Wild Card Round I: Stafford vs Lions, Goff vs. Rams
NFL fans love pregame drama and entertaining games. But you have the granddaddy of all pregame storylines with the LA Rams versus the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs. Not only does veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford face his former team, the Detroit Lions. But the LA Rams must face their former starting quarterback, Jared Goff. And in terms of motivation, Goff has a greater incentive to seek revenge on the Rams in this one.
We know the ins and outs of Goff, at least from his days playing for the LA Rams. Goff struggles with his progressions, so shifting coverages in the last few seconds before the snap of the football makes him hesitate. We know that Goff is extremely vulnerable to A-Gap pressure by the defense. The Rams wrote the book on Goff after watching him play in the Rams offense for five seasons.
But the same book of ins and outs were written by the Detroit Lions on QB Matthew Stafford. So both teams are ultra-familiar with the opposing quarterback.
All NFL breaks down Wildcard Weekend
The opportunity to get a pre-game breakdown of the LA Rams by NFL Insider Brian Baldinger is always worth watching. So we are thrilled to offer the video of that breakdown below. The LA Rams breakdown begins at the 32:00 mark, so be sure that you check it out.
Baldinger stated that the LA Rams are as good as any team in the NFL Playoffs right now. High praise indeed.
Brian Baldinger cited the LA Rams as the team that nobody expected to be here, and that no NFL team wants to deal with right now.
Baldinger offered high praise of Rams RB Kyren Williams as a superb running back who has a low center of gravity, explosive running, great blocker, and an excellent receiver. Kyren Williams has grown into a Todd Gurley-like role in the 2023 Rams offense, a swiss-army knife weapon in this Rams offense that can do everything and do it well.
The LA Rams have plenty of offensive weapons to win a shootout or two in the NFL Playoffs. Despite the opinion of some Rams fans, I'm confident in this Rams defense to be good enough to win four games. But the Rams special teams, particularly the coverage units and the placekicker, are a huge concern.
In the end, hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. The LA Rams are competing in the 2024 NFL Playoffs. Perhaps that is enough, for now.