Rams close preseason with 16-7 loss to Bengals: Defense can’t bail out sluggish offense

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The Los Angeles Rams don’t put much stock in the preseason when it comes to winning and losing games. They keep their starters and key backups on the sidelines each week, preventing them from suffering injuries in these exhibition games.

Both the Rams and Cincinnati Bengals rested their starters in Saturday’s preseason finale and the result was a second straight loss by Los Angeles. The Rams lost to the Bengals, 16-7, ending the preseason with a 1-2 record. The offense was mostly to blame for this one, putting together only one scoring drive on the night. The first half was especially sloppy, picking up just one first down and gaining a total of 75 yards.

They fell behind 9-0 at the half and while Bryce Perkins helped get the Rams on the board in the fourth quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run, he didn’t get much help from his friends. Trey Ragas and Jake Funk both coughed up fumbles, which were recovered by the Bengals each time.

Funk finished the night with only 32 yards on 12 attempts, and while Ragas was slightly more efficient, he didn’t break any big runs.

The defense did its best to bail out the offense, holding the Bengals to a total of 16 points, but it wasn’t enough. The Bengals gained 328 yards and despite only going 1-for-4 in the red zone, they still moved the ball much better than the Rams – helped by the four catches of 20-plus yards, including two for more than 30 yards.

Perkins finished the game with 143 passing yards on 19 attempts, also rushing for 33 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Lance McCutcheon flashed once again with five catches for 76 yards, leading the team for the third straight week.

On defense, it was rookie Keir Thomas who stood out with three tackles, all for a loss, and one sack. Grant Haley led the team with eight tackles and he hit the quarterback once.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire