Preseason football gets a bad rap.
You know as well as I do that first Rams preseason game in early August, you’re going to watch. And after the first possession or two when some guy you’ve never heard of is quarterback, you’ll be disgusted.
Then as the game goes on, you’ll get invested and you’ll want the Rams to win and be disappointed if they don’t. Because you’ll tell yourself that winning is a habit and carries over into the regular season.
Last year the Rams went 0-3 in the exhibition/preseason. Quarterback Bryce Perkins was the star. He never played in a regular season game. The Rams scored just 34 points.
Did you know the Baltimore Ravens now have the longest preseason win streak in NFL history? Twenty games in a row.
And absolutely no one was thinking about it when the Rams won the Super Bowl.
Don’t expect the Rams to play Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford or Cooper Kupp, like at all, in any of the three preseason games. They are known commodities, and while the risk of injury is small, it’s not worth it. Get ready for more Bryce Perkins.
Here’s what to look for in the Rams preseason troika of games and a look at each of their opponents.
RELATED: Rams 2022 regular season schedule
Three Things To Look for In Preseason
In Bruss We Trust
The Rams third-round draft pick was Logan Bruss, an offensive guard from Wisconsin. Commentators were quick to note he allowed one sack on 596 snaps with the Badgers.
That stat is lacking context, to say the least.
One, have you ever watched Wisconsin play football? They lean run-heavy, let’s just say. Not a lot of dropback passing. Also, college defenses don’t have interior linemen who can rush the passer like the freaks in the NFL do.
The biggest tell for Bruss will be if he starts on the offensive line that would mean the coaches have seen something good in practice, and then basically it comes down to strength, can he withstand the bull rush of an NFL defensive lineman?
Kyren Williams Foot
Of all the Rams draft picks, I think Williams, the running back out of Notre Dame, has the best chance to make an impact right away.
Then he broke his foot in early June. Rams coach Sean McVay expected him to be back in time for most of training camp at the time of the injury.
On one hand, this is a bad sign, the Rams don’t need another injury-prone tailback, but Williams doesn’t have a long injury history.
Allen Robinson II Hands
The Rams have brought in Allen Robinson II in free agency to fill a gap in the wide receiver corps, and unlike the other stars, I think he has to play some in preseason.
What Ram fans want to see is his timing in the offense. Can he get open? Can he run after the catch?
Rams Preseason Schedule (times are local)
Saturday, August 13 at LA Chargers, 10 p.m.
They will call it the Battle of LA, but there still isn’t a lot of juice between the two teams that play at SoFi Stadium. The Chargers are expected to take a big leap in 2022 with quarterback Justin Herbert looking like a star.
Odds of Herbert playing in this one? Maybe a series or two. This is nothing but a live dress rehearsal. Coaches want to see the draft picks, and the rookies and just establish the weekly pro football routine.
Friday, August 19 vs. Houston Texans, 10 p.m.
The Texans are under new management, with new coach Lovie Smith taking over. Smith had some success with the Bears, but they are in a big rebuilding mode.
That probably means the Texans will play some of their starters for a while in this one. Houston drafted LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. with the third overall pick, trying to shore up a woeful defense. The Texans starting quarterback last year was Davis Mills, who played at Stanford.
Saturday, August 27 at Cincinnati Bengals, 6 p.m.
You can just see this one being billed as the “Super Bowl rematch” and no, the teams don’t play in the regular season. It’s just preseason, but with the NFL switching to three pre-season games and then taking a week off, there is a chance that the big names could play in this one, at least for a bit.
And yes, Bengal fans may be hyped at the start as real football gets closer. But no one will remember who won this one come time for Super Bowl LVII. But you know you’re going to watch.