Key Matchups: Los Angeles Rams Vs Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell. Photo Credit: Jeff Nguyen | Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell. Photo Credit: Jeff Nguyen | Detroit Lions

A Week 7 matchup hailed for its storylines over the actual competition set to take place on the field: the Detroit Lions are visiting the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday to pit Jared Goff against his former So-Cal team.

Sean McVay, Raheem Morris, and the Rams are up to the challenge after a 38-11 routing against the New York Giants in Week 6.

All systems are running at SoFi to keep pressure on the undefeated Arizona Cardinals for the title of NFC West champs, and the Rams hope to keep their foot on the gas.

Even if it means steam-rolling a former friend.

Key Matchups: Los Angeles Rams At Detroit Lions

Anthony Lynn vs. Apt Offensive Scheming

Coming in just a tick below the Giants in total offense are the Detroit Lions. Following a 34-11 Week 6 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn admitted that his unit performed “not a damn thing” right.

Goff had more than 40 pass attempts in the contest (completing 28 of 42) and the Lions backfield rushed only 18 total times.

Without much to offer the Lions’ first-year quarterback, and with the loss of Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow, Lynn will need to step up and brush off the lackluster offensive schemes if he hopes to stay afloat, or even six feet beneath the surface, against the Rams defense.

Unable to spark any use out of the dynamic former Trojans receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and keeping T.J. Hockenson on a slow, steady Pro Bowl trajectory with check-down usage, Lynn is making Goff throw plenty in the game but none of it is showing on the scoreboard.

With the offense’s sole bright spot of the season coming from a 33-point outing against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, Lynn needs to re-tool the game plan to incorporate more action from the Jamaal WilliamsD’Andre Swift tandem and test Goff’s deep-play ability — despite the quarterback’s noted struggles with throwing to receivers 20 yards or more down the field.

If rumors are going to circulate around the Motor City of a potential benching of Goff, test the man’s will and ability to its limit — then make the decision.

Jared Goff vs. The LA Memories

A Southern California product throughout, the transition to Detroit for the former Rams quarterback Jared Goff appears to be going as rocky as many pundits forecasted — separated from the Golden State for the first time in his career as a quarterback, at any level.

Following a not-so-subtle nod on the podium from head coach Dan Campbell, calling on Goff to essentially do more as a quarterback for the 0-6 squad, it’ll be hard for him not to reminisce on the good ol’ days of walking down the sand-laced streets of Hermosa Beach, or playing under the guidance of offensive guru Sean McVay compared to his grim turn working as the Lions’ play-caller.

Like watching your ex thrive as you lose the break-up, Goff is watching the tandem of McVay and Matthew Stafford play out to a great result. The Rams are validating themselves as top contenders in both the NFC West and NFC as a whole, with Stafford picking up votes in the early MVP race.

The former No. 1 overall pick in Goff has thrown seven touchdowns, four interceptions, and 1,505 passing yards throughout six weeks of the regular season. Stafford has thrown for 16 scores, four interceptions, and 1,838 yards on the year, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.

D’Andre Swift vs. Rams Linebackers

If the Lions offense were a junk car sent to get crushed into a cube of steel, running back D’Andre Swift would be the 36 Chambers Wu-Tang CD still located inside the player that bears the last semblance of value.

The former Georgia back has been mediocre in terms of rushing averages (3.3 yards per rush attempt) but is doing a commendable job opening up the playbook as a receiving back, akin to the James Whites and Chris Thompsons of the League.

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Through six weeks, still operating as a typical running back, Swift has caught 34 passes for 295 yards. In most cases, Swift will catch for more yards than he rushes, but the team will still need him to be as well-rounded as possible to pull off a major upset against Los Angeles.

Though still subject to the handicap of sharing a backfield with Jamaal Williams, and not playing in symphony with the former Packers back (thanks Lynn), Swift is getting the necessary net yardage to make the coaching staff and fantasy owners intrigued.

Kenny Young and Troy Reeder will be up to the challenge after essentially taking the week off against the New York Giants backfield.

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Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell. Photo Credit: Jeff Nguyen | Detroit Lions Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell. Photo Credit: Jeff Nguyen | Detroit Lions