There are plenty of reasons to be excited for fans of the St. Louis Rams heading into the club’s week one home showdown with the Detroit Lions. The first of which is the fact that the bulk of the crowd sitting in the Edward Jones Dome will be wearing fake Jeff Fisher mustaches. The other reason for getting pumped up is that this season has potential to be the first in many years that the Rams are no longer a league doormat.
While asking for the playoffs and a winning record in year one is a bit much from Fisher and crew, believing that the team will be competitive and win at least a handful of games in 2012 is not a huge ask.
As for the Lions game in particular, this will be a great opening test for the Rams revamped secondary against arguably the league’s most dangerous receiver in Calvin Johnson. How will Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins fair against Megatron?
The answer to that question will undoubtedly be dictated by just how well the Rams defensive line collapses the pocket on Matthew Stafford. That defensive front is also expected to be much improved with Robert Quinn in year two, Chris Long looking to back up his career-bests from a season ago, and some youth inside at the defensive tackle spot. Getting to Stafford early and often will be key if the Rams hope to contain the Lions on offense.
On offense, the Rams face a Lions defense that ranked 23rd in total defense a year ago and is susceptible to big plays. While Ndamukong Suh is a real beast inside, the Lions don’t really scare anyone beyond that front line. Sam Bradford and the Rams new look offense should be able to put up some points against this defense.
The bottom line is that this game may come down to whichever team has the ball last because their won’t be much defense played this Sunday. If the St Louis Rams can bottle up Megatron as much as possible and not get beaten deep, things should be competitive, but the Lions are still expected to get the win.
PREDICTION: Lions 38 – Rams 28
Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake