The Detroit Jock City writers make their predictions for the Detroit Lions’ week six home game against the Los Angeles Rams.
A poor 1-3 start was put at the back of mind last week with the Detroit Lions handing the Philadelphia Eagles their first loss of the season. Getting to 2-3 was crucial as the Lions now play the second game of a three-game homestand today against the Los Angeles Rams.
Will the Lions keep it going in hopes of turning their season around, or will it be the Rams playing spoiler? Here is what the Detroit Jock City staff sees for the game ahead.
Matt Pelc (1-4) – The Detroit Lions are a tough team to pick these days, losing winnable games against bad teams, Chicago and Tennessee, and then winning against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles last week.
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Many will (rightfully) find fault with how the Lions played in the second half last week, once again losing a large lead, but in the NFL a win is a win no matter how you get it. Darius Slay’s forced fumble and game-sealing INT became the two best highlights of the quarter-old Lions’ season, but can they continue that against the Los Angeles Rams, who are even more unpredictable than Detroit?
The Rams were blown out in the first game by the San Francisco 49ers 28-0, but Frisco hasn’t won since. The Rams, meanwhile, went on to upset two 2015 playoff teams, sandwiched with a road victory in Tampa Bay before seeing their three-game winning streak end last week.
I’ve only picked one game right this year, so perhaps I shouldn’t pick this, but with Barry Sanders and the 1991 team in the house, along with 1991-era beer prices, the Ford Field crowd should be raucous to help the Lions pull to the .500 mark with a 27-21 win over LA.
Erik Schlitt (2-3) – Ziggy’s back! And in all likelihood, the pass rush will come with him. Haloti Ngata will miss the game, but the defensive tackles are deep enough to weather the storm in his absence. A’Shawn Robinson is also dinged up, but I expect him to get a significant increase in snaps. His run stuffing presence will be important, as the Lions front should gear up and go after Todd Gurley.
The Lions offensive success will be determined by one thing: can they reduce Aaron Donald’s impact? Both starting guards are on the injury report, so this will be a real test for the Lions offensive line. With Theo Riddick ruled out, it’s going to be very interesting to see Jim Bob Cooter’s offensive scheme. If the stubbornly tries to stick with what they’ve done in the past, this could be trouble for Detroit. Cooter will need to be creative, like he was in the first half last week, and put his skill players in positions to succeed. I expect Matthew Stafford to put this team on his shoulders in this one. Lions win 27-17.
Colton Wesley (2-3) – The Lions have defied the predictions in one way or another almost every week of the season so far, but this week might be the toughest call so far. The Rams don’t look as good as their 3-2 record suggests due to a poor offensive line and a sub-par starting quarterback in Case Keenum. Todd Gurley is outstanding, but he can’t make the offense work by himself and teams have been able to focus in on him due to the lack of other options in the Los Angeles offense.
I think the Lions will play a lot in the 4-3 to key in on Gurley and make Keenum throw the ball downfield, which means that Nevin Lawson is going see more single coverage and will need to step up.
The Rams’ defensive line is banged up outside of Aaron Donald, but the Lions’ offensive line may be missing a couple of starters as well. With no Theo Riddick and newly-signed Justin Forsett likely to be the team’s number-one running back, Matthew Stafford will likely have to throw the ball even more than he usually does. The Rams’ secondary is only decent, so even without guys like Riddick and Eric Ebron, Stafford should be able to make the passing game work if the line holds up.
There are a lot of variables in this game, and I think most of them shake out in the Rams’ favor. Gurley has his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and the Rams get enough decent plays through the air to keep the secondary on its heels. Despite a good game from Stafford, the lack of a running game is a little too much for the offense in another close game. Rams win, 24-19.
Zac Snyder (3-2) – The NFL doesn’t make any sense. Did picking the Lions to beat the Eagles make sense last week? Probably not, but I did and was the only Detroit Jock City writer to get it right. In the modern NFL, what is up comes down and what is down will be up (excluding the New England Patriots on the high end and the Cleveland Browns on the low end). The Lions and their fans may be riding high after last week’s win, but that means a downer is just around the corner. Rams 23, Lions 20
Matt Snyder (1-4) – The Los Angeles Rams are a team that exists in the NFL again and they’re playing the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Some writers on Detroit Jock City dot com will say they’re the only ones to have gotten last week’s game correct. Lame! The Lions are going to the playoffs this year and probably the Super Bowl. Mark this one down: Lions 23, Rams 20.