Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
The Los Angeles Rams hope to get a win streak going when they play host to the Detroit Lions at SoFi Stadium in Week 7.
It will be a homecoming of epic proportions with Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff and Michael Brockers each facing off against their former teams. The Rams may have good reason to be optimistic for another win, but the stage is set for the Lions to potentially pull off what would be the biggest upset in Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season.
Rams Offense Vs. Lions Defense
The swap under center has gone according to plan for the Rams with Stafford throwing 16 touchdowns to a mere four interceptions and the second-best passer rating in the league (116.6). Regardless, Sean McVay made it clear that this offense is still far from a finished product after being held scoreless in the first quarter in three of their past four games.
While there have been a few key injuries so far, L.A. is boasting a largely healthy roster going into the midway point of the season. Sony Michel was the only player listed as questionable on the injury report, but McVay has since clarified that he will be good to go.
The Lions have done a stellar job of getting to quarterbacks with 13 sacks and the sixth-best pressure percentage in the league. However, the reliance on their front is alleviated by a vulnerable pass defense that is dead last in passer rating (113.8) and yards per attempt (9.8).
Outside linebacker Trey Flowers is the only player listed as questionable for the Lions on the defensive side of the ball.
Rams Defense Vs. Lions Offense
The Rams defense has served as the catalyst for this team getting back on track in recent weeks with their opportunistic play. They recorded three interceptions and four sacks in Week 6 while continuing to be one of the best pass defenses in the league despite some recent injuries.
Goff is well aware that he will now be on the other side of Aaron Donald’s radar as the three-time Defensive Player of the Year looks for his first multi-sack performance of the season. More importantly, L.A. is sporting a clean bill of health on this side of the ball to help him do it.
Keys To Victory
1. Strike First, Strike Hard
The sluggish starts on offense have become a major concern for McVay as he acknowledged the need for them to come out with a better sense of urgency in the first quarter. Fortunately, they will have another savory matchup against a below-average Lions defense that is struggling to defend both the run and the pass.
McVay has made it clear that utilizing a balanced approach is always a point of emphasis. However, he may want to go with the team’s bread and butter right off the bat by allowing Stafford to let it fly against his former team.
2. Roll Out Welcoming Mat For Goff
Although the blockbuster trade from the offseason has worked out for the Rams, Goff’s shortcomings have been magnified by his new team’s winless start to the season. Unfortunately, a date with his former team is hardly an ideal time for a potential turnaround since they currently have the fourth-most sacks in the league (18.0).
Leonard Floyd and Terrell Lewis have done a stellar job of capitalizing off the edge while Donald garners all the attention. Of course, the latter is due for a breakout game and this could be the week he provides an ample reminder of who the best defensive player in the league really is.
3. Keep Bubble Wrap Around Stafford
The Rams have been nothing short of elite when protecting Stafford so far this season as they are tied for the fewest sacks allowed in the league (6). While the emergence of Brian Allen on the inside has played an integral role in this, credit can also go to McVay’s system that has managed to keep him out of harm’s way.
Regardless, the Lions are more than capable of bringing the pressure and L.A. can ill-afford to allow their new franchise quarterback to take any unnecessary damage.
Detroit Lions (0-6) at Los Angeles Rams (5-1)
Kickoff: Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1:05 PT
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