7 takeaways from Rams’ 29-22 win over Chargers

The Rams got off to a great start this preseason, winning their opener against the Chargers on Saturday night. They took down the Bolts, 29-22, at SoFi Stadium to notch their first preseason win since 2020.

Obviously, the Rams didn’t play any of their primary starters, and the Chargers held most of their top players out, too. So this was a game that gave the backups and role players a chance to shine. Several Rams players took advantage of those opportunities, namely Bryce Perkins and Lance McCutcheon.

Here are seven takeaways from the Rams’ preseason win over the Chargers.

Logan Bruss still has work to do

Sean McVay had already indicated that Coleman Shelton was pulling ahead in the competition at right guard, and Saturday’s offensive line rotation showed much of the same. Shelton didn’t play, while Bruss got the start at right guard. Not only is Bruss clearly behind Shelton, but he had a rookie moment in the first quarter when he got bull rushed to the ground by Morgan Fox, allowing a pressure on the quarterback.

Bruss didn’t officially allow the sack because it was Chris Rumph who took Perkins down, but it was a poor rep from the rookie Bruss. He did settle in as the game went on, and it was expected that he might have some early struggles with this being his first NFL game. After coming out early in the first half, he went back in during the fourth quarter, a sign that the coaches wanted to see more from him.

Terrell Burgess doing himself no favors

Entering his third NFL season, Burgess still has yet to earn the trust and confidence of the coaching staff. He was one of the only experienced defensive backs who played in this game, which is a bad sign in and of itself.

To make matters worse, he blew a coverage deep down the field in the first quarter, allowing a 41-yard touchdown to the Chargers. Burgess didn’t play a ton and was taken off the field in the first half, so it’s not like the coaching staff wanted to watch him all game. But still, he didn’t exactly help himself against the Chargers and is clearly behind Nick Scott, Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp.

Rams play it safe with WRs

McVay wants to take no chances with his wide receivers. After saying recently that he was excited to see Tutu Atwell in the preseason, the second-year player didn’t get a single snap. The same went for Ben Skowronek, who didn’t play any snaps, either.

This game was all about Lance McCutcheon, Landen Akers and J.J. Koski, who were the top receivers for the Rams. It remains to be seen if Atwell will play at all in the preseason, but being such an inexperienced receiver, it would do him well.

Plenty of cross-training along the O-line

Alaric Jackson started the game at left tackle, with Tremayne Anchrum Jr. next to him at left guard. Logan Bruss got the start at right guard and Bobby Evans began the game at right tackle, with Jeremiah Kolone at center.

When the second half opened, only one player was still at his original position: Kolone. Jackson moved to right guard, and Anchrum kicked outside to left tackle. Chandler Brewer took over at left guard and A.J. Arcuri replaced Evans at right tackle.

The Rams always move their offensive linemen around and train them at multiple positions, and they continued to do that on Saturday, too.

Lance McCutcheon will be tough to cut

When everyone is healthy, the Rams’ receiver room is a little bit crowded. McCutcheon complicates things even further at that position. The undrafted rookie made a name for himself in the preseason opener, highlighted by his 60-yard touchdown in which he made a catch over a defender and shook off a tackle en route to the end zone.

He caught another touchdown pass later on in the fourth quarter, essentially a jump ball thrown up by Perkins that McCutcheon came down with. He made the grab look easy, too, despite being pulled down by his jersey.

McCutcheon also caught the two-point conversion on the Rams’ third touchdown, moved the chains on a third-down grab in the third quarter and led the team in receiving yards by a wide margin; he finished with 87 yards and two touchdowns.

McCutcheon is probably the seventh receiver on the depth chart right now, but he’ll be a tough player for the Rams to cut.

Kyren Williams is either still hurt or locked in as RB3

Like Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr., Williams didn’t take the field in this game. That could mean one of two things: He’s either not healthy enough to play after breaking his foot in OTAs or the Rams see him as their RB3 ahead of Jake Funk, Raymond Calais and others.

Williams is a fifth-round rookie, so he should make the team anyway. But he hasn’t practiced much due to that injury, and he could use some preseason action to get him acclimated to the NFL game.

Young defensive backs are full of potential

Whether it was Derion Kendrick’s near pick-six, Robert Rochell breaking up a pass along the sideline or Grant Haley making several tackles in the open field, the Rams’ secondary is filled with young talent. That’s a great sign as the team looks to fill out its roster this season, needing some depth behind the starters at cornerback.

Kendrick and Decobie Durant will definitely make the team, but it might be hard to keep a guy like Haley off the roster after seeing him impress during Saturday’s preseason opener. Dan Isom, a backup safety, sealed the win with an interception in the final seconds, making an impact himself.

There’s a lot of upside and potential with this group of cornerbacks and cutting them in September might prevent the Rams from sneaking them on the practice squad.

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Story originally appeared on Rams Wire