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Bryce Perkins has an NFL start under his belt: What are his future prospects?

bryce perkins
Bryce Perkins. Photo: Chris Graham

Sean McVay’s game plan for Bryce Perkins’ first NFL start was ver-r-r-r-ry conservative, calling six designed QB runs for the 2020 UVA alum, and having him throw a ton of short passes.

None of Perkins’ 23 throws traveled 20 or more yards through the air, according to Pro Football Focus, which is how it worked out that he was 13-of-23 for an even 100 yards.

Perkins did put up a team-high 44 yards on the ground – 27 of those coming on three scrambles, as he scratched and clawed his way toward the goal of keeping the chains moving.

The goal was to keep it close against the mighty Kansas City Chiefs, and it largely worked. When Perkins connected with wideout Van Jefferson for a 7-yard TD pass four seconds into the fourth quarter, the margin was 20-10.

The Rams defense then got a stop on the Chiefs’ next possession, and Perkins had the ball back with a chance to draw even closer.

LA’s next two possessions would end in INTs – one on an underthrown ball into the flat, the second on a ball tipped at the line of scrimmage.

The final ended up at 26-10, dropping the Rams, 11 games removed from a win in the Super Bowl, to 3-8 on the season.

With franchise QB Matthew Stafford injured and top wideout Allen Robinson out for the season, the 2022 season has turned into evaluation time for McVay and his staff.

“You’re getting good evaluations, so that’s the only way you can look at it,” McVay said postgame.

Going forward, you’ll want to see if McVay opens things up more with Perkins behind center when the opponent isn’t Kansas City.

Knowing he was going in short-handed, McVay was just trying to limit mistakes, eat clock with the running game, try to keep his team in shouting distance into the fourth quarter, then go for broke with the game on the line.

“Bryce did enough things in the first half to be able to keep the chains moving with his legs, a lot of third-down conversions where he was just being able to scramble for it,” McVay said. “Just not quite enough, but I am appreciative and grateful for what the guys did today.”

Perkins has four career preseason starts, and he’s put up good numbers the past two preseasons – completing 65.0 percent of his passes for 850 yards, five TDs, one INT and a 90.5 passer rating, and adding 187 yards and two TDs on the ground.

His ability to move the chains through the air and with his feet stands out in an NFL that is moving more in that direction in terms of QB play.

“I think he did what he was capable of doing, and the plays that he got, I think he made the most of them,” said Jefferson, who had three catches on six targets for 29 yards on Sunday. “And like I said, he’s tough. He’s a great competitor, a great guy, and we’re gonna ride with him. he had great command, and you could just tell he has great leadership. So, I’m proud of the way he played, and just gonna keep going.”

Perkins, after the game, noted issues with communication that led to a couple delay of game and procedure penalties and forced timeouts that he “definitely had to clean up.”

His assessment of his first regular-season start: “Elevate and grow from this, and keep on pushing and overall just play better.”

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].