Rams fall to Broncos, 17-9, as their offense struggles in Denver


Scoring Summary

First Quarter

  • Rams K Greg Zuerlein makes 29-yard field goal (Rams 3, Broncos 0)

Second quarter

  • Rams K Greg Zuerlein makes 38-yard field goal (Rams 6, Broncos 0)
  • Broncos TE Virgil Green catches a one-yard pass from Trevor Siemian for a TD (Broncos 7, Rams 6)
  • Rams K Greg Zuerlein makes 48-yard field goal (Rams 9, Broncos 7)
  • Broncos K Brandon McManus makes 50-yard field goal (Broncos 10, Rams 9)

Third quarter

  • Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman 7-yard TD run (Broncos 17, Rams 9)

Final: Broncos 17, Rams 9

Rams quarterback Sean Mannion is sacked by Broncos linebacker Sadat Sulleyman.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

The Rams never found the end zone in Denver and lost to the reigning Super Bowl champs, 17-9.

Luckily, kicker Greg Zuerlein just needs to split the uprights, not run underneath them, to score — otherwise the Rams would have been shut out.

Case Keenum started for the Rams, completing eight of 12 passes for 77 yards before his outing in Denver was over.

Jared Goff came in to finish the duel with potential Broncos starting quarterback Trevor Siemian and lost.

Siemian threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Virgil Green to put the Broncos on the board, 7-6, after Zuerlein’s successful kicks of 29 and 38 yards.

The Rams kicker made one more from 48 yards, but it wasn’t the longest of the day.

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus hit a 50-yarder to give Denver a 10-9 lead in the closing seconds of the second quarter.

Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson broke up a deep pass intended for Cody Latimer in the second quarter, which ended up in the arms of defensive back Cody Davis for an interception. But the Rams failed to capitalize, which was the theme of the night.

The Broncos put the game away in the third quarter with a seven-yard touchdown run from Ronnie Hillman to go up 17-9.

Goff finished four-of-12 passing for 45 yards and took a few big hits. Running back Todd Gurley didn’t play.

Terrence Magee had perhaps the best offensive play of the day for the Rams, breaking off a 73-yard run in the fourth. It’s too bad that series ended with a turnover on downs.


Sean Mannion fumbles the Rams’ chances late in the fourth quarter

Sean Mannion completed a three-yard pass to tight end Temarrick Hemingway to open the drive, but held on to the ball too long on the next play.

But Mannion managed get to the outside for an eight-yard gain and to stop the clock only to see his next pass batted down before getting sacked and fumbling the ball away with 1 minute and 40 seconds left on the clock.

Just enough time for Paxton Lynch to take a few knees and end the game.


Broncos fail to eat the clock, lead 17-9 late in fourth quarter

Paxton Lynch completed a 16-yard pass to Mose Frazier on what could have been the final possession had he been able to connect with running back Juwan Thompson on third down a few plays later.

Kapri Bibbs had four carries on the six play drive, but none went for more than 2 yards.

The Rams take possession of the ball on their own 25-yard line with 1 minute and 51 seconds left in the game. No timeouts.


Terrence Magee breaks off 73-yard run, but the Rams fail to capitalize

Running back Terrence Magee must’ve been watching Ronnie Hillman’s run and got inspired.

The second-year pro ripped a 73-yard run to put the Rams in the red zone.

Quarterback Sean Mannion had two passes broken up before taking a sack from rookie Sadat Sulleyman out of Portland State.

Fourth-and-goal, from th 12-yard line, Mannion looked a pass in to rookie Temarrick Hemingway, but the ball bounced off the tight end and hit the dirt. Turnover on downs.


Ronnie Hillman sparks Broncos drive, but they still punt

Ronnie Hillman broke off a 21-yard run on the opening play of the Broncos’ drive.

Running back Kapri Bibbs tried his hand at running the ball only to get stuffed for no gain. Paxton Lynch completed a nine-yard pass to rookie receiver Bralon Addison out of Oregon on third down.

Facing a four-and-2, the Broncos chose to run a play with Paxton Lynch under center only to commit a false start.

On fourth-and-7, the took a different route punting the ball away.


Rams struggle, then punt

If Sean Mannion is to manufacture a comeback in Denver, he’ll have less than a quarter to do it.

Mannion’s first pass went behind running back Terrance Magee on second down. Magee had just ran for five yards.

The Rams were hit with a delay of game penalty negating Magee’s work and then Mannion’s pass to running back Chase Reynolds went for only six yards. Just four-yards short of the first down.

