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Rams fumble 6 times, but 13 points are enough to beat Dallas in preseason opener

August 12, 2017 07:20PM
Rams fumble 6 times, but 13 points are enough to beat Dallas in preseason opener

By RICH HAMMOND


LOS ANGELES – Sean McVay’s offense can move the ball in the air. Keeping it off the grass seems to be a more complicated matter.

Preseason football is sloppy by nature, but the Rams put the ball on the ground in Saturday’s first half more often than the Golden State Warriors do in a full NBA game. The Rams fumbled six times on their first six drives, but strong defense helped them to a 13-10 victory over Dallas at the Coliseum.

Backup kicker Travis Coons made a 36-yard field goal with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to break the tie. Dallas had a chance to win the game late, with the ball at the Rams’ 30, but defensive lineman Tanzel Smart recovered a fumble to clinch the victory.

It’s folly to put too much value on mid-August football, with one month to go before the start of the regular season, but naturally all eyes Saturday were on the offense of McVay, the Rams’ 31-year-old rookie coach, who called his own plays, and on quarterback Jared Goff.

The good? As planned, Goff was on the field for only eight plays but completed 3 of 4 passes for 34 yards. One completion, to receiver Robert Woods, was fumbled into the endzone, where rookie receiver Cooper Kupp fell on it for a touchdown and a 7-0 first-quarter lead. That was Goff’s final play.

The Rams’ pass game looked effective with most of its starters in, as Sean Mannion relieved Goff and completed 9 of his first 11 passes (for 76 yards) with the first-team offensive line in the game.

The bad? Running back Todd Gurley got four carries, and they essentially went nowhere, as the Rams’ line struggled in run blocking. Jamon Brown, moved from right tackle to right guard during training camp, had a couple tough plays, and Gurley’s runs went for four yards, one yard, zero yards and minus-3 yards.

Gurley didn’t fumble, which is more than a few Rams could say. His primary backups, Malcolm Brown and Justin Davis, each fumbled twice. Woods had the fumble-and-catch play, and in the first quarter, backup center Austin Blythe air-mailed a snap that ended up in a 28-yard loss. The Rams recovered all but one.

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[www.ocregister.com]



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  Rams fumble 6 times, but 13 points are enough to beat Dallas in preseason opener

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  Re: Rookies shine in Rams' fumble-riddled preseason opener vs. Cowboys

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