By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES RAMS (15-4) at CAROLINA (7-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE - Rams by 2 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Rams 7-7-2; Panthers 7-9
SERIES RECORD - Panthers lead 13-8
LAST MEETING - Panthers beat Rams 13-10, Nov. 6, 2016
AP PRO32 RANKING - Rams No. 4, Panthers No. 18
RAMS OFFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (3), PASS (5).
RAMS DEFENSE - OVERALL (19), RUSH (23), PASS (14).
PANTHERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (10), RUSH (4), PASS (17).
PANTHERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (15), RUSH (12), PASS (18).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Rams reached Super Bowl last season before losing to Tom Brady and Patriots 13-3. ... Sean McVay owns .750 winning percentage (24-8) in two seasons as Rams coach. ... Rams averaged 30.8 points per game last season, second only to Kansas City (34.8). ... QB Jared Goff was fourth in yards passing (4,688) and sixth in TD passes in 2018. ... RB Todd Gurley led NFL with 21 TDs last season, was limited late last season due to knee soreness. ... WR Brandin Cooks going for fifth straight 1,000-yard receiving season after career-high 1,204 yards in 2018. ... DT Aaron Donald has won NFL Defensive Player of Year in back-to-back seasons. ... LB Clay Matthews and S Eric Weddle make Rams debut. ... CB Marcus Peters' 22 interceptions are most in NFL since 2015. ... Panthers are 4-4 in season openers under coach Ron Rivera. ... Rivera needs three wins to become Carolina's all-time winningest coach. ... QB Cam Newton returns from offseason shoulder surgery and mid-foot sprain in preseason. Newton needs 121 yards rushing to pass Randall Cunningham for second most by an NFL quarterback. ... Christian McCaffrey set NFL record for receptions by RB last season with 107. McCaffrey also set franchise record with 1,965 yards from scrimmage. ... WR D.J. Moore was first in NFL in yards after catch (7.7) in 2018. ... Carolina was 27th in NFL in sacks in 2018. Added veteran DL Gerald McCoy and rookie OLB Brian Burns to bolster pass rush. ... Panthers debut 3-4 defense for first time under Rivera, who'll make defensive play calls. ... LB Luke Kuechly has 948 tackles, needs 19 to pass Brian Urlacher for most by an NFL player through first eight seasons. ... Ray-Ray McCloud, acquired off waivers Sunday, expected to return punts, kickoffs for Carolina. ... Undrafted rookie K Joey Slye replaces Graham Gano (injured reserve/leg). ... Fantasy tip: Panthers WR Curtis Samuel appears on cusp of breakout season after assuming starting role.
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Updated September 7, 2019