Week one shows the Detroit Lions playing the St. Louis Rams at Ford Field. Now, both teams have had a checkered past when it comes to success, so you can insert any number of jokes here. For instance, the Kittens vs the Ewes play on Sunday afternoon. The Cats and the Sheep will battle it out on the field. But this year is different. This year WILL be different because both teams have been undergoing some fundamental changes in recent years.
The most notable change for the Lions isn’t even a change. This is the fourth straight year with the same coaching staff. The consistency will be a key factor in them having success on both the offense and the defense. The Rams have also fired and hired coaches over the last few years, and now have a great captain at the helm named Jeff Fisher. Yeah, you might have heard of him before. Fisher had an assistant coach named Jim Schwartz. Yeah, the very same one sitting at the helm of the Lion’s ship.
Both teams have beefed up their offense. The Lions have a huge advantage when it comes to scoring though. There is the machine known as Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson that could rival some of the greatest matches in history for touchdown passes. Brandon Pettigrew is also good for a few catches and big plays, so don’t rule him out either. With Stafford and Johnson being limited with scoring possibilities in preseason games, they might make up for it here.
Another change has been the defensive side of the ball. The Rams have the advantage in the disadvantage of the Lions’ secondary right now, only because of the preseason injuries and maneuvering to get replacements last minute. Louis Delmas is still out and so is Chris Houston. The late acquisitions of players in order to strengthen the secondary including Drayton Florence and Kevin Barnes seems to have helped – at least in practice situations. However, one and two weeks of practice isn’t much time to get used to a whole new defense and set of plays. Other strong replacement options include Bill Bentley, Jacob Lacey and Jonte Green. If they play strong, the Lions could keep the Rams from scoring more than one or two touchdowns. The Rams might be able to score against the Lions, but only because of the newness of the players that might have a mistake because of their lack of “gel” time.
The Detroit Lions should come out on top, by two touchdowns. As long as injuries don’t ruin the day and the second string shines as starters. The Rams shouldn’t slouch away though, because they are a few years back of where the Lions were when they rebuilt their team. This is just the first year of their turnaround. All of those stale jokes can be tossed out since both teams will play tough and continue to play tougher in future years.