Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions Predictions: Matt Stafford to Embarrass Jared Goff In His Return to LA
Usually, there would not be much to get excited about when an 0-6 team meets a 5-1 team, but this Week 7 matchup between the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams is no ordinary matchup. Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford were involved in a blockbuster trade in the offseason, and both get their first opportunity to face their former team since the trade. The 15.5 point spread suggests the significant talent gap between these teams at the moment. So while there may not be any doubt of who wins the game outright, where does the value lie with other wagers?
Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds
Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021
Game Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: FOX
Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions INJURY REPORT
Questionable: LB Charles Harris (oblique), DE Nick Williams (ankle)
OUT: CB Corey Ballantine (hamstring), WR Quintez Cephus (collarbone), C Frank Ragnow, LB Romeo Okwara (Achilles)
Questionable: QB John Wolford, RB Sony Michel
OUT: RB Jake Funk (hamstring), TE Johnny Mundt (ACL), CB Darious Williams (ankle)
Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions Prediction
The Detroit Lions are the only winless team left in the league and are 0-6 for just the third time in the Super Bowl era. The last time they lost their first six games was in 2008, when they infamously went 0-16. The Lions are a couple plays away from having two wins, if not for Baltimore's Justin Tucker's record-setting field goal and a miraculous drive led by Minnesota's Kirk Cousins with less than 30 seconds left. However, they did not look like a team on the precipice of their first win last week, as they were dominated from the onset in a 34-11 loss to the Bengals.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has already won NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice so far, which suggests he has seamlessly transitioned to new head coach Sean McVay's system. Stafford may have been on pace for his third award this week, but their game against the Giants last week turned into such a laugher that his services were not needed in the fourth quarter. As it was, Stafford completed 22-of-28 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns in their 38-11 romp over New York, and the 78.6% completion percentage was his highest of the season. The Rams defense arguably had its best game of the season as well, holding the Giants to 261 total yards and forcing four turnovers.
Despite their 5-1 record, Los Angeles's defense has been much maligned this year, given their lofty expectations from last year's dominant unit. They enter this week ranked 21st in total defense allowing 367 yards per game, and are 21st against the pass allowing 259.3 yards per game. However, one thing that has remained consistent is Aaron Donald's ability to get relentless pressure on the quarterback and be disruptive in the running game. With how banged-up Detroit's offensive line is entering this game, that is a recipe for disaster against the Rams' fierce front four.
As of Monday afternoon, the Lions had 14 players on injured reserve. Two of their most important players on IR are center Frank Ragnow and tackle Taylor Decker. Detroit's lack of cohesion on the offensive line was a big reason they were held to just 228 total yards and 3.7 yards per play last week against Cincinnati. In addition, Detroit's defense could not get off the field, as they lost the time of possession battle by more than 11 minutes last week.
While Los Angeles is talented enough to cover the -15.5 point spread, we are hesitant to lay that many points against any team, even an 0-6 team that has not topped 17 points since Week 1. However, there is value in Detroit's team total under, given their injuries on that side of the ball and their inconsistencies over the last five weeks. The Rams defense will be fired up to show their coaching staff and front office that they made the right move in "going for it" and trading Goff for Stafford. Los Angeles's defenders know Goff's tendencies and will be licking their chops at the opportunity to live in Detroit's backfield and knock him around all game. The Rams should have success offensively, but we will stay away from the full game total and the point spread out of fear they may call off the dogs again.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions Pick
- Lions Team Total Under 17.5 (-110)