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Thread: Rams fumble 6 times, but 13 points are enough to beat Dallas in preseason opener

  1. #1

    Rams fumble 6 times, but 13 points are enough to beat Dallas in preseason opener

    Rams fumble 6 times, but 13 points are enough to beat Dallas in preseason opener


    LOS ANGELES – Sean McVay’s offense can move the ball in the air. Keeping it off the grass seems to be a more complicated matter.

    Preseason football is sloppy by nature, but the Rams put the ball on the ground in Saturday’s first half more often than the Golden State Warriors do in a full NBA game. The Rams fumbled six times on their first six drives, but strong defense helped them to a 13-10 victory over Dallas at the Coliseum.

    Backup kicker Travis Coons made a 36-yard field goal with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to break the tie. Dallas had a chance to win the game late, with the ball at the Rams’ 30, but defensive lineman Tanzel Smart recovered a fumble to clinch the victory.

    It’s folly to put too much value on mid-August football, with one month to go before the start of the regular season, but naturally all eyes Saturday were on the offense of McVay, the Rams’ 31-year-old rookie coach, who called his own plays, and on quarterback Jared Goff.

    The good? As planned, Goff was on the field for only eight plays but completed 3 of 4 passes for 34 yards. One completion, to receiver Robert Woods, was fumbled into the endzone, where rookie receiver Cooper Kupp fell on it for a touchdown and a 7-0 first-quarter lead. That was Goff’s final play.

    The Rams’ pass game looked effective with most of its starters in, as Sean Mannion relieved Goff and completed 9 of his first 11 passes (for 76 yards) with the first-team offensive line in the game.

    The bad? Running back Todd Gurley got four carries, and they essentially went nowhere, as the Rams’ line struggled in run blocking. Jamon Brown, moved from right tackle to right guard during training camp, had a couple tough plays, and Gurley’s runs went for four yards, one yard, zero yards and minus-3 yards.

    Gurley didn’t fumble, which is more than a few Rams could say. His primary backups, Malcolm Brown and Justin Davis, each fumbled twice. Woods had the fumble-and-catch play, and in the first quarter, backup center Austin Blythe air-mailed a snap that ended up in a 28-yard loss. The Rams recovered all but one.

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  2. #2
    Jared Goff gets comfortable, if only for a moment, in Rams' 13-10 victory over Cowboys

    By Gary Klein

    A much less nerve-wracking scene surrounded Rams quarterback Jared Goff on Saturday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

    A year ago, an eager crowd filled the Coliseum to see the Rams play the Cowboys in the first NFL game in Southern California in more than two decades — and to see Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft.

    Goff came off the bench and played two forgettable series

    “There was 90,000 people at a preseason game, so I was a little wide-eyed at first,” Goff recalled this week. “But I feel good now.

    “I feel more excited and I’m ready to get out there and just run some plays – just get out there and see a real defense, maybe get hit a couple times, just go through some things that you go through in a real game and just kind of get back into that feel.”

    Goff again played only two series, but this time produced a touchdown in the Rams’ 13-10 victory over the Cowboys in a stadium that featured large swaths of empty seats.

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  3. #3
    Rookies shine in Rams' fumble-riddled preseason opener vs. Cowboys

    Alden Gonzalez

    LOS ANGELES -- A year can change so much. It was 366 days ago that the Los Angeles Rams hosted the Dallas Cowboys for their preseason opener from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Jeff Fisher patrolled the sidelines, Case Keenum started at quarterback and 89,140 people were in the stands, representing the largest crowd ever to watch an NFL preseason game on American soil.

    The Rams hosted the Cowboys to begin the preseason once again Saturday, but it was Sean McVay as head coach, Jared Goff acting as the starting quarterback and 62,888 at the game, a reflection of the 4-12 season that sapped some of the excitement in this city. The new-look Rams ultimately came away with a 13-10 victory, thanks to a late Sean Mannion drive that set up a 36-yard field goal by backup kicker Travis Coons.

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  4. #4
    5 Takeaways From the Rams' Preseason-Opening Win

    Myles Simmons

    The Rams began their preseason with a win, defeating the Cowboys 13-10 at the Coliseum on Saturday night. But because it’s preseason, there’s plenty more involved than the final result. With that in mind, here are five takeaways from Los Angeles’ first exhibition matchup under head coach Sean McVay.

    1) Capitalizing on the lucky bounces

    The Rams started the game on offense and scored a touchdown within their first 10 plays — but it probably wasn’t the way they drew it up.

    L.A. linebacker Josh Forrest recovered a muffed punt by Dallas wideout Lance Lenoir, giving the home team good field position at the visitors’ 33. Then a few plays later, wide receiver Robert Woods caught a slant in the red zone but fumbled the ball forward. Fortunately rookie wideout Cooper Kupp was there to recover the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Rams a 7-0 lead.

    “I think we have to have a better start,” Woods said at halftime. “We put the ball on the ground one time, we had a tackle for loss in the run game. But it was our first drive, first jitters out there and we just have to get ready for next week.”

    2) Goff has an efficient start

    Second-year quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams’ first-team offense played only the opening possession. But in that time, Goff completed three of his four passes for 34 yards, including a 19-yard pass to Kupp.

    On 2nd-and-9 from Dallas’ 32, Goff faked a handoff to running back Todd Gurley then rolled to his left. Kupp was wide open on the left side on an apparent crossing route, and No. 16 hit him for a 19-yard gain.

    Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, making his first appearance for the Rams, said at halftime he felt Goff looked, “Calm and poised and [made] good decisions.

    “We unfortunately gave him a negative run there, in that first set of three, and that kind of puts you behind the eight ball. But you know what, we get a ball — a turnover — and go out and capitalize on it. And those are huge in football games.”

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