How did they do it? Grading the LA Rams Week 1 Performance

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The LA Rams entered their week 1 contest as 4.5-point underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks, a team that some analysts had as a Top-10 in their initial 2023Power Rankings. Many thought the absence of Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, paired with the inexperience on the defensive side of the ball and huge question marks on the offensive line, would result in a heavy loss for the Los Angeles Rams.

However, the Rams kept it close in the first half. trailing by a score of 13-7 after a promising scoring drive on their first possession of the game. Once the second half began, however, it became the Rams’ show. They shut out the Seahawks over the remainder of the game while managing to hold them to a total of 12, yes 12 total yards on offense.

Additionally, the Rams ran a total of 51 plays on offense as opposed to Seattle’s meager 14 plays. The Rams ultimately beat the Seahawks by a score of 30-13 led by Matthew Stafford, Puka Nacua, and Tutu Atwell, giving them the lead in the NFC West. There was a lot to like this week, but there were some areas of concern as well, so let’s break it all down.

Passing offense performance

It’s safe to say that LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is officially back and at full strength. There was no shortage of deep passes and taking shots down the field. Stafford threw 24/38 for a total of 334 yards with 0 TDs totaling 13.9 yards per completion.

While it was disappointing that he did not have a touchdown in Week 1, it is important to note that a number of receivers dropped passes that went in and out of their hands. WR Van Jefferson was especially guilty, as he dropped a wide-open dime from Stafford in the third quarter which likely would have resulted in a touchdown. That incompletion, if caught, would have given Stafford closer to 400 total yards passing.

The Rams' offensive line also did a phenomenal job at pass blocking, giving Stafford all the time he needed to find open receivers down the field. They did not allow the Seahawks' pass rush to record a single quarterback sack. They did have one blown block when they let Bryant blow through on the attempted flea flicker, but one play is not the whole story. The most impressive part of the offense today was the play from both Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua. Atwell had 6 receptions for 119 yards while Nacua had 10 receptions, also 119 yards. Puka Nacua became just the fourth wide receiver in NFL history to record 10 receptions and over 100 yards in their first career game.

Passing Grade: A-