Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron DaSilva

Rams PFF grades: Best and worst performers in preseason opener vs. Chargers

The Los Angeles Rams got off to a tough start in the preseason, losing their first game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night. It was a 34-17 loss at SoFi Stadium, with both teams primarily playing their backups.

We already shared our studs and duds from the Rams’ 17-point loss, and Pro Football Focus has since released its player grades. There are a few surprises among the lowest-graded guys, including Stetson Bennett, but a handful of projected starters played relatively well.

Buy Rams Tickets

Here’s a look at how PFF graded the Rams’ performance.

Top 5 offense

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • WR Tyler Johnson: 82.2
  • RB Ronnie Rivers: 78.2
  • RG Tremayne Anchrum Jr.: 75.3
  • WR Puka Nacua: 70.3
  • WR Austin Trammell: 67.6

It’s hardly surprising that Johnson was the Rams’ highest-graded player overall in this one. He played well in the second half, leading the team with 70 yards receiving. Nacua and Trammell also made a positive impact at wide receiver, with Nacua scoring the first touchdown for the Rams.

Rivers stood out in the backfield with a strong performance, and his best play of the night might’ve been the touchdown run in the red zone that was called back due to a penalty. Anchrum was the Rams’ top-rated offensive lineman in this one, helped by his 85.0 pass-blocking grade thanks to a clean sheet with no pressures allowed.

Top 5 defense

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • S Tanner Ingle: 80.2
  • LB DeAndre Square: 77.3
  • CB Tre Tomlinson: 75.7
  • DT Larrell Murchison: 73.7
  • DE Earnest Brown IV: 71.5

Ingle wasn’t on the field for very long but his impact was felt, and that could earn him more playing time in the next preseason game against Las Vegas. He had a sack and another tackle for a loss in the second half, playing with some fire at safety.

Tomlinson made an impact early with a pass deflection and tight coverage on a separate deep shot to Quentin Johnston, showing he could be an option for the Rams at cornerback this season.

Square made three tackles in just 14 snaps played, while Murchison and Brown were two bright spots on an otherwise forgettable night by the defensive front.

Bottom 5 offense

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • RT Logan Bruss: 45.6
  • QB Brett Rypien: 43.7
  • OT Warren McClendon Jr.: 42.7
  • QB Stetson Bennett: 39.5
  • TE Camren McDonald: 36.8

Bruss did not look great in this one, allowing four pressures (one sack and three hurries) on the night. The Rams like him better at right tackle but he struggled badly against the Chargers’ backup edge rushers.

Rypien and Bennett both received low grades from PFF for their performances. Bennett made some mistakes early but he settled in and actually played well down the stretch by leading two touchdown drives.

McClendon seemed to play relatively well at left tackle but PFF disagreed, charging him with six pressures allowed and a paltry 23.0 pass-blocking grade.

Bottom 5 defense

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
  • OLB Daniel Hardy: 37.4
  • S Richard LeCounte III: 35.8
  • OLB Byron Young: 35.2
  • LB Ryan Smenda Jr.: 31.1
  • LB Jaiden Woodbey: 29.7

It was a disappointing night for the Rams’ edge rushers, particularly in the first half. Neither Hardy nor Young were very effective on the edge, combining for only one total pressure; Young had a sack called back for a facemask penalty.

Smenda and Woodbey were part of the reason the Chargers ran wild on the Rams, struggling against the run. They earned run defense grades of 40.5 and 26.9, respectively.

LeCounte missed two tackles on the night and also gave up a touchdown in coverage, so it wasn’t his best either.

Other notables

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • S Quentin Lake: 68.1
  • CB Robert Rochell: 61.4
  • LG Steve Avila: 60.0
  • WR Ben Skowronek: 57.0
  • OLB Michael Hoecht: 57.0
  • LT Alaric Jackson: 55.1

A handful of potential starters did play int his one, including the six names above. Lake played the best of them all, though Rochell also had a decent night on the outside.

Avila didn’t allow a pressure and Jackson only allowed one. Skowronek was limited to just two catches for 7 yards. Hoecht failed to record a pressure in the seven pass-rush snaps he played in the game.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.