INGLEWOOD, Calif. – While the Rams fell to the Raiders 17-16 Saturday night at SoFi Stadium, the playmaking displayed by the Rams' young defensive players, extensive playing time for quarterback Bryce Perkins and running back Jake Funk, and kicker Matt Gay's multi-faceted role were among the notable observations.
Here are five takeaways from the contest:
1) Young players on defense step up.
Defensive backs J.R. Reed and Brontae Harris each came up with interceptions; Reed's led to the Rams' first points of the game. Outside linebacker Chris Garrett also had a memorable sequence in the second quarter where he registered a 6-yard tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks and a pass break up – all on the same series.
2) An extensive look at Bryce Perkins.
Perkins got the start at quarterback and played the entire game, finishing 26 of 39 for 208 yards with two touchdowns against one interception, also rushing nine times for 41 yards. He led the Rams on three scoring drives, the third and final one in epic fashion with a six-yard scramble on fourth-and-five to keep the drive alive and end it with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jacob Harris.
While the ensuing 2-point attempt was unsuccessful, Perkins' overall performance was an admirable and gutsy one.
3) Jake Funk gets the start at running back.
After Xavier Jones started at running back in the preseason opener, it was Funk's turn to do so in Week 2. He rushed for a team-high 56 yards on seven attempts. He also looked agile and explosive, breaking off runs of 12, 14 and 19 yards during Saturday's game.
4) Double-duty for kicker Matt Gay
With punters Corey Bojorquez and Johnny Hekker placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the day, Gay stepped up as the Rams' emergency punter, handling those duties in addition to kickoffs and field goals.
Gay averaged 42 yards per punt on four punts and had touchbacks on three of his four kickoffs. He made 1 of 2 field goal attempts; the second – a 43-yard attempt – was blocked, though by that point in the game he was probably exhausted.
5) Wide receiver Tutu Atwell stands tough.
It was a busy night for Atwell, who caught 8 of 13 targets for 46 yards and returned a punt. He got banged up a couple of times and had to get his ankle taped amid all that activity, but said afterward that he was fine and had "no injuries."