INGLEWOOD—The NFL preseason kicked off with the battle for Los Angeles featuring the two tenants of SoFi Stadium- the Rams and Chargers. On Saturday, August 12th the Bolts new offense ran over the Rams in a 34-17 drubbing.
Numerous rookies for the Chargers were excellent in the victory. For example, three rookies combined to score the team’s four touchdowns, including an exhilarating 81-yard punt return from fourth-rounder Derius Davis.
Los Angeles Chargers new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is already putting his fingerprints on the offense’s new look. Moore is putting his stamp on the Chargers ground attack, which has been lacking for years.
That was clearly not the case on Saturday night, as the Chargers steamrolled the helpless Ram’s defense for 214 yards on the ground. It is early, but this appears to be a potent offense with an identity.
Imagine when Austin Ekeler joins that party. An improved running attack will also open up the playbook for quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense.
Wide Receiver Quentin Johnston had a few dropped passes before catching a ten-yard touchdown pass. The first, but surely not the last time, Johnston will find the end zone this season.
When stars from both teams sit in preseason games, it’s difficult to gauge how well the teams will perform once the regular season begins.
The Chargers sat a majority of the offense; incluiding Quarterback Justin Herbert, Running Back Austin Ekeler and Wide Receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Ditto for the Rams, who sat QB Mathew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald. Although it is disappointing, fans were unable to catch a glimpse of their favorite players, which is something that is commonplace in the first exhibition game.
However, the simple fact remains that neither of these teams can afford the risk of losing their star players in August, otherwise their hopes of reaching the playoffs will be dashed. Their hopes as well as the season will probably be lost.
For the Rams, the bright spot was rookie Quarterback Stenson Bennett out of Georgia. He finished his college career at Sofi Stadium by dismantling TCU, 65-7 in the National Championship in January of this year.
Bennett passed for 191 yards and a touchdown for the Rams in his first NFL action.
“It was fun to finally get out there and honestly get hit,” Bennett said. “I’m not going to win many of those, but it’s good to feel like a football player again. It’s fun to get out there and compete.”
Elijah Dotson, an undrafted rookie from Northern Colorado, had 37 and 40-yard TD runs in the fourth quarter for the Chargers. This put the game out of reach, and sealed the victory for the Bolts.
Next weekend, the Rams as well as the Chargers will be hosting games at Sofi. First the Rams welcome the Silver and Black, the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, August 19th.
The following day, Derek Carr and the New Orleans Saints will visit SoFi to face the new and improved Los Angeles Chargers.