Oct. 10, 2010; Detroit, MI, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) feels pressure from Detroit Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (93) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Today marks the true start of the NFL season, when the other 30 teams square off in the pursuit of the Lombardi Trophy. If you haven’t had the chance to see the Ramblin’ Fan breakdown of the St. Louis Rams first half of the season, the Lions are expected to pull out a win in this game in a convincing fashion. Here I will give you a recap of our take here at Ramblin’ Fan, as well predictions from around the NFL about the St. Louis Rams season opening matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Ramblin’ Fan’s editor Brandon Folsom and I had gave our key personnel anaylsis earlier in the week, including our predictions for the game,
"I don’t expect another 44-3 blowout like last season! I think the Lions defense will have trouble stopping Jackson out of the backfield and, consequently, have trouble handling the play action attack from Bradford. However, the interior of the Rams offensive line is pretty green in terms of the amount of time they have spent together and the secondary will likely feature two rookie cornerbacks and Craig Dahl at safety. It will likely be a shoot out and the Rams don’t quite have the machinery that Detroit has, so my prediction is, 31-13 Lions. – Nathan KearnsThe Lions are going to have a tough time defending against the Rams passing attack, regardless of how young Bradford’s receivers are that he is throwing to. Stafford and Johnson should connect for a couple of touchdowns and the Lions should have no problem putting away the Rams for a 38-17 route. – Brandon Folsom"
NFL.com’s Albert Breer was equally down on St. Louis in terms of pulling out the win in his Week 1 Predictions, but did seem optimistic about the Rams future,
"The Rams are gonna grow up as the year goes on, and their defense has a chance to be nasty when fall turns to winter. But at this point, the firing squad of Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson is just too much. #STLvsDET. 27-18 Lions"
Bleacher Report correspondent Michael Jakubowski is much less optimistic about the Rams outcome, naming Sam Bradford the sole determinate in St. Louis’ season,
"Matthew Stafford gave everyone a scare during the preseason, appearing to have injured his non-throwing hand. Luckily it was not major, which allows him to target Megatron in Week 1 to his heart’s content. Johnson is expected to have a lot of coverage on him, so expect solid numbers from Brandon Pettigrew and Titus Young. The Rams are dependent on Sam Bradford this season. He’ll either fall under the pressure or find himself injured again. Expect the Lions defense to be an issue for Steven Jackson. Winner: Detroit Lions"
Peter King at Sports Illistrated claims the Rams could use this game as a momentum builder for the offense, especially with the expected sidelining of Detroit’s S Delmas and CB Houston,
"Welcome to the NFL, Janoris Jenkins. Just to let you know: You won’t face an arm like Matthew Stafford’s every week. And you won’t find a jump-baller like Calvin Johnson either. Whether Cortland Finnegan is on Johnson much of the day — which I expect — Jenkins didn’t see a whole lot of players like him at North Alabama. Or Florida, for that matter. But the real issue here is, how can I pick the Rams to score 27 points? Simple reason: The Lions’ secondary, which is already a bad one, didn’t have its best player, safety Louis Delmas, or its best corner, Chris Houston, working in practice on Thursday due to injury. Will they play in this game? Probably not. Even if they do, they’re not going to be near full strength. This should be a day for the Rams offense to build some confidence. 37-27, Lions"
TurfShowTimes.com editor Ryan Van Bibber might be the only writer brave enough to wear the “homer hat” in his predictions this week, although his argument for the Rams win does not sound too convincing,
"Uh … I’m going to put on my homer hat since I’m on my home court here and pick the Rams. Probably is not going to happen, but I have to think they have a fighting chance."
SBNations’ Pride of Detroit writer “simscity” goes into an incredible breakdown of the “on paper” comparison of the Lions and Rams. The article compares a number of statistics, specifically highlighting matchups between the rushing and passing offense versus defense for each team. In the end the Lions come out on top,
"The Lions come out with a +2.5 advantage, which is fairly significant by “On Paper” standards. The Lions clearly have a better offense, and the defenses are somewhat equal. I think both teams come out a bit slow on Sunday and the Lions pull away in the second half. Lions 31, Rams 17."
We will end the predictions with those that are the most important, the ones from the fans. According to NFL.com’ “Weekly Pick’em,” an overwhelming 97% of fans have chosen the Detroit Lions to win over the St. Louis Rams.
Tough break for the Rams! I do hate being wrong, but this is one of those rare instances in life where I think I could handle admitting my prediction was a little off. Go Rams!