Young Rams defense has a chance to set the record straight right out of the gate

Neither OLB Byron Young nor NT Kobie Turner won DROY honors in 2023. Now, they are back to set the record straight.
Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, Byron Young, Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, Byron Young, Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages
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No breaks in the 2024 NFL schedule

The LA Rams began the 2023 season by winning their first game on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. But wins became tough to come by immediately after. After three games, the team was already at 1-2. After six games, the team did manage to even the record at 3-3. But a three-game losing streak stole the wind from the sails, and it seemed like a repeat of the team's 5-12 record in 2022 was on the horizon.

And then, the team got hot and rattled off a three-game winning streak followed by a four-game winning streak. The only loss after the BYE was a 37-31 loss in overtime to the powerhouse Baltimore Ravens on the road in a downpour. The team had become a winner.

In terms of statistics and rankings, the young Rams defense ended the 2023 NFL season ranked in the following categories:

  • Yards allowed - 20th ranked. 5,744 yards allowed
  • Point allowed - 19th ranked, 377 points allowed
  • Rushing defense: Yards - 12th ranked, 1,816 yards allowed
  • Rushing defense: Points - 11th ranked, 14 rushing TDs allowed
  • Passing defense: Yards - 20th ranked, 3,928 yards allowed
  • Passing defense: Points - 22nd ranked, 24 TDs allowed
  • Takeaways - 30th ranked. 10 interceptions, and five fumble recoveries.

While those are not the type of numbers that scream Super Bowl victory, keep in mind that the Rams are not only a new team, but they face a new set of opponents, each of whom are new teams as well.

The Rams reconstructed their 2023 roster after releasing several highly compensated veterans with the equivalent of pipe cleaners, construction paper, and Elmer's glue. The fun part of last year's journey was having front-row seats to one of the more marvelous transformations of NFL rookies all on one roster.

The Rams had a record holder on offense in the form of WR Puka Nacua. But both of the team's defensive rookies: OLB Byron Young and NT Kobie Turner, set the NFL on fire by leading all rookies in 2023 in quarterback sacks. Kobie Turner ended the season with 9.0 sacks, closely following by OLB Byron Young with 8.0 sacks. Now both are back in 2024.

And they intend to set the record straight