INGLEWOOD, Calif. (News4usonline) – Bryce Perkins and Lance McCutcheon kept it going for a second straight week against the Houston Texans in a preseason game played at SoFi Stadium on Aug. 19. The “it” that Perkins and McCutcheon had against Houston was something they had against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first preseason game for the Los Angeles Rams.
The “it” is chemistry or the connection between the two players. The Rams’ new dynamic duo had the fans buzzing for a second straight week. That means going off-script on some plays and making good things happen for the Rams offense. Unlike the first preseason game in which he started and got the majority of the snaps, Perkins came on in the second half in relief of John Wolford.
Perkins wound up completing 11 of 13 passes for 123 yards with a QBR rating of 116.9. McCutcheon added five receptions for 96 yards. In the two preseason games that he has played, McCutcheon, who is an undrafted free agent from Montana State, has stood out with 10 catches. Without question, the rookie has impressed Rams head coach Sean McVay.
“Yeah, it’s good to see him show up again,” McVay said of McCutcheon. “He is a guy that just kind of makes plays. He’s one of those guys that’s a gamer. I don’t know if he had a chance to get out of bounds on that last play. It was a great catch and if you’re going to be able to put your foot in the ground and get back vertical, you better score because that’s going to be the last play of the game, especially if we don’t get out of bounds. But I was pleased with the amount of plays that he made again. It was good to see.”
Despite the superlatives of play that Perkins and McCutcheon were able to manifest, the Texans topped the Rams 24-20. But Perkins and McCutcheon made things interesting at the end of the game, connecting on a long pass play with just ticks left on the clock. Perkins managed to get off a deep heave down the Texans’ sideline which McCutcheon spectacularly came down with.
With the Rams on the move for a potential game-ending play into the endzone, the ball somehow slipped out of McCutcheon’s hands and fell on the carpet with time running out. It was a good effort by Perkins and McCutcheon to put their team in a position to make something happen in the end.
“It was good,” McCutcheon said in evaluating his performance against the Texans. “Even though it’s preseason…it sucks that we lost. I think that this was a huge step, you know, from everyone that played compared to last week,” McCutcheon said.
After two straight weeks of leading the Rams in receiving and producing big plays, McCutcheon said the game against Houston was just another block to build on.
“I definitely think that I built on last week, but there’s still so much, you know, you can get better at and work on, get more comfortable with, and I know it was kind of the last play of the game, but just, you know, my ball security…I can’t let that happen, if you know we have more time on the clock. We’re trying to go down and win a game.”
McCutcheon went on to add that he felt his performance in that preseason opener gave him more confidence going into the Houston game.
“Definitely. Yeah,” McCutcheon said. “Definitely. We had a good week of practice this week. And yeah, just like I said, just trying to build on what we did last week.”
August 30 is a big day around the NFL. That is when all 32 teams around the league will have to trim down their final roster for the 2022 NFL season to 53 players. Between now and then, what’s left of the preseason will go a long way in determining what players will be on the move and what players stay.
That process has been in the works since the beginning of training camp. In the three games that the Rams play in the preseason, those players on the bubble of making the roster have three opportunities to prove they belong with the Super Bowl champs. The evaluation process varies from week to week with the starters sitting these games out.
So that leaves the reserve players out on the field trying to impress their coaches. Against the Chargers in their first preseason game, Perkins came up with his statement performance. Perkins ran and passed his way to three total touchdowns while leading the Rams to a 29-22 win against the Chargers.
Perkins, a second-year player out of Virginia, was not the only one who played exceptionally for the Rams. McCutcheon had his own magic night, coming up with five catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard score. As great as both Perkins and McCutcheon have played through the first two preseason games, making the team is something both players are pushing for.
If the games are any indicator, they are a good gauge of how coaches evaluate their talent, said McVay.
“Yeah, they are,” McVay said. “I would say that they are an opportunity for us to be able to have guys come to life that maybe haven’t gotten opportunities, even in some of these practice settings. You always saw some flashes from a Lance McCutcheon, but he’s continued to really shine in both of these games. Even Bryce, I thought he has done a good job in both of these games. Even some of these running backs. They’re easier evaluations when you’re playing tackle.”