Ramblin’ Fan covered some of the game expectations from around the league, which give their own small predictions for what is going to happen today. However, other then the winner or the final score, there were limited predictions about what will actually happen within the game itself. Here are 5 bold predictions:
1. Detroits will have under 50 yards rushing between the running backs
The St. Louis Rams may have been one of the worst rushing defenses last season, but the Lions were equally bad in rushing offense. The Rams went out and picked up from veteran run stuffing linebackers, signed Kendall Langford form Miami, and put some good rotational players at DT, along with first rounder Michael Brockers. The Lions will run sparingly, but when they do it should get stuffed pretty hard!
2. Bradford will have as many touchdowns as Matthew Stafford
From the outside looking in, you must be thinking I am crazy. Stafford is in a pass happy offense with Calvin Johnson at the receiving end of all of his passes. However, with the Lions secondary depleted, Delmas and Houston inactive, the quick, short passing game could open up for Bradford and the young receiving core. Steven Jackson will get his fair share of touches, but OC Schottenheimer loves to run the outside receivers on quick slants with the TE and slot receivers crossing once the Rams are in the red zone. The touchdowns might not look the same in terms of yardage or dynamic value, but the tally could very well be the same at the end of the game.
3. Greg Zuerlein will hit two field goals from 50+ yards
This may not necessarily be a bold prediction considering he hit four 50+ yarders in preseason, but I have no doubt that Coach Fisher will let Zuerlein attempt a couple from long distance. If that is the case, look for him to make headlines on ESPN for this long distance kicking.
4. The Rams’ Robert Quinn will lead all players in sacks in this game
The Rams have undoubtedly been planning for this Lions front four since the minute the Baltimore Ravens game was finished. They likely employ the two tight end sets for help in blocking and use Steven Jackson in blitz pick-up more than sending him out into the flats. On the Rams side of the ball, Chris Long will demand the double team and leave it wide open for Quinn rushing on the left side. Quinn easily led the team in sacks during the preseason, and will continue that here today
5. Daryl Richardson will get more touches than Isaiah Pead
The Rams showing against Baltimore that they were not afraid to put in the better performer first when Richardson entered the game before Pead. Richardson how outproduced Pead in every rushing category, which led to more second and, eventually, first team snaps. Do not be surprised if Jackson and Richardson line up in the backfield at the same time on a number of plays, with one of them staying in for pass protection and the other hitting the flats. Richardson is, by far, the better of the two rookies in pass protections and has been the better rusher to this point.