INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The Rams and the Chargers are tied 6-6 at halftime at SoFi Stadium. A competitive first half was highlighted by standout play from Rams outside linebacker Justin Lawler, wide receiver Tutu Atwell and quarterback Bryce Perkins.
Here's additional details on the performances of those top three players from the first half:
A preseason foot injury last year sidelined Lawler for the entire 2020 season. Now healthy, he looked good early on starting opposite rookie Chris Garrett at EDGE. On the opening drive, he teamed up with safety JuJu Hughes to stop Chargers running back Justin Jackson in the backfield for no gain, and later pressured quarterback Chase Daniels on 2nd and goal from the Rams' 2 that helped hold the Chargers to a field goal.
On the Rams' second defensive series, he again pressured Daniels, then tackled Chargers running back Joshua Kelley for a 3-yard loss on third down, forcing the Chargers to punt.
The preseason opener was a big opportunity for Atwell after missing a handful of training camp practices due to landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He hauled in a 20-yard pass from quarterback Devlin Hodges on the Rams' first offensive series, and also had an impressive 20-yard punt return that was negated by a holding call, but still showed his impressive speed.
Checking in midway through the second quarter, Perkins led the Rams offense into the endzone for their first points, finding wide receiver Trishton Jackson for the 4-yard touchdown pass to give them a 6-3 lead with 3:18 left in the first half. A 16-yard completion to tight end Jacob Harris and six-yard scramble by him helped set up the score.