LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-5) at GREEN BAY (2-5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox
OPENING LINE: Packers by 3, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Rams 4-3-1; Packers 3-4
SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 49-47-2
LAST MEETING: Packers beat Rams 24-12 at Lambeau Field on Dec. 19, 2022.
LAST WEEK: Rams lost 43-20 at Dallas; Packers lost 24-10 at home to Minnesota Vikings.
RAMS OFFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (17), PASS (8), SCORING (14-T)
PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (25), PASS (21), SCORING (21)
RAMS DEFENSE: OVERALL (17), RUSH (20), PASS (13), SCORING (21)
PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (26), PASS (11), SCORING (20)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Rams minus-2; Packers minus-2
RAMS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Brett Rypien could make his fourth career start and first for Los Angeles after Matthew Stafford sprained a ligament in his right thumb against the Cowboys. Rypien went 2-1 in three seasons with the Denver Broncos, but threw four touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games there. Rypien’s first regular-season action with the Rams saw him go 5 of 10 passing for 42 yards in relief versus Dallas.
PACKERS PLAYER TO WATCH: CB Carrington Valentine figures to get a substantial increase in playing time and has an opportunity to make a permanent move into the starting lineup following the trade of Rasul Douglas to the Buffalo Bills. The rookie seventh-round pick from Kentucky already made three starts this season when Jaire Alexander was hurt.
KEY MATCHUP: Rams WRs Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua vs. Packers secondary: While the identity of the Rams’ starting quarterback for Sunday’s game remains uncertain, whichever guy ends up taking the snaps could find Kupp and Nacua open for much of the game. Green Bay’s secondary was going to have a hard time matching up with these guys even before Douglas was traded. Alexander was a second-team selection in last season’s All-Pro balloting, but he hasn’t been as effective as usual this season while dealing with a back injury that sidelined him for three games.
KEY INJURIES: Stafford didn’t practice Wednesday. Rams coach Sean McVay said Stafford not being available in workouts this week would not prevent him from being able to play if healthy. … Rams RT Rob Havenstein (calf) missed practice on Wednesday after being inactive against the Cowboys. … Rams RB Kyren Williams (ankle) is on injured reserve. ... Packers CB Eric Stokes (hamstring) and S Darnell Savage (calf) also are on injured reserve.
SERIES NOTES: The Packers have won five in a row at Lambeau Field in the series, including last season’s game and a 32-18 victory in the NFC divisional playoffs on Jan. 16, 2021. … The Rams’ previous win in Green Bay came in 2006, a 23-20 triumph in which Marc Bulger outdueled Brett Favre. … Packers coach Matt LaFleur has a 3-0 record against Rams coach Sean McVay. … LaFleur was the Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2017 during the first year of McVay’s head coaching tenure. LaFleur and McVay also spent four seasons working together as assistants on Mike Shanahan’s Washington staff.
STATS AND STUFF: Rams DL Aaron Donald is tied for second in the NFL with 10 tackles for loss this season. It is Donald’s 10th consecutive season with double-digit stops in the backfield. He has 170 tackles for loss in 146 regular-season games. … WR Puka Nacua leads all rookies with 752 yards receiving, well ahead of Jordan Addison (482) of the Minnesota Vikings in second. Nacua’s 314 yards after the catch by itself would rank seventh among first-year players. … The Rams allowed four passing touchdowns to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott on Sunday after allowing a total of four through their first seven games. ... Los Angeles significantly overhauled its defensive front this offseason, but the new OLB pairing of Michael Hoecht (3 1/2 sacks) and rookie Byron Young (three) has been effective in rushing the passer. … Rams OC Mike LaFleur is the younger brother of Packers coach Matt LaFleur. … The Packers have lost four straight. ... The Packers have been outscored 73-9 in the first half of their past five games and haven’t scored a first-half touchdown in any of them. Their most recent first-half touchdown came Sept. 17 in a 25-24 loss at Atlanta. … Packers OLB Preston Smith has had four sacks over his past three games. … Packers DL Kenny Clark has 4 1/2 sacks in four meetings with the Rams, including the postseason. … Packers DL T.J. Slaton had career highs last week in tackles (nine), solo tackles (four) and tackles for loss (two). He was the first Packers defensive lineman to have at least nine overall tackles and two tackles for loss in the same game since Ryan Pickett did it against Detroit on Dec. 12, 2010.
FANTASY TIP: This would be a roll of a dice, but fantasy owners desperate for help at running back should check and see if Los Angeles’ Darrell Henderson is still available in their leagues. The Rams signed Henderson to their active roster this week as they continue searching for options with Kyren Williams on injured reserve. Henderson has 1,834 career yards rushing, so he does have a track record and could find some opportunities against a Packers defense that sometimes struggles against the run, though Green Bay did limit Minnesota to 62 yards on 31 carries last week. The question is whether Henderson or Royce Freeman ends up getting the bigger workload out of the Rams’ backfield.
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