Quick Game: Broncos 17-12 preseason win over the Los Angeles Rams

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Mile High Report 28 August, 2021 - 11:15pm 41 views

What channel is the Broncos vs Rams?

What TV channel is Rams at Broncos on? The game will be aired on NFL Network nationally. It will be on KABC-7 in Los Angeles and KTVD in Denver. USA TODAYLos Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos preseason game: Live stream, time, date, how to watch

Immediate thoughts in the aftermath of the Broncos’ preseason finale

Early in the game it looked like Teddy Bridgewater was going to leave the door open for Drew Lock to make people question a merciful conclusion to the never ending QB competition. After opening 0-4 he began to find his footing and finished with a pretty touchdown to Courtland Sutton. More than the throw itself, what stood out about the play is how Bridgewater maneuvered the pocket to steer clear of the Ram who beat Calvin Anderson. Poise in the pocket isn’t flashy like a big arm or 4.4 speed, but helps the offense stay on track as he can mitigate the rush and keep his eyes downfield.

Look at Teddy keep that play alive. https://t.co/aoCeJwhRYq

Drew Lock entered the contest following the touchdown, and had a first half I’m sure he’d like to forget. Box score scouts may be able to overlook it because Lock did finish 1/1 for 12 yards and a 116.7 passer rating, but Lock isn’t blameless for the strip sack that killed the Broncos’ two minute drive to end the first. Cameron Fleming got beat around the edge and I promise we’ll get to that tomorrow, but Lock held onto the ball way too long. It’s an ugly trend that emerged in training camp that Lock needs to break if he wants to fight his way back into the starting lineup.

Cameron Fleming is beat around the edge. Drew Lock never feels the pressure. Strip sack. pic.twitter.com/atsZt3k8Yu

Overall, Lock’s night was a mix of good and bad. He threw a nice touchdown to Austin Fort and had a fun scramble out of muddy pocket where the Rams failed to take him down on their first attempt. He also missed a streaking Tyrie Cleveland. More troubling, Lock continued to show signs that his mechanics will break down once he begins to feel the rush.

While the talking heads and radio pundits will surely continue to fan the flames to stir up drama, I doubt any of the Broncos’ decision makers are second guessing their decision to start Teddy Bridgewater in week one.

Clean pocket and Cleveland never had a real chance at it. https://t.co/WSEa6krbzv pic.twitter.com/9nkS8xpGE3

I suspect there’s going to be a ton of talk about how the Rams’ backups were able to move the ball with relative easy against the starting defense. The Broncos’ playoff hopes will live and die on what Fangio can do, after all.

If we’re looking to cast blame, look past the defensive line and edge rushers. They looked nigh unstoppable in limited action. Dre’Mont Jones and Shelby Harris really stood out when I was looking back at the plays with their burst off the snap. Jones also did a nice job holding up to a double team on a short yardage play. While it’s far too soon to say, both Von Miller and Bradley Chubb definitely looked promising.

Von Miller ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/bIVrsJzs2M

Looking past the first line of defense, I thought it was a bit of a mixed performance from the linebackers. Josey Jewell looked better than I dared hope after he missed a bunch of time to the groin injury. He had a nice sack on third down and continued to play the kind of team defense I came to expect from him last year. Alexander Johnson had a sloppy penalty and looked like he ran too far upfield on one of the screens.

On 3rd and 7 Josey Jewell gets a sack to and the Broncos D is off the field. pic.twitter.com/yadjZXFz8B

Going into the game it looked like the return job was wide open with Trinity Benson, Kendall Hinton, and Damarea Crockett getting snaps tonight. Turns out I didn’t think about it enough, because Denver’s thin air made it nearly impossible for any of them to do a thing with the ball. It was really disappointing for both Benson and Hinton; they’ve outplayed Spencer on offense, but may have needed to make an impression on special teams to secure a roster spot.

