Rams Highlights: Rookie QB Stetson Bennett Leads Multiple Scoring Drives In Preseason Opener Against Chargers

The Los Angeles Rams took the field for their preseason debut on Saturday night. None of the team’s stars played a snap, but that only allows for opportunities for others to step up and turn heads and rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett acquitted himself well in his first NFL outing.

Bennett, a fourth-round pick who led the Georgia Bulldogs to the National Championship at SoFi Stadium at the beginning of this year, completed 17-of-29 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in his debut as the Rams fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 34-17 in their preseason opener.

Veteran Brett Rypien started for the Rams before Bennett entered the game in the second quarter and remained throughout the rest of the contest. His first drive was a 16-play, 75-yard drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Puka Nacua, but it was far from smooth sailing for Bennett.

That first drive included three different passes that likely should have been intercepted by the Chargers defense including one at the goal line. But Bennett would bounce back and lead 64-yard drive in the third quarter to get the Rams within one score. But the Chargers responded with a touchdown of their own to regain control and cruise to a victory.

Tyler Johnson led the Rams through the air with 70 yards on five receptions. Austin Trammell added four catches for 36 yards while Nacua finished with three catches for 32 yards and the touchdown. Rookie Zach Evans led the way on the ground with 34 yards on eight carries while veteran Royce Freeman punched in a three-yard touchdown run in the second half.

Unfortunately for the Rams, they were done in by their inability to stop the big plays from the Chargers. The first touchdown of the night came on an 81-yard punt return from Derius Davis in the second quarter which put the Chargers ahead 13-0. In the fourth quarter it was Chargers rookie Elijah Dotson who iced the game with touchdown runs of 37 and 40 yards.

Linebacker Keir Thomas was a standout on defense for the Rams as he tied for the team-high with five tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss.

Next up for the Rams

The Rams will remain at home in SoFi Stadium for their next preseason contest when they host the Las Vegas Raiders on Aug. 19 before heading to Denver for their preseason finale against the Broncos the following Saturday.