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6 Things To Know About The Seahawks' Week 1 Opponent, The L.A. Rams

Six points to take note of ahead of Seattle’s home opener against the Los Angeles Rams. 


On Sunday, Seattle kicks off the 2023 season at home against the Los Angeles Rams. After going 2-0 against their divisional foe in 2022, a new season brings new storylines. Here are six things to know about the Rams before they come to town for Sunday's season-opener.

Wideout Cooper Kupp Out For The Opener

The Rams will be without their primary receiving target on Sunday, as wideout Cooper Kupp remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. The Eastern Washington alum was in Minnesota on Monday getting evaluated by medical professionals, and on Wednesday, Rams coach Sean McVay said Kupp will miss the opener, putting the onus on the rest of the receiving corps to step up.

"You've got to be able to operate with the situation and the guys that we do have," said McVay.

The seventh-year wideout played nine games in 2022 while dealing with a high-ankle sprain that caused him to miss both matchups against Seattle.

The Return of Aaron Donald

It’s Year 10 for All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who returns to the field healthy after a sprained right ankle restricted him to 11 contests in 2022. The Pittsburgh alum missed Week 13's matchup against Seattle in 2022, being sidelined due to injury for the first time in his career. Seattle will do its best to contain one of the league's best interior defenders Sunday, as Donald has quite the history of dominance against the Seahawks. In 16 career matchups, Donald has accumulated 15 sacks and 24 tackles for loss.

Roster Turnover: Rams Secondary Shakeup

In February of 2022, the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI. Less than two years later, many of the key contributors that helped secure the franchise's second championship are no longer with the team. Los Angeles made several moves through trades and free agency on both sides of the ball, but namely in the secondary. In March, the Rams dealt star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins, while allowing defensive backs Troy Hill, Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp to sign elsewhere via free agency. In June, Pro Football Focus ranked the Rams young secondary the worst across the league, taking note of the major roster overhaul, but the Seahawks know they can never take the Rams lightly regardless of any preseason expectations.

The Return of Matthew Stafford

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford returns healthy before the 2023 season, after concussion and neck issues restricted him to nine games last year. The 35-year-old Georgia alum currently ranks No. 11 all-time in passing yards (52,082). With Year 15 approaching for Stafford, Seattle will look to make sure he doesn't get into a groove in the opener. Stafford has played two games for the Rams against Seattle, winning both in 2021. Seattle's defense will look to prevent Stafford from shaking off the rust in Week 1.

Learning From Experience: Rams Become Younger

On both sides of the ball, the Rams enter the 2023 season with a significantly younger roster than they have had in recent years. After preseason roster cuts, Los Angeles starts the year with 15 rookies. But across the board, the Rams sport one of the league’s youngest teams, at an average age of 25.49 years-of-age, barely trailing behind the Green Bay Packers at No.1 (25.3). Many of the Rams' key players from 2022 are gone on the defensive end, replacing veterans at the outside linebacker and secondary positions with younger talent. Second-year cornerbacks Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick lead an unproven back end of the defense.

Offensive Line Carousel: Naming Starters

The Rams offensive line is one of the many position groups to undergo several changes throughout the offseason. Despite having tackles Alaric Jackson and Rob Havenstein in place, and Brian Allen at center, the team is still deciding on interior starters before Sunday's season opener. Coach McVay discussed the matter following practice on Tuesday.

"I think they're good," said McVay. "I think we're still working through that. What I do feel good about is you bring in a Kevin Dotson who's got starting experience. You get a lot of different guys that have played at different spots, some of which have started in different spots. They've gotten really valuable and beneficial reps against two quality opponents and real practice settings and so we're going to continue to use today and then Wednesday through Friday to really be able to kind of tailor in on our best five. What does that lineup look like and who do we feel like gives us the best chance to operate? But like anything else, we've got to have guys that are ready, and they could be one snap away and I do feel like with some of the shuffling that we've had to do, it has developed some depth. And whoever we decide on that final five is, you'll feel good about those guys, but you also feel good about the three other guys that'll be available with our eight offensive linemen that'll be up and active on Sunday the 10th."

The Seahawks and Rams face off for the first game of the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Rams.

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