The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers are not expected to have their best players on the field for their preseason Battle of LA on Saturday night. But there is some intrigue surrounding how each team will approach the NFL preseason this year. In this contest, the Rams will be the designated home team in the venue that these squads share.
Los Angeles Chargers
The LA Chargers have already said that Justin Herbert will not be participating in the preseason this year, which is unfortunate for fans excited to see him back on the field. But it wouldn’t have had a big impact on this preseason game anyway, as starters typically only see a series or two in the first preseason game of the year. Instead, the Chargers will rely on a decent group of backups in this exhibition contest.
There are currently three other quarterbacks on the Chargers roster, with Chase Daniel, Easton Stick, and KJ Costello occupying those spots. Stick and Costello are likely to get the majority of the time in this game, as Daniel is already established as a backup in the league. In this two-man race for the third quarterback spot on the Chargers roster, both Stick and Costello will need to impress in order to give themselves a chance to stick around.
Los Angeles Rams
Historically, the LA Rams under Sean McVay have not put much stock into preseason football. They have gone 2-2 in every preseason they have played under McVay, but they can’t utilize the schemes that make them such a dangerous team during the regular season. Instead, a more bland game plan leads to more bland play on the field, which the current crop of Rams players will look to avoid against the Chargers.
The quarterback group for the Rams is very interesting behind the newly acquired Matthew Stafford. John Wolford is back for the Rams after he had to take over for an injured Jared Goff last year. Behind those two quarterbacks are Bryce Perkins and Devlin Hodges, with Hodges coming off of a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to arriving in Los Angeles.
Elsewhere, keep an eye on the running backs for the Rams tonight, as there is a lot to play for behind Darrell Henderson at that position. After Cam Akers went down with a season-ending injury, the Rams find themselves in need of a reliable second rushing option behind Henderson. If anyone can command the attention of the coaching staff in this game, they could give themselves a huge leg up in that position battle.
Which Los Angeles team wins?
Under Sean McVay, the Rams have simply not prioritized preseason performance, and that is not going to change with their current roster being positioned to win now. Expect a very vanilla offensive and defensive game plan from the Rams, which the Chargers will be able to take advantage of.
The LA Chargers will come out ahead in this clash of teams that share SoFi Stadium.
The Pick: Chargers -4
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