LA Rams spoil Raiders’ return to Coliseum with 19-15 win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Raiders were back. The Rams were better.
Rookie John Kelly rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown, and the Los Angeles Rams welcomed the Raiders back to the Coliseum with a 19-15 preseason victory over Oakland on Saturday.
Chris Warren rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders in their return to the venerable stadium that was their home for 13 seasons during their largely successful tenure in Los Angeles. Their still-passionate Southern California fan base turned out in force, filling the 95-year-old arena with black jerseys and loud cheers.
There was more excitement in the stands than on the field for long stretches of a preseason game that was even more meaningless than the usual August affair.
Both teams rested nearly all of their presumptive starters and used no significant parts of their playbook, thanks in part to a weird NFL scheduling decision that forced these teams to play an exhibition 23 days before they meet in their regular-season opener in Oakland.
Although both coaches revealed as little about their teams as possible, Sean McVay still got his first chance to face Jon Gruden, who employed McVay as a 22-year-old assistant wide receivers coach on his final staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. McVay frequently cites Gruden and his brother, Jay, as major influences on his coaching style and mentality.
The Rams’ backups dominated the Raiders’ reserves in the first half, taking a 13-0 lead while holding Oakland to 58 yards and one first down. Oakland trailed 16-0 before mounting a rally, but the Raiders failed on their second 2-point conversion attempt of the day following Griff Whalen’s 10-yard TD catch with 9:52 to play.
Sam Ficken hit his second field goal for the Rams with 5:46 left, and Marcus Martin stopped the Raiders’ ensuing drive with a third-down sack of Manuel.
Rams backup Sean Mannion rebounded from a rocky preseason debut last week in Baltimore, going 10 of 16 for 84 yards while completing passes to eight receivers. Third-stringer Brandon Allen wasn’t as sharp, going 6 for 11 and throwing a terrible interception in the fourth quarter to put Oakland in position for its second TD.
E.J. Manuel went 10 for 16 for 89 yards and a touchdown, but also fumbled for the second straight week.