Johnny Hekker came out for another punt, sticking the Broncos on their own 34-yard line.


Paxton Lynch can’t get things going for Broncos

Memphis to Memphis.

Paxton Lynch floated a pass to receiver rookie Mose Frazier -- who attended Memphis with the quarterback -- which looked like a catch but was ruled out of bounds. Had the wideout stayed in, he would have had an open lane to the end zone.

Ronnie Hillman ran the ball four yards and then the Broncos called a timeout. The Rams then violated the nuetral zone, giving the Broncos a free five-yard gain.

Lynch throw a pass for rookie Durron Neal out of Oklahoma, but the ball went through his hands and ended the drive.


Broncos linebacker Dekoda Watson has back-to-back sacks to end Rams drive

Hey “Hard Knocks” fans, we have an official Austin Hill sighting.

The receiver caught a pass from quarterback Sean Mannion for a seven-yard gain up the left side to open the fourth quarter.

Then, Mannion, in the shotgun, connected with Aaron Green on a seven-yard pass for the first down. Paul McRoberts then caught and secured a 14-yard pass over the middle to move the chains again.

Then came the disruption of Broncos rookie linebacker Dekoda Watson, who had back-to-back sacks to stop the Rams’ drive. He’s up to three so far.


Hey, it’s preseason: Broncos go three-and-out, again

Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch took a shot deep down the middle to receiver Jordan Taylor only to see the ball hit the ground.

Devontae Booker got another carry, only it went nowhere and then Lynch had another incompletion to end the drive.

A punt return and penalty later and the Rams will start their next drive on their own 34-yard line.


That was quick: Broncos and Rams both go three-and-out

Paxton Lynch scrambled for three yards. Devontae Booker picked up another two and then an incompletion ended the Broncos drive.

Sean Mannion takes over at quarterback ending Goff’s night. Goff finishes 4-of-12 passing for 45 yards.

Mannion connected with running back Aaron Green for a six-yard gain, then the back carried the ball another yard before an incompletion to tight end Tyler Higbee halted the drive.


Jared Goff takes another big hit, Rams fail to score

The Rams really need to answer the Broncos touchdown.

Running back Aaron Green rushed for eight yards to open the series. Quarterback Jared Goff targeted a covered Michael Thomas up the right side of the field, but the pass went incomplete but the flags still came out for illegal contact.

Goff later rolled out on a bootleg and came face to face with rookie linebacker Vontarrius Dora out of Louisiana State,who put him in the turf as the pass went incomplete.He got up slowly, but stayed in the game to throw another pass to running back Chase Reynolds for a seven-yard gain on third-and-9.

On fourth down, Goff threw a bullet at Michael Thomas, but the pass was broken up by Broncos corner Keyvon Webster. Turnover on downs.

THe Broncos will take over on the 28-yard line. A short field.


Ronnie Hillman scores to give Broncos 17-9 lead over the Rams

The Broncos are getting a good look at rookie running back Devontae Booker out of Utah.

The 5-foot-11 back had his number called over and over making carries of two, one, two and then five yards before he needed to take a break allowing running back Ronnie Hillman to enter the game and score a touchdown.

Hillman rushed the ball three times on his way to a seven-yard touchdown run to give the Broncos a 17-9 lead in the third quarter.

Paxton Lynch got his chances too. His first throw was a 17-yard catch and run by Booker.


Jared Goff takes a big sack, Rams punt

It’s too bad Jared Goff doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head, otherwise he might have been able to avoid that series ending sack from linebacker Dekoda Watson.

Goff opened the Rams’ short, three-play drive with an incomplete toss to rookie receiver Michael Thomas. Running back Aaron Green gained two on a carry before Goff suffered that sack.

Johnny Hekker’s punt went 49 yards, but the Broncos will still start with the ball in L.A. territory on the 49-yard line.


Paxton Lynch comes in for the Broncos to start the second half

Trevor Siemian completed 10 of 17 passes in the first half with one touchdown and an intercepted pass to give the Broncos a 10-9 lead going into halftime.

By comparison, Goff was 3-of-8 passing for 38 yards in the first half. Keenum, who started, completed 8 of 12 passes for 77 yards before his night was over.

The Broncos began the second half with a touchdown to start on their own 25-yard line before giving rookie Paxton Lynch his first reps of the night.

Lynch handed the ball of to Devontae Booker for a two yard loss thanks to a tackle by Matt Longacre.

