Detroit Lions vs. St. Louis Rams: A Musical Preview


Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of 4-8 teams who have grossly underachieved relative to national expectations face off in St. Louis when the Detroit Lions meet the host Rams.

I’m reminded of an old Anthrax classic…

Who cares wins.

It’s a pretty simple concept, but in this game between teams with about as much realistic playoff aspiration as Martin O’Malley has of winning the Democratic presidential nomination it’s likely the deciding factor.
There are some pertinent Xs and Os at play here. The figures here are based on just the last three games, not the full season.

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That paints a pretty clear picture of which team has used Anthrax as warm-up music and the other Lionel Richie’s Commodores classic “Easy Like Sunday Morning”.

Both teams are playing for what appear to be lame duck coaches. If Jim Caldwell had any chance at keeping his job in Detroit, it was bungled away on the defenseless last play against Green Bay.

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Believe it or not, it’s actually worse in St. Louis. Jeff Fisher’s welcome has worn out, as this is the fifth straight season his team will finish with less than 8 wins. His win/loss total since 2003, the last time a Fisher-coached team won a playoff game, is 78-93-1. In his fourth season in St. Louis, he’s 24-35-1.

Beyond Fisher’s future, the fate of the entire franchise is questionable at best. There are loud whispers with varying degrees of credibility the team is Going Back to Cali

Will the Rams beat the Lions in this game? To quote LL Cool J, no I don’t think so.

St. Louis will be without starting safety TJ McDonald, starting CB Janoris Jenkins and pass rushing whiz Robert Quinn from their regular starting defense. Their offensive line is a joke. Their most consistent lineman is Lions castoff Garrett Reynolds. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.

Expect Lights and Thunder from Ziggy Ansah and the rest of the (White) Lion defense as they face a toothless Rams attack.

Getting QB Nick Foles back gives the Rams a chance, and Tavon Austin has the ability to make Detroit defenders look ridiculous. But as long as the front seven handles fading rookie Todd Gurley, it’s hard to see the Rams mounting more than 275 yards of offense. That’s their average over the last five games, all losses.

The bottom line: if Detroit wins the turnover battle, and doesn’t have to defend against a Hail Mary at the end, they should win comfortably.