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Carolina Panthers

Know Your Foe: Los Angeles Rams


CHARLOTTE – After three straight weeks with home games at Bank of America Stadium, the Carolina Panthers travel west under interim head coach Steve Wilks to face the Rams in Week 6.

The Rams (2-3) will take on the Panthers amid a two-game losing streak. The defending Super Bowl champions look to bounce back in a 4:05 p.m. kickoff against Carolina at SoFi Stadium after falling to the 49ers and Cowboys in back-to-back weeks.

The Panthers carry a 13-9 all-time advantage over the Rams, including a 7-4 record away from home.

Here's what to know about the Rams:

Cooper Kupp


Los Angeles wide receiver Cooper Kupp, last year's NFL Offensive Player of the Year, has tallied the most receptions in the league (49) and the second-most yards of the year (105.4 yards per game) behind Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson. 

Kupp is a big play threat, with five plays of 20 yards or more on the season, averaging 10.8 yards per catch. He has run for 267 yards after the catch this year, just over half his 527 total receiving yards. 

Kupp brought in the longest touchdown pass of his career last week against the Cowboys, making a one-handed catch on a short pass and running 71 yards to the end zone. He has scored four times this year. 

The Rams' offense finds a large chunk of its success through Kupp, who paces Los Angeles' 18th-ranked passing game. The Rams average 237.4 pass yards per game, 18th in the league.

Tight end Tyler Higbee is behind Kupp in the Rams' receiving game, taking 33 catches for 290 yards, 189 of which have come in runs after the catch. Wide receivers Ben Skowronek and Allen Robinson II have also tallied over 100 receiving yards this season.

Los Angeles leans on its passing game heavily, as its rushing attack is ranked last in the league, averaging 62.4 yards per game. Neither Cam Akers nor Darrell Henderson Jr. has eclipsed more than 155 yards on the year, and the team's longest rush was a 20-yarder from Kupp.

Matthew Stafford


Despite the production Kupp brings to the Rams' offense, the unit has generally struggled due to a growing number of injuries to its offensive line and a tough start to the season for quarterback Matthew Stafford. 

For one, Stafford took snaps against the Cowboys behind his third center of the year, Jeremiah Kolone, who was the ninth offensive lineman to start a game for the Rams this season. Los Angeles is depleted in the interior, as left tackle Joe Noteboom and right tackle Rob Havenstein are the only two offensive linemen who have started all five games this year. 

Opposing defenses have had few problems getting pressure on Stafford, who is tied with Colts quarterback Matt Ryan for the most sacks in the league at 21. Stafford and Ryan also tie for the most interceptions thrown this season in the NFL at seven. 

The Rams are turnover prone. They've lost 12 turnovers through the first five weeks, which ranks 31st in the league, ahead of only New Orleans. The Rams have fumbled the ball five times, second most in the NFL, and are tied with the Colts for the most interceptions in the league.

Los Angeles gave up nine of Dallas' 22 points on turnovers in Week 5, including an opening drive fumble returned for a touchdown and an early blocked punt that resulted in a field goal. 

Overall, their offense has been held to 16 points per game, 29th in the league, though they have had the challenge of facing the two best defenses in the league (San Francisco and Buffalo ranked first and second, respectively) and the Cowboys, currently ranked ninth in total defense.

Aaron Donald


Amid its offensive struggles, Los Angeles can lean upon its defense, highlighted by stars in defensive tackle Aaron Donald, linebackers Bobby Wagner and Ernest Jones, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Donald, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, has four sacks, six tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery to add to his 21 tackles on the year. He forced a fumble last week in a strong showing, and he also finished the day with six tackles and two sacks against Dallas quarterback Cooper Rush. 

The Rams are led by leading tackler Wagner, who has tallied 39 tackles and two sacks this season. Jones is second with 35 tackles and a TFL.

The Rams have the ninth-best rush defense in the NFL, averaging 106.4 yards per game and holding opponents to 4.1 yards per attempt. They've allowed 23.2 points per game through five weeks, 16th in the NFL.

View photos of action between the Panthers and Rams through the Years. Carolina owns a 13-9 advantage in the all-time series record.

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