Rams Lose to Raiders in Preseason Opener

The Los Angeles Rams were unable to cross into Oakland Raiders territory in Blake Bortles' two possessions at quarterback Saturday, but coach Sean McVay said he was satisfied with his performance in the 14-3 loss.

The Rams picked up two first downs on their first possession and one on their second in the preseason opener for both teams before a crowd announced at 48,715 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Bortles completed three of eight passes for 50 yards, including a 23-yard completion to KhaDarel Hodge on the first play of the second possession.

"I thought he did good," McVay said. "He had some drops. I think the stats are misleading to the production that he had. He made good decisions. I thought he made the most of his opportunities."

Bortles signed with the Rams on March 19, six days after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in connection with their signing of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.

Bortles started 73 of 80 regular-season games from 2014-18 for the Jaguars, who made him the third choice in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Brandon Allen quarterbacked the Rams on their next eight possessions, where they punted six times and he took a knee once to run out the clock for the first half.

Greg Zuerlein kicked a 36-yard field goal with one minute, 57 seconds left in the first half in the Rams other possession under Allen. The field goal came five plays and an 18-yard pass interference penalty after first-year defensive back Steven Parker intercepted a pass by Mike Glennon at the Rams' 1-yard line and returned the ball 39 yards.

Allen completed six of 12 passes for 34 yards and was sacked once.

He has been with the Rams since 2017, but never played a regular-season game with them. Allen spent the 2018 season on the practice squad.

John Wolford completed six of eight passes for 54 yards on the Rams final two drives.

He started seven of eight games for the Arizona Hotshots of the defunct Alliance of American Football earlier this year and was twice selected as the league's player of the week.

Wolford played one preseason game for the New York Jets in 2018.

The Rams were outgained, 407-190 yards, and trailed 21-10 in first downs and 35:27-24:33 in time of possession.

The Rams were penalized 12 times for 95 yards, Oakland 11 times for 127 yards.

"Offensively, you expect to have more production than that, but we gotta learn from it," McVay said. "It starts with the things that we can control, the things that take no talent, the self-inflicted wounds with some of the penalties. Those are things we're going to get fixed. I have full confidence in that."

The Rams had some "bright spots on defense," McVay said, specifically citing rookie safety Taylor Rapp, a second-round draft choice.

Receiver Cooper Kupp was the Rams only projected starter to play, but was not a target for a pass.

Three of the Rams projected defensive starters played -- first-year defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, inside linebacker Micah Kiser and strong safety John Johnson III.

Running back Josh Jacobs, fullback Alec Ingold and right guard Gabe Jackson were the only projected offensive starters to play for the Raiders.

Jacobs and Ingold both did not carry the ball or catch a pass.

The lone Oakland projected defensive starter to play was rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell, a first-round draft choice from Clemson.

DeAndre Washington ran 7 yards for a touchdown on the Raiders first possession, two plays after Glennon completed a 38-yard pass to J.J. Nelson.

Oakland drove 70 yards on six plays for the score.

Glennon played the entire first half, completing 17 of 25 passes for 200 yards and had two passes intercepted.

Nathan Peterman completed a 3-yard touchdown pass to undrafted rookie receiver Keelan Doss on his first possession at quarterback for the Raiders, two plays after scrambling for 50 yards.

Peterman completed nine of 12 passes for 66 yards and was sacked twice during his six series in the second half.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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