INGLEWOOD, Calif. – In a pivot from Week 1, the Rams got an extended look at both reserve quarterbacks in Friday night's 24-20 preseason loss to the Texans. As Rams head coach Sean McVay said how the game would unfold, Wolford started and played in the first half, with Perkins taking over after halftime.
"It's good to see Bryce and John both get scoring drives and get some work," McVay said.
With Houston playing several of its starters on defensive extensively in the first half, Wolford was tested in his first live game action since the 2020 season. His pair of consecutive deep completions – a 22-yarder to wide receiver Lance McCutcheon, followed by a 21-yarder to wide receiver Landen Akers – led to Los Angeles' and the game's first points, a 43-yard field goal by kicker Matt Gay.
"I mean, it's a play by play goal, right?" Wolford said, when asked what his approach is going into a game knowing he'll play the first half. "To execute the play. Whatever the defensive look is, play in and play out, can you execute the play to the best of your ability? And the rest will take care of itself. So that's been my mindset, I try and compartmentalize it into one play at a time and move on to the next play."
Wolford was also sacked five times while on the field. Asked how he would characterize the pressure he faced, he said it's "just part of the game," pointing the Texans having their first-team defense on the field.
"They're doing the best they can," said Wolford, who finished 14 of 22 passing for 142 yards. "We knew that going in, and I think they did a good job, all things considered."
Meanwhile, Perkins watched those six first-half series Wolford led from the sideline, getting the chance to see what the Texans defense was doing and what looks they were giving Wolford. Perkins said it was "fun" to see Wolford play in a game setting for the first time since 2020.
"The hardest part was warming the legs back up, but that was fine," Perkins said. "So yeah, man, it was a close one, almost got it, but it was fun to go out there."
That didn't seem to be a problem for Perkins, who completed 11 of 13 passes for 123 yards and led the Rams' go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Trey Ragas.
Perkins had initially given the Rams what would've been a 15-14 lead in the third quarter, but his 2-point conversion on a keeper was negated by a holding penalty agains them. He also had a 27-yard completion to wide receiver Lance McCutcheon that put the Rams at the Texans 9-yard line, but McCutcheon landed in bounds with the Rams out of timeouts, running out the remaining seconds.
"Every time we go out there, it's a great chance to learn and grow," Perkins said.
Overall, McVay said he was pleased with Wolford's decision-making, and also praised Perkins' playmaking.
"I felt like (Wolford) had good command, made good decisions, saw the coverages the right way and then there were some instances where we could help him out a little bit more around him," McVay said. "But, I thought both he and Bryce did a nice job and for Bryce to be able to kind of lead that scoring drive and make some of those plays, you just kind of have a playmaker, good things happen. He instills that belief with guys around him so it's definitely something that we're continuing to evaluate."