At Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the only time this preseason, the Rams defeated the Broncos 10-6 Saturday evening. The vast majority of L.A.’s starters once again rested, so those in reserve roles received lots of reps as a result.
Here are five instant takeaways from the exhibition matchup.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Denver Broncos in the third preseason game of 2019. Check out the game photos!
1) WOLFORD, ALLEN LOOK MORE COMFORTABLE WITHIN OFFENSE AS THOMAS AND GREENE CONTRIBUTE
His 51-yard completion to WR Michael Thomas on the Rams' first offensive series got the unit off to a strong start, and he helped lead L.A. on a scoring drive capped off by a 37-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal.
QB John Wolford stepped in during the second half and found WR Jalen Greene for a four-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, capping off a 12-play, 52-yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock and gave the Rams a 10-6 lead.
2) PETERSON THE PLAYMAKER
CB Kevin Peterson inspiring preseason added a new chapter Saturday night, as he recorded his second interception of the preseason.
LB Dakota Allen's tip of Broncos rookie QB Brett Rypien’s pass led to Peterson’s pick in the third quarter.
Peterson’s first interception came in the preseason opener against the Raiders, just over a year removed from suffering an ACL tear in last year’s preseason opener that cost him the remainder of L.A.’s 2018 campaign.
3) STARTERS’ DRESS REHEARSAL LIMITED TO JUST WARMUPS
Traditionally, week three of the preseason has served as the “dress rehearsal” for NFL teams’ starters. They usually play a couple of series, then exit the game to avoid the risk of injury prior to the regular season.
For the Rams, the majority of their starters suited up and participated in pregame warmups, then changed into street clothes prior to kickoff. Considering Rams head coach Sean McVay said this week that playing first-team defense was off the table for Saturday’s game, the move doesn’t come as a total surprise.
The exception was Bortles, who still dressed but did not see any action against the Broncos. DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, projected to start at nose tackle according to the team’s unofficial depth chart, did not play, with rookie Greg Gaines starting in his place.
4) HENDERSON WORKLOAD WATCH
After significant involvement in the passing game against the Cowboys, RB Darrell Henderson Jr. instead saw his script flipped and was more of a factor in the running game.
Henderson led all Rams rushers with 11 carries for 28 yards, his longest attempt going for nine yards. However, in the passing game, he only had one catch for four yards.
The former University of Memphis standout has 23 carries for 57 yards, plus eight catches for 37 yards through three preseason games.
5) THOMAS INVOLVED EARLY AND OFTEN
WR Mike Thomas played a big role in the Rams’ early offensive execution.
His 51-yard reception helped Los Angeles reach the Denver 11 on its first offensive drive. He ended the day with three catches for 76 yards, all in the first half. The former 2016 sixth-round pick’s performances through week 3 of the preseason have made a strong impression.