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It wasn’t a banner day for the Rams offense in their 13-6 loss to the Chargers on Saturday night, the preseason opener for both teams. They totaled less than 200 yards of total offense, with only 73 of those yards coming on the ground.
Their leading rusher was actually quarterback Bryce Perkins, who picked up 23 yards on four carries, including a kneel down for a 2-yard loss. Xavier Jones, Jake Funk and Raymond Calais combined for just 47 yards on 19 carries, largely because running lanes were near-impossible to come by.
Sean McVay usually finds positives even when the Rams struggle, but when it came to the ground game on Saturday night, he didn’t see much to like.
He called Saturday’s performance “sloppy” after practice on Monday, pointing to the blocking for not getting the job done.
“The run game, it was sloppy. It wasn’t very good. It didn’t look clean,” he said. “There were a couple opportunities, but for the most part, I didn’t think it was very good. It’s a credit to their defense. They did some good things, but there’s a lot of guys that haven’t gotten those full-speed reps before. It’s no excuse. We have high expectations for those guys, but just the overall continuity. We always talk about, ‘It takes all 11 in the run game.’ There were instances where individual guys did a nice job, but there might be a certain block or a certain angle, or the way that we’re fitting a block based on where the back’s landmark is that wasn’t in unison. I think that’s why you didn’t see the consistency from snap to snap. That’s why I think we weren’t able to really sustain some drives.”
Bobby Evans and Jeremiah Kolone were two offensive linemen who didn’t play especially well, failing to sustain blocks and seal off running lanes for their backs. Tremayne Anchrum and Jordan Meredith were better, but the unit as a whole must improve.
Fortunately, it’s only the preseason and it was exclusively backups who played against the Chargers, but there’s still room for improvement because those guys are the next men up if an injury occurs.