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With mom and aunt on hand, Lance McCutcheon impresses in NFL debut

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – In meeting rooms, Rams rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon sits behind veteran Allen Robinson II – a player with a penchant for bringing down 50-50 balls.

On Saturday night, it was McCutcheon's turn to show what he's learned.

The undrafted free agent signee out of Montana State posted five catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, and was also on the receiving end of a 2-point conversion, in the Rams' 29-22 preseason win over the Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

"Lance McCutcheon shined in a really big way," Rams head coach Sean McVay said.

The biggest way? Hard to choose one, really.

With 5:17 left in the second quarter, McCutcheon made a contested catch on a deep pass down the sideline from quarterback Bryce Perkins, then shook off two Chargers defenders to cover the remaining distance of a 60-yard touchdown. The play gave the Rams their first lead of the contest.

"I just saw the ball in the air and at first, I was just trying to come down with it," McCutcheon said. "Went up, made a contested catch and was able to just kind of move the ball away from him and get my arm out of there."

After Perkins rushed for a 1-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter, it was McCutcheon who he connected with for the ensuing successful 2-point conversion to put the Rams ahead 22-14.

Then, with the score tied at 22 late in the fourth quarter, Perkins found McCutcheon again – this time from 11 yards out – for the final go-ahead touchdown.

"He's a great kid great, dude," Perkins said. "Great competitor, too. Even in college, we would see clips of him going over the top, really just competing for the ball in the air. So, we talked about it, he said – he was adamant about, over and over and over and over, he was like, 'If they're close, man, just give me a jump ball and I'll make a play.'"

Perkins was confident McCutcheon would make the play because of his consistent playmaking throughout training camp. It also helps, too, that McCutcheon has Robinson and Cooper Kupp as examples to learn from.

"(Robinson) just always has something to coach me on," McCutcheon said. "Him and Cooper, they're geniuses when it comes to this game, so I'm always trying to pick their brain, see what they're doing."

McCutcheon said his goal is to work in silence and maximize his opportunities as he works to make the Rams' 53-man roster. And while that performance helped his case, what made his NFL debut more special to him was who got to witness it.

"My mom was here, that's number one for me," McCutcheon said. "I had my mom and my aunt here. To have them here and be able to do what I did, it means a lot to me."

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