The LA Rams (3-7) have been rather coy about who will be their starting quarterback in Week 12 to face the Kansas City Chiefs (8-2).
Coy or not, I believe that the LA Rams will start QB Bryce Perkins in Week 12. Since this will be his first official NFL start, what could, or should Rams fans expect? Just about anything goes in this game, folks. After all, Bryce Perkins has a little bit of everything that modern NFL quarterbacks can do with one exception.
He has little experience in an NFL game doing so.
He has the legs of a mobile quarterback, and the arm of a pocket passer, and has shown incredible pocket poise when he has been tasked with running the team in the preseason for the past two years. He can make throws, scramble for a first down, and avoid all but the most overwhelming pass rushes. Best of all, because he played so much in the preseason, many of the players who take the field with him have been the same cast of players who took the football field before.
In 2.5 preseason games this year, Perkins completed 35 of 48 passes for 399 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also rushed 18 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Perkins had almost instant chemistry with WR Lance McCutcheon, an undrafted rookie who many expect will see action this week.
With Perkins solely positioned under center, McCutcheon caught 10 of 15 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. When Perkins split duty with backup quarterback John Wolford, McCutcheon was equally effective, catching five of six passes thrown his way for 96 yards.
Because the Rams did not play their starters, it is difficult to assess how Perkins will perform with them. He did have some luck throwing to tight end Brycen Hopkins, who caught seven of eight passes for 50 yards in preseason play.
Perkins did come into the game in relief of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and rushed five times for 23 yards. He also completed five of ten passes for 64 yards, while getting sacked three times. With Perkins in the pocket, the Rams did manage to advance the football into the Red Zone once, and he did manage to lead the Rams to a pair of field goals.
So the question is, what can fans expect? He will make some throws, but he will miss some throws too. He is incredibly dangerous whenever he scrambles, and he could lead the team in rushing if he takes off. The Rams will be playing both RB Kyren Williams and Cam Akers in this one, so the hope is that the Rams will run as well as pass, keeping the Chiefs’ defense honest.
The Rams cannot hope to win a shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs. But Perkins does give the Rams a chance to control the game clock. If the Rams can run effectively, and move the chains with high-percentage passes, they could keep this one close. And as long as the Rams remain close, they have a chance of shocking the NFL.