He then connected with an open receiver Juwan Thompson to the right side underneath the soft coverage of cornerback Coty Sensabaugh for a seven-yard gain. His next pass was a three yard completion to receiver Jordan Taylor. The only problem was he needed five on third down.

The Rams take over on their own 14-yard line


Rams hold Broncos to field goal, but trail 10-9 at halftime

Rams defensive back Marcus Roberson didn’t stand a chance.

Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas caught a big throw from Trevor Siemian in rythmn, with one hand as the defender looked back for the ball. The play went 43 yards and to top it off Roberson was flagged for pass interference on the play, though it was declined.

The Rams stuffed Broncos running back C.J. Anderson on the next play before second-year pro Christian Bryant nearly picked off the Denver passer.

On the next play, defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks broke through the line and ran into the Broncos quarterback, forcing an incomplete throw on third-and-11, which set up a 50-yard field goal by Brandon McManus.

The Rams took a knee after the kick.

Denver leads L.A., 10-9.


Rams 9, Broncos 7, late in second quarter

Jared Goff is back on the field and playing from behind as he has in both previous exhibition games.

When Goff does throw the ball it looks pretty good, even when slightly off target.

The rookie quarterback connected with rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper on a 19-yard pass the wideout had to reach up and pull down to convert on a third down early in the drive.

Cooper missed a similar catch in both players’ first exhibition game.

The Rams went to Cooper again on a screen pass, but another rookie drew a flag. Tight end Tyler Higbee was called for pass interference.

Goff was given plenty of time to throw on the next play and, eventually, after stepping up in the pocket he saw an open Duke WIlliams in the up the middle of the field. Williams dropped the ball, but was lit up by Broncos corner Bradley Roby.

The rookie targeted Higbee again later, nearly giving up a pick-six if it weren’t for the ball falling out of safety Darian Stewart’s hands.

Goff saw another pass dropped by running back Malcolm Brown killing the drive, but allowing kicker Greg Zuerlein to see some more action. Zuerlein made a 48-yard field goal to give the Rams a lead with less than a minute remaining in the first half.


Broncos take lead, 7-6 in second quarter

Things are starting to open up offensively for the Broncos.

After four straight completions by Trevor Siemian 29 yards following a false start to open their drive, the Rams gifted the Broncos with another first down on a pass interference call.

Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner was flagged while breaking up a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders. Last week, Joyner got thrown out of the game against the Chiefs for fighting with receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Denver capitalized on the mistake, running C.J. Anderson three straight times up the left (12 yards), the right (18 yards) and again right (5 yards) before Siemian hit a wide open tight end Virgil Green for a touchdown.

Broncos lead, 7-6.


Jared Goff comes into the game and goes three and out

Case Keenum’s day is over and rookie Jared Goff is now in the game.

On his first play, Goff handed the ball to running back Malcolm Brown, who got one positive yard. Goff completed his first pass, a five-yard throw to receiver Brian Quick to set up a third and 4.

Goff kept the ball on the next play, attempting a slide with his right leg forward. He got a bit stuck on the turf, but appeared to be fine walking off the field.

Punter Johnny Hekker then delivered a 54-yard punt to put the Broncos on their own 33-yard line.


Rams secondary turns over Broncos

The Broncos are letting pass Trevor Siemian sling it. Which might not be such a great idea.

Siemian targeted receiver Cody Latimer with a deep pass up the right side of the field which could have gone for a touchdown if Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson wasn’t defending him.

Johnson rode Latimer up the sideline and batted the ball away as safety Cody Davis came into the play, snatching the ball out of the air. The play was reviewed and the call on the field, an interception, was upheld.

Siemian is now 4-of-8 passing for 41 yards with an interception.


Rams 6, Broncos 0, after Aqib Talib personal foul penalty

Case Keenum took over with the ball on the Denver 44.

After running back Malcolm Brown gained three-yards on first down, Keenum was forced to pull the ball down and make a run of his own on second only as he got out of bounds he was hit from behind by Broncos corner Aqib Talib prompting an official to throw a yellow flag and award the Rams 15 more yards for a personal foul.

The Rams failed to capitalize on their good field position and after three more plays kicker Greg Zuerlein came out for his second attempt of the day/preseason. It was a a 38-yard kick. And it was good.


Broncos’ Trevor Siemian throws some passes, but Denver still has to punt

The Broncos took a touchback to start on their own 25 yard line before calling on quarterback Trevor Siemian to use his arm.

