Broncos beat Rams 17-12: Instant analysis of LA’s third preseason loss

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The Los Angeles Rams finished the three-week preseason 0-3, but fortunately, none of those games count toward their regular-season record – and not a single one of their top starters played a snap in any of those games.

The Rams dropped their final preseason matchup to the Broncos on Saturday night in Denver, 17-12. The Broncos scored the only two touchdowns of the game, as Los Angeles got all of its points out of Matt Gay’s leg with four made field goals.

Here’s a recap of the game, which didn’t go the way the Rams had hoped.

Final score

C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports

Top performers

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Michael Hoecht: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and recovery Matt Gay: 4-for-4 on field goal attempts Corey Bojorquez: 5 punts, 277 yards (3 inside the 20) Tutu Atwell: 12 targets, 8 catches, 62 yards

Game notes

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  • The Rams' second-string defense actually held up well against the Broncos' starters in the first half, limiting Denver to only 10 points. Teddy Bridgewater started the game 1-for-6 before finding a rhythm and it wasn't just because he was inaccurate. The Rams generated some pressure and had tight coverage a few times.

  • Tutu Atwell got a lot of work once again, seeing double-digit targets for the second straight week. He caught 8 passes for 62 yards, playing deep into the game – a surprising decision by Sean McVay.

  • Xavier Jones got almost all of the work at running back, with Otis Anderson Jr. getting reps behind him. That could mean Jake Funk has locked up the No. 3 spot at running back after getting the night off Saturday. Jones rushed for 44 yards on 13 carries, with a long of 10 yards.

  • Bojorquez was the star of the show, booting two punts of more than 65 yards in the game. One of them was a 70-yarder that bounced out at the 1, while another one was downed at the 1-yard line, too. He may have won the punting job tonight.

  • Bryce Perkins looked good once again, but he didn't connect on any big plays. His longest completion in the first half was 9 yards before hitting passes for 18 and 23 yards in the second half. His only deep shot fell incomplete late in the fourth quarter; it was intended for Trishton Jackson.

  • Trishton Jackson came alive late in the fourth with a couple of nice grabs that went for 12 and 13 yards. He finished with three catches for 48 yards.

  • Michael Hoecht stood out on defense with a strip-sack and recovery, as well as a tackle right at the line of scrimmage after a great move to get into the backfield.

  • Micah Kiser was playing surprisingly late in this game for someone who many people expected to make the 53-man roster. Perhaps that won't be the case. He had just one tackle and a pass breakup.

Play of the game

Hoecht wrecked a play completely on his own, sacking Drew Lock and forcing a fumble, which he then recovered. This was right before halftime and set the Rams up for a field goal attempt, which Gay drilled. https://twitter.com/RamsNFL/status/1431805746266525704

Up next

C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams must trim their roster to 53 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. They then have the weekend off now that the preseason is wrapped up, essentially serving as a bye before Week 1 of the regular season. There will be some tough decisions to make between now and Tuesday afternoon, particularly along the defensive line, in the secondary and along the offensive front.

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