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Opposing View: Falcons head coach Arthur Smith on Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp's impacts

Late in Falcons head coach Arthur Smith's Monday press conference, a reporter asks him about the challenges presented by the Rams defense with defensive lineman Aaron Donald.

"You just kind of said it," Smith told Atlanta reporters with a smile.

Like many opposing teams, trying to contain the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is atop the gameplan priority list heading into Sunday's matchup at SoFi Stadium (1:05 p.m. pacific time, FOX).

Donald is coming off a Week 1 performance in which he registered two total tackles, one sack, and one QB hit – though as is usually the case, the statistics don't always paint the complete picture of his impact.

"He's a great player," Smith said. "Probably one of the most dominant players in the last decade in this league. We got a ton of respect for him, but there's a challenge every week and that's what makes it fun. Our guys are excited about the challenge."

Just like the Bills last week, Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is also at the forefront of the Falcons' defensive minds this week, especially with Kupp coming off of 13 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown in the season opener.

"I think what he does a pretty good job of is he knows how to feel the voids in the zones and what they ask him to do," Smith said. "Some guys, they got that feel, where he, whether they call choice routes where he's got three options on a route, drop back and he's basically going to go where you're not. Play him in man, he knows how to get open. Very crafty, leverage, so that can make him difficult (to defend)."

That feel reminded Smith of former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, both of whom excelled in similar roles.

"Kupp certainly has that feel, and that's a credit to him," Smith said.

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