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Live NFL Experience

This past Saturday was the Rams first game back in the City of Angels. As a life long Steelers fan living in Long Beach, Ca, I never thought I would have the opportunity to say “I’m an NFL Season Ticket Holder”, but here I am saying “I’m a Los Angeles Rams Season ticket holder.” Wow. Now I bleed black and yellow, but the opportunity to support an LA team could not be passed up.

The guys in my dynasty league and I bought 8 seats together so we could further enjoy watching our fantasy players come to town as well as support our New/Old LA team. I do not feel this is random or weird at all, in fact, I saw multiple people wearing Antonio Brown jerseys at the game. LA loves football, over 90,000 tickets were sold for the game making it the highest selling preseason game in NFL history.

A Glimpse of Starters

For fantasy purposes, I was stoked to see this game. I wanted to see how a few specific players stacked up and see if there were any surprises. Obviously, there were highs and major lows throughout the game. Unfortunately, the Rams looked lost and slow to start the game. Cowboys’ Lucky Whitehead began the game running back the opening kick for a touchdown, setting the Cowboys up for a 7-0 lead to start the game. Hats off, it was a brilliant run.

Case Keenum got the start but Goff had his field time as well. During his second play of the game, he was laid out in a sack, flinging the ball in the air and Cowboys picked it up. Not the best start, especially after the 2-minute intense video intro he had before running onto the field. Goff finished off the first half but did not return in the second, he went 4-of-8 for 38 yards. All in all, he strung together some plays but he looked pretty green. Hopefully, these preseason games get him ready but I wouldn’t be surprised if veteran Keenum will be getting the start week 1.

Todd Gurley did not suit up for the game, and deservedly so. No sense in injuring LA’s new golden boy before the season starts. He did, however, swap jerseys with Dez Bryant, because why not. Speaking of Bryant, he suited up and played around 10 snaps, long enough to catch a touchdown. This despite Jerry Jones saying Dez wouldn’t be playing. Guess Bryant missed that text. Romo did not play, but Dak Prescott had a stellar game taking the Cowboys to a 24-7 lead over the Rams in the first half.

Potential Deep Sleepers

Someone who impressed me was Tyler Higbee. Who? Yeah, I wasn’t too familiar with him. However, this guy is huge at 6’6″and 250lbs. Even better: he can catch. He’s a great receiver and a decent blocker that will only get better as training goes. Higbee ended up going 5-for-6 targets for 49 yards.There’s no doubt you’ll be seeing him in the regular season. That is unless his court hearing in September doesn’t go well. He was arrested April 10th after a fight outside of a bar on suspicion of second-degree assault, evading police, and public intoxication. Hoping it all works out for the best for him. He seems eager to impress on the field and I find “eager” to be a bit of an understatement after watching him Saturday.

Pharoh Cooper had an unfortunate drop on a beautiful pass, but I’m not going to hold that against him. Dude is FAST. He showed some moves with a 48-yard punt return, but sadly that was it. Hopefully, he will get more target in the next game this Saturday. He’s should be a lot of fun to watch develop and is a sleeper that should be on your radar.

The second half was where the fun happened. Lead by Sean Mannion, Nelson Spruce, and Aaron Green put on a show. That sentence sounds weird because I’ve never heard of these players before. Spruce is an undrafted rookie and probably a reason I should be watching Hard Knocks this season. Can I borrow someone’s HBO Go so I can get caught up? Nelson Spruce had 6 receptions on 8 targets, for 51 yards and a touchdown. Now I understand preseason is where the coaches try these guys out and their chances are slim on making the roster, but I’m pulling for this guy. Maybe just because he’s California boy who has the opportunity to play close to home, but still he showed some serious skills and an incredible hustle.

Aaron Green had the winning 9-yard touchdown catch to take the Rams to a 28-24 win. Green was 4-for-4 with 37 yards, and also a lot of fun to watch. It’s already been said the goal for next game is to get Goff some time with the starters, but I do hope to see more of Green and Spruce.

Preseason: Use to Your Advantage

First preseason game for these guys, can’t expect or count on anything, but there’s serious young talent out there. I encourage you all to watch a few of these preseason games or at the very least check the end stats. If you’re at all like me, you are in a few leagues that are deep or even dynasty leagues where you’re looking for future talent. This is where you’ll see it.

As my first NFL game, I have to say I had a blast. Surrounded by an even mix of Rams and Cowboys fans, with a heavy dose of other teams as well (no joke I saw a guy with an Eagles Tebow jersey, I mean really dude?), it’s finally time to get excited. The season is so close to being here and I’m looking forward to being at every Rams home game. As for the Sundays, I’m not, I’ll be on that couch with Red Zone on and laptop out.

Sam Holt

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