The Los Angeles Rams in their first road test of the preseason on Saturday night fell short to the Denver Broncos, 17-9.
Although the Rams suffered their first preseason loss, there was still plenty to take away from the game.
As expected, Case Keenum played the first four series of the game where he completed an efficient eight of 12 passes that resulted in two scoring drives - a pair of field goals. He also had a couple of strong throws down the field in his limited action.
Keenum has continued to look comfortable while leading the first unit by persistently testing opposing secondaries with his arm.
Jared Goff once again experienced some ups and downs by completing just four of his 12 passes for 45 yards. He did put together a solid scoring drive late in the second quarter that led to a field goal where he connected on two of his six passes for 33 yards. This included an impressive 19-yard catch over the middle by fellow rookie Pharoh Cooper.
Goff did appear to be more poised in the pocket, but still has a lot of room for growth as he gains more in-game experience. His decision-making is getting better, but he did get a huge break when Broncos safety Darian Stewart dropped one of his passes - a sure pick-6. Goff also was a victim of three drops by his receivers that could have given him a much stronger performance against the Broncos.
The Rams first-team defense showed improvement by getting off to a strong start by forcing a pair of three-and-outs. This included their starting defensive line group of Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald all recording tackles for loss. Backup defensive tackle Dominique Easley also made an excellent play in the second quarter by stuffing C.J. Anderson on 4th-and-inches.
Earlier in the quarter, cornerback Trumaine Johnson prevented a touchdown with his pass deflection that safety Cody Davis turned into a difficult interception near the goal line for the team’s first turnover of the preseason.
However, Los Angeles once again struggled against the run giving up 120 yards and touchdown with Anderson and Ronnie Hillman being responsible for 90 yards on 16 total carries. They have allowed more than 100 rushing yards in each of their first three preseason games.
With Todd Gurley given a healthy scratch, the Rams had some solid play on the ground collectively. Second-year running back Terrence Magee had the biggest play of the game with a 73-yard scamper down the sideline late in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein has continued to look sharp by nailing all three of his field goal attempts, including a 48-yarder right now the center of the uprights.