LIONS VS RAMS PREVIEW

Posted by Posted by Rich Brown On 7:19 PM

The Detroit Lions have had a whole week to try to get healthy and recover from a hellish schedule to open the season but it may not have been enough time. As the Lions approach there most winnable stretch of games (St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland) both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are banged up. Matthew Stafford has been able to practice some but the same cannot be said for Calvin Johnson.How much difference could that possibly make? A huge difference mostly on the part of Matthew Stafford. Not to mention that St.Louis is on a 17 game losing streak and is looking at Detroit as one of its most winnable games. St.Louis has had a tough opening schedule this season as well, not as tough as the Lions but its pretty close. By all indications this should be a close game but I wouldn't be surprised if this turned into a blowout for either team.

Detroit Lions Passing Attack Vs St. Louis Rams Secondary

The Detroit Lions passing attack ranks 21st in the NFL, a stat that would be much higher had Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson not gotten hurt. On the St.Louis side of things, the Rams are currently ranked 25th in passing defense. The Rams are by far the worst secondary the Lions have faced this season however the Detroit Lions are an entirely different team with Matthew Stafford under center than they are with Daunte Culpepper taking the snaps. Most Lions fans have nicknamed Daunte Culpepper "Captain Checkdown" for his lack of down the field passes and when Culpepper does take shots down the field they usually look horrible. Drew Stanton the third string quarterback has shown much more composure in the pocket and they ability to move the offense down field. Stanton like Stafford and Culpepper (surprisingly) dose suffer from rookie mistakes but unlike Culpepper Stafford and Stanton do more harm than good. If it is Matthew Stafford or Drew Stanton getting the start then the advantage goes to the Detroit Lions. If its Culpepper getting the start I'd give the advantage to the St.Louis secondary.

Advantage - TBD


Detroit Lions Rushing Attack Vs St. Louis Rams Rush Defense

Despite the Detroit Lion's fans calling for Kevin Smith's head not even midway through his second season the Lions rank 21st in rush offense. Not to mention the Lions have had to face some very stout rushing defenses. St.Louis on the other hand is not one of them, the Rams rank 27th in rushing defense so far this season and are giving up 135 yards per game to opposing running backs. Kevin Smith is a true competitor and wants to atone for his bad performances as of late. There is no game better than this one for him to have a huge game. With any help at all from his offensive line I can see Smith having a monster day here silencing the chatter of the Lions taking a runningback in the early rounds of next years draft.

Advantage - Detroit

Detroit Lions Offensive Line Vs St. Louis Rams Defensive Line

Jeff Sackus(Backus)and company have allowed 22 sacks this season and are the 4th worst team in the league behind only Washington, Green Bay, and Kansas City. Defensively the Rams have gotten to the quarterback 12 times earning them the 22nd rank in defensive sacks. Don't be fooled though the prospect of having Chris Long or Leonard Little lining up against Jeff Sackus is giving Lions fans and probably Lion's quarterbacks nightmares.

Advantage - St. Louis



St.Louis Rams Passing Attack Vs Detroit Lions Secondary

This is an ugly, ugly matchup to say the least. The St.Louis Rams rank 27th in passing offense while the Detroit Lions rank 30th. The Detroit Lions have had some bright spots but not very many as they constantly are replacing DBs looking for somebody, anybody that can cover opposing receivers. However if Donnie Avery doesn't play or struggles due to his mounting list of injuries I like Detroit's chances of being able to keep the the rest of the Ram's receivers in check. Ultimately I'm going to have to call this on a draw because its just to close to call.

Advantage - Draw


St.Louis Rams Rushing Attack Vs Detroit Lions Rush Defense

The St.Louis Rams rank 16th in rushing thanks to Steven Jackson but as many yards as Jackson has that doesn't translate into touchdowns for the Rams often enough. The Lions rank 20th in the league which I figured would have been a lot worse at this point in the year. They have played host to all of the Saints amazing runningbacks, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Rasard Mendenhall, and Clinton Portis. I could see the Detroit Lions holding Steven Jackson under 100 yards if everything were to go as planned. However I don't think everything will go as planned and I could easily see Steven Jackson torching the Lions defense for big yardage and at least two scores.

Advantage - St. Louis



St. Louis Offensive Line Vs Detroit Lions Defensive Line

The St. Louis offensive line is the 11th worst in the league allowing 16 sacks so far this season. The Detroit defensive line is ranked 14th is sacks with 15 total on the year. The Detroit Lions defensive line has struggled with injuries just like the rest of the team. This week after missing three games starting DT Sammie Lee Hill and starting DE Dewayne White both return from injuries and should give the Lions defensive line a boost. Meanwhile the Rams will be without starting RG Richie Incognito, taking those factors into account I give a very slight advantage to the Lions.

Advantage - Detroit


Special Teams

When it comes to kick returns the Rams rank 19th while the Lions rank 27th. Although the Lions have one of the best kickers around, the coverage units and kick returns for the Lions have been horrible this season. It wouldn't surprise me if Lions Special Teams coach Stan Kwan is out of a job after this year.


Advantage - St. Louis

There is a wild card in this game, that is former St. Louis head coach Scott Linehan who is now Detroit's offensive coordinator. He should be able to provide Detroit with some inside tips on this St. Louis Rams team that could or couldn't make a big difference in the outcome of the game.

Prediction - Detroit 28 St. Louis 17

I have a feeling that Matthew Stafford will play in this game. With Stafford in, I just don't see the Ram's being able to stop and outscore Detroit in this one unless Steven Jackson makes his way to the endzone practically every time he touches the ball which he has had a problem with this season. If Stafford can't play and Culpepper starts and looks horrible like he has in the past I can see Drew Stanton coming in very quickly to save he day. Like I said at the beginning though, this one could go either way and could be a close game or a blowout for either team

By NFLANDCOLLEGEFOOTBALL EXPERT: DERRICK DENNIS

3 comments

  1. drewbreezzy Said,

    I am going for the Rams. I own both Smith and Jackson so I hope it is the highest scoring games for both teams in ages!

    Posted on October 28, 2009 at 7:26 PM

     
  2. Rich Brown Said,

    I agree with Derrick, I think Lions in a blow out. No matter who plays at QB.

    Posted on October 28, 2009 at 8:01 PM

     
  3. BSLIONS Said,

    Whoops made a mistake it says

    "Stanton like Stafford and Culpepper (surprisingly) dose suffer from rookie mistakes but unlike Culpepper Stafford and Stanton do more harm than good"

    It should actually say that Stafford and Stanton do more good than harm.

    Posted on October 28, 2009 at 11:12 PM