proven he isn’t ready as he had gotten significantly worse over the course of his preseason sampling. I still believe in him at least getting a chance in the regular season but it sure as heck better go differently or this guy will learn quickly why the NFL stands for “Not For Long”.

Tre Tomlinson

Speaking of rookies making poor decisions:

Tre Tomlinson has done enough to make the 53-man roster. Nothing else could’ve possibly hurt his chances heading into his game, not even this penalty. Tomlinson had a violent takedown of Marvin Mims. There was no excuse for it. It was boneheaded and reckless.

Anyone calling this penalty “soft” needs to get over it. The league prohibits tackles like this for a reason. Depending on if it’s truly done in the name of player safety is another discussion. I felt an ejection was a fair punishment for Tomlinson’s actions. He needed to learn the hard way that those types of takedowns are unacceptable in today’s NFL. We’ll see whether that message has sunk through for Tomlinson once the regular season starts.

Prior to the ejection Tre was playing very well, contributing four solo tackles.

Undrafted Studs

In this section, I’m going to look at three undrafted standouts who performed well in Denver. With there not being much good to take away from this game in terms of youngsters, I’ll take any positives no matter how sparse.

First off, Quindell Johnson had himself a night. The undrafted safety out of Memphis led both teams with eight total tackles, a sack and a pass defensed.

Tyon Davis and Kelechi Anyalebechi both had six total tackles apiece. Anyalebechi had two tackles for loss included with his six tackles. Assuming these three guys make the roster, they’ll each have a chance to contribute. With the lack of depth at key positions all across the roster, it’s expected they’ll all play at some point.

Other Notes:

  • LA has to give Tanner Brown the boot in a hurry. Brown missed a 39-yarder and has struggled all preseason long. Why the Rams insisted on letting Matt Gay walk is beyond me. Sure Gay would’ve been expensive but it’s an easier pill to swallow than trusting a guy who’s going to cost this team some games. I don’t see Brown magically getting his act together before the season. Special teams is one area that needs a veteran and luckily Robbie Gould is available. Gee, I wonder who pushed for Gould back in March?
  • Davis Allen followed up his “awesome” debut with a total dud, catching a single pass for six yards on one target. In his defense, no playmaker outside of Austin Trammell could get anything going in the passing game Saturday.