Gridiron Gab Week Five Preview – St.Louis at Detroit

The Rams will head back to the site of their only victory in 2009 and face off against a Lions team that will be hungry for revenge without Matthew Stafford.

TV

If you are in St. Louis or the Sam Bradford corridor, you will obviously get this game.  Detroit must be on track not to sell out because they are getting another game.  But, if you live in Michigan and far away from Detroit, you will still get the game.  If you live in UP Michigan, you will get the game as well.  Check the map for full details and updates. At this point we can just call Ron Pitts and John Lynch the official Rams announcing team.

What to Watch For

  • The Offense – Sam Bradford and Pat Shurmur had the Rams offense pumping on all cylinders at times, but other times the Rams sputtered due to play calls, dropped passes or missed throws by Bradford.  The Rams are still jelling as a team offensively.
  • Steven Jackson – Steven Jackson single-handedly won last year’s game against the Lions and Detroit in still weak against the run after 4 games (5.9% DVOA good for 24th in the league).  Jackson did not suffer a setback in his injured groin, so expect him to be closer to 100% than last week.
  • Detroit’s Defense – Besides the run game, Detroit has had fits trying to cover other team’s 2nd WR.  They are ranked 32nd in the league with a -82% DVOA.  Look for the Rams to attempt to exploit this with Brandon Gibson and Laurent Robinson (if healthy).  They do not rank above 17th covering any WR or TE, so Sam Bradford should have opportunities to find open receivers.
  • Rams Defense – The Rams defense has gone from “Bend But Don’t Break” to “Break the Other Team” in the matter of 2 weeks and it couldn’t be more exciting for Rams fans.  Steve Spagnuolo has the defense firing on all cylinders as the run defense has been able to put offenses in 3rd and long.  Spagnuolo also has more trust in his corners Fletcher and Bartell to man cover while he brings an exotic blitz to harass the quarterback.  The Rams front four is finally able to get pressure as well, so that allows Coach Spags to play coverage when he needs to and still get pressure.
  • Shaun Hill – The Lions will be without their high priced #1 overall QB and again will send Shaun Hill out.  They should have had one win at the beginning of the year, but are sitting at 0-4.  Hill has two big weapons in Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best and is not afraid of getting the ball to them.  Rams will need to do a good job of limiting the big plays from both Best and Johnson.
  • Ndamukong Suh – Rams fans were enamored with Ndamukong Suh as the NFL regular season and the college football regular seasons came to a close.  But as the draft process went along, the Rams began to lean more towards QB Sam Bradford.  In this game we will see the two possible draft picks line up feet from each other as DT Suh lines up across from Bradford.  The Rams interior offensive line will have to control Suh to limit his impact on this game.

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