5 gold nuggets LA Rams showed in Week 1 win

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Sean McVay, Ernest Jones
Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Sean McVay, Ernest Jones / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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LA Rams News Rams roster Michael Hoecht, Byron Young
Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Michael Hoecht, Byron Young / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

IV: Rams pass rush has a pulse

The LA Rams cleared their roster of any and all veteran outside linebackers in 2022 and in the 2023 offseason, leaving just defensive tackle-turned-outside linebacker Michael Hoecht, a late-season signing of OLB Zach VanValkenburg, and multiple rookies added via the 2023 NFL Draft.

Without a doubt, the Rams have one of the least expensive edge groups in the NFL. So is this a situation where you get what you pay for? Not exactly. Not only did the LA Rams generate 2.0 quarterback sacks in the season opener (and hopefully will do better as the season goes on), but the cast of Aaron Donald and his no-name colleagues were flying all over the field in that season opener.

The best news in the aftermath is the realization that this was truly a group effort. Just check out Brian Baldinger's analysis, and how the LA Rams defenders are flying around on each play:

In the video footage above, did you see how the LA Rams defensive front stunted, leaving three Seattle Seahawks offensive linemen to pivot towards rookie nose tackle Kobie Turner, and allow Aaron Donald to stunt behind him, racing to Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and forcing Smith to throw the football before the play had time to develop.

This was a solid effort. But over the course of the 2023 NFL season, there will be bad games, good games, and even better games. Young teams improve over time, and the LA Rams roster is certainly very young. But the best is yet to come, I believe.

While it was not a perfect performance, it was certainly a promising one. And in Week 1, a promising performance is as good as we can hope for.