Siemian threw a deep pass over the middle to Demaryius Thomas on his first throw, but the ball fell incomplete. No matter. He tried it at a shorter distance, but found the same result.

He had better luck with tight end Emmanuel Sanders, connecting on an 11-yard throw on third down for a first.Siemian went to the Thomas well one more time with a deep throw to the left, which the wideout caught only he was out of bounds.

He threw again on third, but Thomas came down short of a first. Denver tried running, but again came up one yard short. Turnover on downs.


Rams 3, Broncos 0, after short drive led by Case Keenum

Case Keenum has made a number of meaningful connections in his third exhibition game.

Keenum executed a nine-play drive which ended in a field goal that featured catches by tight end Lance Kendricks, receiver Brian Quick, rookie tight end Tyler Higbee.

Running back Benny Cunningham began the drive with a seven-yard run followed by a 23-yard catch by Kendricks and an eight yarder by Quick.

Then Keenum got tricky, faking a quarterback draw and tossing down to the left side where the Higbee was lined up as a receiver on the outside for an 11-yard gain.

The drive died on the 11-yard line after a short run by running back Malcolm Brown, a two-yard catch by Quick and an incomplete pass.

Greg Zuerlein was then good for his first field goal of the exhibition season, a 29-yarder to put the Rams up 3-0.


Rams stuff Broncos, who still haven’t thrown a pass

The Broncos’ drive didn’t start as well as it could have thanks to Rams punter Johnny Hekker.

Hekker’s punt went 44 yards to the one-yard line where it was downed by rookie receiver Michael Thomas.

Again, no passes from Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian. Three running plays later and Broncos punter Riley Dixon went back to work with a 51 yard punt that featured a holding penalty on the offense. The Rams take over on the Denver 37.


Rams 0, Broncos 0, but the offense makes some strides

The Rams opened up their second possesion with another run by running back Benny Cunningham.

Then quarterback Case Keenum hit Kenny Britt on a crossing route for a 19-yard gain. Cunningham went right back to work, this time with more success, with a five-yard run before Keenum got another pass-catcher involved.

Tight end Lance Kendricks caught a floater and went 15-yards for another first down and L.A.'s first trip into Denver territory. But that’s where the drive would stall.

Cunningham had a short run, but then Keenum had two straight incomplete passes before the Rams punted.


Rams hold the Broncos to a three-and-out, but nearly lose punt

The Broncos kept the ball out of quarterback Trevor Siemian’s hands and gave it to running back C.J. Anderson on three consecutive plays of their first possession.

Defensive end Robert Quinn made a big stop to put the Broncos in a punting situation.

Pharoh Cooper, again called upon to make a return, muffs the kicked but the ball was recovered by Cody Davis.


Game on: Rams return opening kickoff...then punt

(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

Rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper was the first Ram to touchd the ball, returning the opening kick to the 17-yard line.

Case Keenum hit Kenny Britt with a one-yard toss and then running back Benny Cunningham ran up the middle for a four yard game before the Broncos highly vaunted defense introduced itself to L.A.

Von Miller sacked Keenum for a nine-yard loss ending the drive.


Rams vs. Broncos: Uniform watch


Case Keenum keeps his focus on the job at hand not the jerseys in the stands

( (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times))

First-round draft pick, first pick overall, there’s some excitement there, and it’s fine with me. Just put blinders on and do my job.

— Rams quarterback Case Keenum

Rams fans attending training camp and two home exhibitions proudly donned replica jerseys and T-shirts of their favorite players.

Rookie Jared Goff’s No. 16 was omnipresent, Todd Gurley’s No. 30 stood out and Aaron Donald’s No. 99 also appeared popular.

The jerseys of Eric Dickerson, Jack Youngblood, Roman Gabriel and other former Rams also were part of the new-and-nostalgic apparel mosaic at UC Irvine and the Coliseum.

Few, if any, Case Keenum No. 17 jerseys were sighted.

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They used to call him ‘Tay-Awesome’ but now they should probably call him ‘Tay-$$$’

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams have signed receiver Tavon Austin to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Saturday, a few hours before playing the Denver Broncos in their third preseason game.

The deal is worth $42 million, with $30 million guaranteed, according to a report by ESPN. Austin is now under contract through the 2021 season.

Austin, 25, was the eighth pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He is the top receiver for an offense that ranked last in the NFL in total offense and passing offense in 2015.

Last season, the 5-foot-8, 176-pound Austin caught a career-best 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 434 yards and four touchdowns in 52 carries, and scored on a punt return.

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