The other big issue I had with McMahon’s teams tonight is how the coverage unit continued to show issues with shedding blocks. This was supposed to be a point of emphasis this week. While I’m fully aware rotating players through kickoff and punt probably impacts the performance, definitely anxious about how they’ll fair when the opposing returners can actually hurt the Broncos.

Broncos ought to sign Corey Bojorquez after the Rams cut him.

Due to a lengthy second drive by the Rams, the Broncos rotated their defensive line and edge rushers. It seems telling for the current depth chart: Shamar Stephen and McTelvin Agim came in for the interior line while Jonathon Cooper and Malik Reed relieved Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

Another thing I noticed early in the game is that when the Broncos were using 21 personnel (two receivers, a tight end, and two running backs) it was Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton, Albert Okwuegbunam, and Andrew Beck. Part of this may be due to the Broncos giving enough snaps to Jerry Jeudy to rest him some tonight. It also seems to hint that Beck has definitely won the fullback spot over Adam Prentice.

Barrington Wade and McTelvin Agim gets to Bryce Perkins with some unsung help from Jonathan Harris. pic.twitter.com/h6jCxjHi8r

2 WR: Benson, Spencer

3 DL: Spencer, J. Harris, Mack

7 DBs: Vincent, Hairston, Motley, McCain, Smith, Marshall

At worst, Andre Mintze should make the Broncos practice squad. pic.twitter.com/DXScSRay8p

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LA Rams Jeremiah Haydel 40 yard kick return leads to field goal

Ramblin' Fan 29 August, 2021 - 08:20am

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

If you were concerned about the LA Rams kick return game with the loss and parting of running back Raymond Calais, you will be happy to learn that the role appears to be in pretty good hands right now. In the first quarter, The LA Rams watched as undrafted rookie Jeremiah Haydel return a kickoff 40 yards to set up the LA Rams in great shape.

Of course, that was not enough to get the points on the board.  The Rams had to rely on the help of Xavier Jones for a nine-yard screen pass and subsequent two-yard run for a first down. Another pass play by Bryce Perkins under pressure to tight end Brycen Hopkins for another nine yards, followed by another short burst by running back Xavier Jones for a first down.

Then, a clear sack turned in the Rams’ favor as the Denver Broncos were called for roughing the passer as Perkins helmet flew off his head at the end of the play. 15-yard penalties are always helpful to an offense.

Bryce Perkins audibled and scrambled off the left end for another seven yards.  From that point, the LA Rams drive stalled, and the Rams settled for a field goal to knot up the score at 3-3. That was quite a feat, as the LA Rams second and third-string offense faced the starting Denver Bronco defense.

The Rams offense is loaded. While the score is tied at 3-3, the Rams are truly playing the game without their top 35 players, while the Broncos are holding nothing back. Bryce Perkins is six of eight passes for 46 yards, while Teddy Bridgewater is just one of six passes for four yards. The second quarter is starting now, with the LA Rams on the Denver 31 yard line.

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Johnny Hekker's job could be in jeopardy with the rise of Corey Bojorquez

Los Angeles Times 29 August, 2021 - 12:12am

Locked in the Rams’ most high-profile position battle, Bojorquez went into Saturday’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos with a chance to perhaps wrest the starting punter job from veteran Johnny Hekker.

“Elevation is something I rather enjoy,” Bojorquez said.

Early in the Rams’ 17-12 defeat, the offense didn’t help Bojorquez’s cause. His first kick traveled only 39 yards before quarterback Bryce Perkins began consistently moving the Rams against the Broncos’ first-team defense.

But late in the second quarter, Bojorquez made his case.

The Rams’ preseason finale at the Denver Broncos could determine who wins jobs on the defensive line for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Chicago Bears.

Lined up in the end zone, he boomed a kick 67 yards, wowing the crowd at Empower Field at Mile High. Near the end of the first half, his 48-yard punt was downed at the one-yard line. And late in the third quarter, a 70-yard punt went out of bounds at the one.

