Third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins threw a pair of touchdown passes to Lance McCutcheon and the Los Angeles Rams held off the Los Angeles Chargers 29-22 Saturday night in a preseason game in which most of the starters for both teams did not play.
Perkins played the entire game with Matthew Stafford and John Wolford not dressed. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 126 yards and also finished as the Rams' leading rusher with 39 yards on eight carries, including a 1-yard TD midway through the third quarter.
McCutcheon, who has drawn rave reviews from Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp during training camp, finished with five receptions for 87 yards. He also had a reception for a 2-point conversion following Perkins' rushing touchdown.
Following a Chargers three-and-out, Perkins connected with McCutcheon for a 60-yard touchdown up the left sideline to give the Rams a 14-7 lead with 5:17 lead in the second quarter. McCutcheon got leverage over Chargers safety Deane Leonard, caught it at the Chargers 29-yard line and then avoided a tackle attempt from JT Woods before scoring.
With the score tied at 22 in the fourth quarter, McCutcheon caught an 11-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone to put the Rams on top with 6:17 remaining.
The Chargers had the ball late in the fourth quarter and were driving to tie the game when Easton Stick's pass to Michael Bandy was picked off by Daniel Isom at the Rams' 8 with 27 seconds remaining. Bandy temporarily had possession of the ball before Isom was able to strip it for the pick.
Stick and Chase Daniel each played one half as Justin Herbert watched the game from the sideline.
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Chase Daniel threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns. The Chargers received the opening kickoff and scored in nine plays as Joe Reed split the Rams' secondary and hauled in a 41-yard TD pass less than four minutes into the game.
After getting only one first down on the next three drives, Daniel was able to lead the Bolts on a late scoring drive in the second quarter to tie it at 14 going into halftime. The 13-year veteran looked off a Rams' defensive back and found Michael Bandy for a 16-yard score with 37 seconds remaining.
Daniel finished 11 of 17 for 117 yards.
STARTING IT OFF
AJ Rose — who spent last season on the Vikings' practice squad — bounced off a pair of Chargers' defenders and scored from 1 yard out to tie it at 7 midway through the second quarter. Rose and Raymond Calais each had eight carries and got the most work among the Rams' running backs.
Easton Stick led the Chargers on an 18-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took 10:15. The possession ended with Stick going 3-yards around right end for a TD early in the fourth quarter. Stick then completed a pass to tight end Hunter Kampmoyer for the 2-point conversion to make it 22-all.
Stick was 16 of 23 for 119 yards and an interception.
GROUNDING IT OUT
Chargers' fourth-round pick Isaiah Spiller, who is in the competition for the team's second running back spot, finished with 42 yards on seven carries.
HAPPY HALF ANNIVERSARY
The Rams' preseason opener came six months after they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium.
Rams: DT Bobby Brown was helped off the field during the fourth quarter after he couldn't put any weight on his right ankle. Brown had a sack during the second quarter.
Rams: Host the Houston Texans Friday.
Chargers: Host the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday.