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2024 Rams opponent breakdown: Detroit Lions, Week 1

Now that the Rams' 2024 schedule is officially out, it's time to resume our offseason opponent breakdowns on

The series kicks off with Los Angeles' Week 1 road opponent, the Detroit Lions (Sept. 8, 5:20 p.m. PT on NBC). The Rams' 2024 schedule release is presented by Confirmed360.



With the way they had finished the 2022 season and the way their players had developed, expectations were high for a breakthrough 2023 season by the Lions. So much so, the NFL scheduled them to play the Chiefs as the Thursday night opener to kickoff the 2023 season.

To Detroit's credit, it delivered. Beginning with that win over the Chiefs in Kansas City, the Lions won 6 of their first 8 games to reach 6-2 by their Week 9 bye. A 6-3 record over the second half of the season helped them capture the No. 3 seed in the NFC, as well as their first division title since 1993.

The Lions capitalized on homefield advantage to reach the NFC Championship, where they fell to the 49ers 34-31 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Key Changes

Starting left guard Jonah Jackson departed in free agency and signed a 3-year deal with the Rams. Additionally, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson returned to the Eagles on a 3-year deal in free agency.

Head coach

Dan Campbell enters his fourth season as head coach of the Lions, compiling a 24-26-1 regular season record and 2-1 playoff record through his first three years.

What to watch for

Somewhat new-look defenses

Compared to the previous matchup in the wild card round of the playoffs, the Rams' defense will obviously be without Aaron Donald, while the Lions lost Gardner-Johnson in free agency.

Each unit was also shuffled in some ways.

For the Rams, they added new pieces to their pass rush through the draft, while the Lions shook up the cornerback position by acquiring Carlton Davis III in a trade with the Buccaneers in March, then drafting Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. in the draft. Of course, the Rams' secondary will also look different with the signings of Tre'Davious White and Darious Williams and departure of Jordan Fuller.

The offenses carry over much of the same personnel from the last time the two teams met. This matchup will be about the defenses and how each one's new pieces fall into place.

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