By: Cameron DaSilva | 4 hours ago
The Los Angeles Rams could do very little offensively against the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night, falling 14-3 in the preseason opener. It’s hardly a concerning loss for the Rams, but it was also somewhat uninspiring.
Here are our notes and analysis from the preseason opener, which was started by Blake Bortles at QB and finished by John Wolford.
Play of the game
Kevin Peterson’s interception in the second quarter was one of the better plays of the night. It was a poor throw and decision by Mike Glennon, but it was a great read by Peterson, who was sitting back in a deep zone.
He jumped the route and made Glennon pay with the interception.
Number to know: 12
The Rams committed far too many penalties on Saturday, getting flagged 12 times. There were five others that the Raiders declined, too. Some were minor infractions like illegal formation, but others were more concerning – penalties such as an invalid fair catch, holding, fair catch interference.
Blake Bortles didn’t look much better than he did last season. His throwing motion is still unorthodox and long, while his footwork still needs improvement. He made a few nice throws, two of which went to KhaDarel Hodge, but he also overthrew receivers and missed easy targets badly.
Bobby Evans and David Edwards had some bright spots, as well as a few lowlights. Edwards was called for false starts twice and one holding penalty, while Evans was beat badly by Arden Key for a sack. Jamil Demby was also called for holding twice, though they were both declined.
The run defense was shaky early on. Oakland made its first touchdown look easy, washing down the defensive front and opening up a big cutback lane for the running back. Micah Kiser and Sebastian Joseph-Day have to be better in spots like that during the regular season.
Travin Howard, not Bryce Hager, got the start at inside linebacker with Kiser. Howard is listed second on the depth chart, so perhaps the coaching staff is higher on him than some realize. He made four tackles on the night.
Taylor Rapp had a really nice showing in his first NFL action. He made two tackles and broke up a pass, retreating from a linebacker position down the seam to cause the incompletion. He lined up in a variety of different spots throughout the game.
The Rams had two interceptions, one by Peterson (see above) and the other by Steven Parker (see below). They were poor throws by Glennon, but also good reads by the defensive backs. David Long Jr. allowed a long completion when he didn’t get his head around to the ball, with the same going for Dont’e Deayon in coverage.
The ground game could get nothing going against the Raiders. The Rams finished with 57 yards rushing on 22 carries, which is not a good average, of course. Darrell Henderson had a nice 7-yard carry, and John Kelly broke free for 9 yards on one attempt, but those were really the only bright spots.