Five things to know as Lions face Stafford, Rams

Matthew Stafford

The 0-6 Lions, looking for their first win, will need a miracle and a half to leave Tinseltown with a ‘W’ after facing the 5-1 Rams on Sunday. 

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (still seems odd to write that) will likely lead the 5-1 Rams to their sixth win. He’s been having a phenomenal season and he has plenty of help including wide receiver Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald, the best defensive player in the NFL.

After covering Stafford while he was in Detroit, when he says it’s just another game to him it is. He said that every week while wearing Honolulu blue no matter the opponent or the situation. So there is every reason to believe him. And it was no surprise this week when he told the Los Angeles media that he had nothing bad to say about the Lions or the people in Detroit — actually it was quite the opposite.

It would be much different if this was being played at Ford Field, but it’s at the brand-new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.  

Five things to watch:

1. The Lions defense played just awful last week in the blowout loss to Cincinnati. Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn usually can find a bright spot in any loss but not in that one. Defense can’t let Stafford get off to a big early lead because there will be no way for the offense to catch up.

2. Containing Stafford? Good luck. Stafford’s completion percentage is 69.5 with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. So far in just six games he has thrown for 1,838 yards and been sacked just six times.

3. Don’t forget this is a homecoming for Jared Goff too. He led the Rams to a Super Bowl, then got booted to Detroit. So he might have a bigger chip on his shoulder. After last week’s loss coach Dan Campbell said Goff needed to step up more. He wasn’t picking on him, just being his honest self. Goff agreed with his assessment.

4. With D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams the Lions finally have a good, healthy one-two punch. But they shoot themselves in the foot when they get behind in the first half and are forced to go to the air to try to catch up. A fire needs to be lit under the offense from the get-go.

5. It seems Campbell has not lost the team. They’ve had two heartbreaking losses due to 50-yard plus field goals. Last week was horrific, but they’ve shown more in the other five games. He needs to keep them in it. This season isn’t even half over.

Prediction: Rams 35, Lions 20

Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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