First Look: Rams will Face Lions After the Bye

The Rams squeaked past the Chiefs in Week 11, enjoyed their bye week, and are now beginning preparations for the Detroit Lions. The Rams will meet the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit with the opportunity to clinch the NFC West with a victory (or Seahawks loss).

Here’s an early look at the Detroit Lions (4-7):

Offense

  • Points Per Game: 21st (21.6)
  • Yards Per Game: 23rd (342.7)
  • Passing Yards Per Game: T15th (241.4)

Key Contributors

  • RB LaGarrette Blount: 97 Att, 271 Yds, 5 TDs
  • WR Kenny Golladay: 52 Rec, 804 Yds, 5 TDs

The Lions offense, led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, averages 21.6 points and and 342.7 yards per game in 2018. Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones account for 10 of Stafford’s 17 touchdown passes this season. The Lions, however, will be without Jones for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury that landed the veteran receiver on injured reserve.

Despite limited opportunities, journeyman running back LaGarrette Blount leads Detroit’s running back corps in terms of touchdowns this season. Blount scored two TDs in the absence of rookie running back Kerryon Johnson, who missed Week 12 against the Bears with a left knee sprain. Prior to missing last week’s game, Johnson started seven games for the Lions dating back to Week 4 and had accumulated 641 yards rushing and three touchdowns in his first season as a pro.

Defense

  • Points Allowed Per Game: 24th (26)
  • Yards Allowed Per Game: 13th (355.5)
  • Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: T15th (238.4)

Key Contributors

  • LB Devon Kennard: 6.0 Sk, 39 Tkl, 8 TFL, 13 QBHits
  • LB Jarrad Davis: 4.0 Sk, 66 Tkl, 1 FF, 5 TFL, 7 QBHits
  • DE Romeo Okwara: 5.5 Sk,1 FF, 29 Tkl, 6 TFL, 9 QBHits

Detroit’s defense ranks No. 9 in sacks this season, with 32 through 11 games. The Lions’ cast of pass rushers in linebackers Devon Kennard and Jarrad Davis, along with defensive end Romeo Okwara likely have something to do with Detroit allowing fewer than 250 yards passing per game. In the secondary, cornerback Darius Slay leads the way with two interceptions this season. However, the Detroit defense is tied at No. 26 with just 10 takeaways in 2018.

Quarterback

  • QB Matthew Stafford: 11 G, 2,841 Yds, 17 TDs, 67 % Cmp, 10 Int

Stafford is in his 10th season leading the Detroit Lions. Detroit took Stafford No. 1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft and he has been a consistent signal caller for the club since overcoming a shoulder injury that forced him miss time throughout his first two years in the league.

Stafford has accumulated 37,590 yard passing in his career and has been named to one Pro Bowl team in 2014. This season, Stafford ranks sixth among all quarterbacks in both passes attempted and passes completed.

Stafford has struggled some keeping the ball out of the defense’s hands in 2018. He’s thrown 10 interceptions, and has three games with at least two interceptions — including Week 1 when the former Georgia Bulldog through four picks against the Jets. 

Last Week

  • L 23-16 vs. Chicago Bears

The Bears defeated the Lions 23-16 at Ford Field on Thanksgiving. Stafford threw two interceptions and no touchdown passes in the club’s annual game on the holiday, but the game was close throughout.

Blount found the end zone twice against the Bears, but it wasn’t enough to beat the NFC North’s top team. Chicago’s fourth quarter 41-yard pick-six by safety Eddie Jackson broke the game’s 16-16 tie and proved to be the game-winner when Stafford threw his second interception of the afternoon at the end of a 4:49 drive into Bears’ territory with 1:11 remaining.

Head Coach

Lions first-year head coach Matt Patricia is 4-7 (.364) since taking his first head coaching job in Detroit. Patricia left his defensive coordinator post in New England in the offseason after six seasons and two Super Bowl championships leading the Patriots defense.

Patricia spent eight seasons in New England working for head coach Bill Belichick before becoming DC in 2012. He worked as an offensive assistant, assistant offensive line coach, linebackers coach, and safeties coach during that time.

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