John Wolford threw a 4-yard pass to Jalen Greene for the game’s only touchdown to give the Los Angeles Rams a 10-6 victory over the Denver Broncos Saturday evening in a game in which neither of the Rams’ top two quarterbacks played.
The score with 12 minutes, 38 seconds to play in the preseason game capped a 12-play, 52-yard drive following a 20-yard punt by Colby Wadman, who took over as the Broncos punter in the fifth game of the 2018 season.
Wolford also completed a 20-yard pass to Nismba Webster on the drive’s second play in the first game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum following completion of a two-year, $315 million renovation project.
Wolford was two for five for 24 yards on the drive and six for 12 for 64 yards for the game.
“I was really impressed with John,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “You could see, he got through some progressions tonight, was able to evade the rush when some guys came into the backfield and made some plays with his legs. You could see why he’s just a little baller, man, and he did a great job.”
Jared Goff, the Rams starting quarterback since the 10th game of the 2016 season, has not played in any of their three 2019 preseason games. Blake Bortles, who started the first two preseason games, was given the night off.
“We felt like he has done a good job of really establishing himself as the clear number two,” McVay said. “I think it’s important for he and Jared to really get themselves in the mindset of getting ready for the season and starting to do some different things that we anticipate activating against the (Carolina) Panthers.”
Brandon Allen started at quarterback for the Rams (1-2), completing 12 of 19 passes for 162 yards, including a 51-yard pass to Michael Thomas on the second play from scrimmage. He played the first three series, then returned for the Rams first second-half possession.
The Rams scored once in their five possessions under Allen, a 37-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 10:48 remaining in the second quarter.
The Rams turned the ball over on downs on Allen’s first drive when rookie Darrell Henderson Jr. lost 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 play from Denver’s 11-yard line.
The Rams also turned the ball over on downs on their fourth and final possession under Allen when second-year tight end Johnny Mundt was pushed out of bounds at the Broncos’ 1-yard line after catching a pass from Allen.
The Rams challenged the call that Mundt failed to break the plane of the goal line, but the call on the field was upheld after video of the play was reviewed.
The Rams picked up two first downs, but punted after seven plays on Allen’s second possession.
The Rams outgained Denver, 323 yards to 213, led 18-16 in first downs but trailed 30:06-29:54 in time of possession before a crowd announced at 66,899. The renovations reduced the Coliseum’s seating capacity from 93,607 to about 77,500.
“Even though there weren’t a lot of points to show for it, I thought the offense moved under those guys’ leadership and got up and down the field pretty efficiently, had some sustained drives where they were able to get into a rhythm, get some plays off,” McVay said.
The Broncos’ scores came on 31- and 38-yard field goals by Brandon McManus in the second quarter.
Former Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan completed eight of 12 passes for 69 yards in his second start of the 2019 preseason for Denver (1-3), who rested expected regular-season starter Joe Flacco after he started the previous two games.
Undrafted rookie free agent Brett Rypien from Boise State completed 14 of 23 passes for 80 yards with one interception for Denver.
He is a nephew of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 when he threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns in the Washington Redskins 37-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills.