The Lions couldn’t have had a worse start to the season, starting 0-5. But they have turned it around to be sat at 4-7, including a shock victory at Lambeau Field. However, a tough loss on Thursday Night against the Packers has the potential to derail their resurgence. The Rams on the other hand started fairly well and got a huge boost from Todd Gurley’s historic form. However, they have since fallen apart and have failed to utilise their two best weapons. They have fired their offensive coordinator and seem to be a franchise in disarray.
3 keys to the game
The Rams offense
The Rams fired their offensive coordinator largely because he has stopped using his best weapon, Todd Gurley. The Rams should know they have a very limited passing game so they have to use Gurley a lot. By using Gurley a lot, it opens up the possibilities for getting Tavon Austin in space. They have to produce something on offense.
The Lions have to keep care of the ball on offense
Part of the Lions struggles earlier this season was that Stafford and the offense just could not keep care of the ball. Since Jim Bob Cooter took over, barring his first game, the Lions have done a better job of keeping the ball and have utilised their talent. They must continue this trend to overcome a dangerous Rams defense.
Rams special teams
Their 2nd best offensive weapon, Tavon Austin, is very dangerous when he has the ball in his hands and there is a fair chance that the Rams offense fails to produce yards and points consistently. If that’s the case, Tavon Austin’s return skills may be the best chance the Rams have to get points.
Match-up to watch
Aaron Donald vs Laken Tomlinson & Larry Warford
Aaron Donald is quickly becoming one of the best defensive players in the league. Since his rookie of the year campaign he has seemingly improved and is a game-wrecker. He beats double teams and just embarrasses offensive linemen in one-on-one match-ups. Stafford isn’t great under pressure and if the Lions’ guards can’t hold up against Donald, Detroit will be in trouble.
This game will be close in my eyes as I think the Rams defense can match up with the Lions offense quite well, but I don’t think the Rams can get anything going on offense against the Lions defense. Austin and Gurley can’t carry this offense, and I doubt they’ll carry them to a win.