Detroit Lions Have Beat The Rams 3 Out Of The Last 5 Appearances.
In last season’s Lions vs. Rams tilt, the Lions allowed over 200 yards rushing, 140 of which went to Todd Gurley, who also scored two touchdowns. The Rams also sacked Matthew Stafford four times on the way to a 21-14 victory that completely eliminated the Lions from their small opportunity to squeak in to the final wildcard spot in the NFC. This season the Rams are one of the worst offenses in the NFL, and the Lions one of the worst defenses.
Detroit Lions vs Los Angeles Rams
One of the key factors in this game will be which team performs worse on Sunday. Much has been made of the Lions signing Justin Forsett this week, but I do not expect much from him straight out of the gate. A week or two from now when he has learned the offensive terminology a little better, and can execute more than a small percentage of the game plan, he very well may be the boon that the Lions offense needs to get the job done on the ground. But not this week.
Laken Tomlinson vs. Aaron Donald
There was not much doubt in last seasons Lions vs. Rams contest that whenever the two lined up across from each other; one of them was the rookie finding his way, and the other was the dominant player in the league. Donald was the disruptive force in the center of the defense that held the Lions offense in check. Jim Caldwell has come out and said that Tomlinson will continue to start at left guard. Were I Rams defensive coordinator I know exactly where I would be putting Aaron Donald until Tomlinson proved he was up to the task, which might happen some time in 2018.
Theo Riddick vs Mark Barron
Riddick is a wide receiver playing running back, and Barron is a safety playing linebacker. The two have performed their given tasks with as much success as could be expected, both among the NFL’s elite at what they do. This match up between a linebacker that specializes in pass coverage against running backs, and a running back that excells at making catches in the open field for big gains should be the most entertaining match up of the weekend’s Lions vs. Rams match up.
Tahir Whitehead vs. Todd Gurley
On the other side of the ball, Tahir Whitehead comes in to week six as the NFL’s fifth leading tackler, and Todd Gurley is the lynch pin holding the entire Rams offense up. The Rams offensive line cannot block, and the Lions defensive line is not great against the run. Which leaves a huge opportunity for these two players to do battle and determine the outcome of the game.
The Resistable Force meets the Movable Object
The Rams offense is 32nd in th NFL in yards gained, 28th in rushing, and 30th in passing. The Lions defense is 24th in total yards allowed, 21st in rushing, and 23rd in passing. These are not the strengths of each team and the game could hinge on which of these two squads can get themselves together for one game.
Before Lions fans get too cocky with their slightly below average defense appearing to have the advantage, it should be stated that the Lions defense is 30th in third down percentage and 32nd in red zone percentage. While the Rams offense is 26th and 28th respectively in those categories. If the Lions defense can’t get off the field, the Rams could very well squeak out a victory.
Lions 21 Rams 16
I think the Lions defense will bend but not break. The Rams will stifle the Lions offense in the first half, but simply lack the players to stop the entire Lions passing game. The Lions may drop in the score, but the Rams offense lacks the weapons to be particularly creative, and take advantage of the Lions adjustments to stop the running game.