Whether that was enough to convince Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead to keep Bojorquez instead of Hekker will play out in the next few days as the Rams trim their roster to 53 players by Tuesday’s deadline.

Hekker, a four-time All-Pro and the NFL’s highest-paid punter, remains sidelined on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis and receivers coach Eric Yarber also did not make the trip to Denver because of COVID-19 issues, McVay said.

McVay said the Rams would not rule out exploring trades involving one of the punters. He indicated that there could be complications releasing a player on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Hekker, 31, did not play in the final two preseason games but he does not have anything to prove.

The Rams know the resume of their longest-tenured player, and McVay and Snead said this week that a decision had not been made. But comments from both indicated Hekker is not a lock to return for a 10th season.

When speaking about Hekker, Snead acknowledged, “What he’s brought to the table is on the table,” but otherwise stopped short of saying the Rams would bring back a player who carries a salary-cap number of $4.9 million, according to overthecap.com.

Rams new running back Sony Michel was surprised by the trade, and now it’s a matter of learning the playbook before the Sept. 12 opener against Chicago.

“If we decided to move from someone like Johnny Hekker, that’s done what he’s done for the Rams, that’s not just kind of ‘Yes, no decision.’ There’s a lot of discussion into that.

“So, no way is that one made at all.”

“Everybody knows what Johnny’s meant to this team, to me, really to our organization, and this goes a long [way] back before I even got here,” McVay said. “But Corey has come in and he’s done a nice job. We’re going to continue to evaluate that.

“There’s obviously a lot of complications that have kind of added to that situation just based on COVID and things of that nature that even convolute it a little bit more.”

Bojorquez, 24, played at Lakewood Mayfair High, Cerritos College and New Mexico. He signed with the Rams in April after playing three seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Last season, he led the league in punting distance, averaging 50.8 yards.

And he made a strong case Saturday to possibly displace Hekker, whom he described as “one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met.”

Bojorquez said he signed with the Rams to learn from Hekker, who tutored him on the directional “banana punt” that was downed at the one-yard line.

“Never tried before in a game in my life,” Bojorquez said, “and that’s something he kind of worked with me on. So thanks to him for helping me kind of get confidence in that.”

Bojorquez said he was not concerned about the Rams’ decision because it was not his to make.

Bojorquez was one of several Rams players who took advantage of their final preseason opportunity.

Perkins, who nearly engineered a last-minute victory against the Las Vegas Raiders last week, took every snap and directed two drives for field goals against a Broncos defense that featured star linebacker Von Miller and other starters for much of the first half.

Perkins completed 10 of 15 passes for 62 yards in the first half against the Broncos starters. He finished 23 for 42 for 201 yards. He also rushed for 50 yards in nine carries.

With Matthew Stafford and John Wolford on the roster, Perkins will be on the practice squad — unless the Rams believe they must put him on the roster to prevent another team from claiming him.

“Whatever happens in these next few days, I know that I’m a better player because these guys gave me a shot,” Perkins said, adding, “We’ll see what happens, and we’ll handle it accordingly.”

With defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson expected to be sidelined a few weeks after knee surgery, defensive linemen also had an opportunity to make their case for spots on the roster or practice squad.

Late in the second quarter, lineman Michael Hoecht sacked Drew Lock and forced and recovered a fumble to set up Matt Gay’s third field goal.

Xavier Jones rushed for 44 yards in 13 carries.

Receiver Tutu Atwell caught eight passes for 62 yards.

Tight end Brycen Hopkins, a fourth-round draft pick in 2020, caught two passes, including one for first down.

Cornerbacks JuJu Hughes and Dont’e Deayon broke up passes by Broncos starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Jeremiah Haydel returned a kickoff 40 yards.

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Gary Klein covers the Los Angeles Rams for the Los Angeles Times. Before that, he covered USC’s football program and athletic department. He began working for The Times in the San Fernando Valley edition and has reported on high school, college and pro sports. He grew up in Southern California and graduated from Cal State Northridge.

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