Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rams vs. Lions Game Preview

Today the St. Louis Rams will try to move to 3-2 against the 0-4 Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Rams have not had a record over .500 in the regular season since week 8 of the 2006 season. The Rams have gained confidence with two consecutive wins, while the Lions continue to have some bad luck and are winless on the season and have only won 2 of their last 36 games. The Rams lone win in 2009 was against the Detroit Lions a 17-10 victory. Luckily for the Rams the Lions managed two victories in 2009 and that allowed the Rams to have the #1 pick in the NFL Draft and they selected Sam Bradord from Oklahoma. Sam Bradford is a franchise QB and has has immediate impact on the Rams and their play.

There are some great story line in today's matchup. The most obvious thing to watch will be the Lions top pick DT Ndamukong Suh trying to kill Sam Bradford. The Lions are 26th against the pass so look for Sam Bradford to try to take his chances against the Lions. Bradford will most likely rollout quite a lot today to buy a little time and try to stay away from Suh. Sam needs to watch out for Julian Peterson when he rolls out. Teams are going to start blitzing on the right side to keep Sam in the pocket. Ndamukong Suh already leads the Lions in sacks and Adam Goldberg will need to step up and have a good day for the Rams to be able to throw the ball. If the Rams focus too much on Suh rookie LT Rodger Saffold will be alone with DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Shaun Hill has taken over for injured QB Matthew Stafford who is still out with a right shoulder injury. Hill had more passing yards than Michael Vick, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers over the last three weeks. The Rams will look to shut down Hill. The Rams are currently 4th on defense in points allowed and have not allowed an opponent to score over 17 against them. The Rams are however 21st against the pass and the Rams CB Ron Bartell will have to play well against Calvin Johnson. The Rams will also have matchup problems with linebacker coverage on TE Brandon Pettigrew.

While the key appears to be the passing offenses the game will probably come down to who can actually run the ball to set up play action and move the defenses off the line of scrimmage. The Lions will have to contend with Steven Jackson who was a warrior last week playing with a bad groin against the Washington Redskins. The Lions are allowing 4.8 yards per carry and Jackson is healthier this week than last. The Lions went out and drafted an explosive RB in Jahvid Best from California. Best is a flat out burner and the Rams will need to contain and gang tackle him on every play. The Rams have allowed 4.6 yards a carry and Best is by far the fastest back they have faced.

While the Lions are 0-4 they had a chance to win three of those games. The Lions have improved their team over the last couple years by drafting Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best, Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew & Louis Delmas. The Lions still need a couple more players on defense but their offense can be explosive as they are 13th in points scored and 7th in passing and that is with Matt Stafford out.

The St. Louis Rams look like a new team behind the leadership of Sam Bradford. Mark Clayton has came right in and stepped up with 13.6 yards per catch and is Bradford's go to guy. On defense former Lions DE James Hall has stepped up and leads the Rams with 4 sacks. The Rams defense has played great, they are keeping everything in front of them, gang tackling, and playing to the whistle. The Rams will need to continue to perform today to beat the Lions.

On paper and based on record this looks like a game the Rams should win. However I refused to predict a Rams win before I saw them win a game and after 14 straight road losses I refuse to predict a road win until I see one. The Lions will get big plays from Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best and Ndamukong Suh will play with a chip on his shoulder. In addition the Lions will be in front of a sellout crowd.

Prediction Detroit Lions 23-20 over the St. Louis Rams

By Stlvinnie - http://www.stlouisramfan.com

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