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Halftime Notes: Preseason vs. Cowboys

Posted Aug 12, 2017

The Rams' first-team offense scored a touchdown on its first drive, and L.A.'s defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs to start the game.

The 2017 preseason is underway, and through two quarters the Rams have a 7-3 lead on the Cowboys. Here are a few notes from the first half of action.

GETTING THE BOUNCES

The Rams received a few lucky bounces on their first drive en route to scoring a touchdown.

The first came on a Johnny Hekker punt after what was ostensibly a three-and-out to begin the game. Hekker’s punt went 40 yards, but Dallas wide receiver Lance Lenoir muffed the kick as the ball bounced on the ground. Los Angeles linebacker Josh Forrest was there to recover the fumble at the Dallas 33.

The Rams’ offense got going from there, buoyed by a nice pass from quarterback Jared Goff to rookie wideout Cooper Kupp. Goff rolled out to his left and found a wide open Kupp on a crossing route for 19 yards.

A few plays later, Goff completed a slant to Robert Woods in the red zone, but the wideout was hit hard and fumbled the ball into the end zone. Fortunately Kupp was in position to recover the loose ball, diving on it in the end zone for a touchdown.

So a solid pair of bounces for Los Angeles gave the home team a 7-0 lead. That would also be it for the Ram’s first-team offense.

THREE-AND-OUT

Los Angeles’ defense started the game by forcing three consecutive three-and-outs. Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, and wide receiver Dez Bryant were among their regular starters who did not play, and the Rams took advantage.

Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner had a nice tackle on the first drive to prevent any yards after the reception form wideout Andy Jones. On the second, defensive pressure induced quarterback Kellen Moore to throw an errant incomplete pass on third down. Finally for the third drive, safety Cody Davis and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman combined to make a tackle to stop Jones well short of the first down marker.

WHO’S ON THE RIGHT?

The Rams began the game with Rob Havenstein at right tackle and Jamon Brown at right guard. Though the rest of the line — left tackle Andrew Whitworth, left guard Rodger Saffold, and center John Sullivan — exited after the Rams’ first series, Brown and Havenstein remained in for a few more possessions at those same positions.

WATKINS ARRIVES

If you missed it, the Rams' newest wide receiver Sammy Watkins arrived at the Coliseum in time for Los Angeles' matchup with Dallas. While he hasn't had much time to get acclimated to his new surroundings, he said he's excited to be a L.A. Ram.

"I can’t wait to get on the field and figure those guys out — they’ll learn my speed, I’ll learn the way they throw. And, really, just learn the offense — that’s the biggest thing,” Watkins said.

For more on the wideout, check out our full article here.