By beating the San Francisco 49ers the Los Angeles Rams set up a matchup with the NFC three seed, the Detroit Lions.
Everyone will be talking about Jared Goff vs Sean McVay. Matthew Stafford vs His 12-Season Home. That part writes itself. But beyond the ties that bind (And they go deeper than those), the storyline only thickens. These teams have a lot more in common.
If styles make fights, this game is the Spiderman meme of football games. How so? The Rams have the 5th best offense by DVOA. The Lions? The 6th best. The Rams are 6th in passing DVOA and 7th in rushing DVOA. The Lions are 9th and 4th.
Let’s take a closer look to see what other stats make this a compelling game.
Los Angeles Rams Vs Detroit Lions Offense
Both teams excel in rushing the ball behind gap scheme blocking. The Lions are 3rd best, the Rams 5th best. Kyren Williams has the best yards before contact among running backs. Jahmyr Gibbs is just .3 yards per carry behind him tied for 3rd. Both carve up zone coverage. The Rams are 8th best and the Lions 2nd best. They do so with dynamic receiving corps that can catch underneath or go deep. Puka Nacua is 4th and Amon-Ra St. Brown is 5th in total receiving yards.
Both teams run their offenses from under center at high rates and both are top-five offenses when doing so.
The Lions will likely be without their rookie breakout star tight end, Sam LaPorta. Lions head coach Dan Campbell said postgame the injury was “not as bad as it looked, but it’s not good news.” LaPorta is the team’s second-leading receiver and is tied with St. Brown with nine touchdowns. He left the Vikings game late in the first half with a left knee injury and was ruled out by the team at halftime.
Los Angeles Rams Vs Detroit Lions Defense
On the other side of the ball, both defenses have done just enough to keep their teams competitive. They are stout against the run, with each allowing a rushing success rate of just 36 percent. But the Rams and Lions allow the 23rd and 24th most passing yards per game.
Both teams are in the top 10 in missed tackles on the season. They are 3rd and 4th in how deep opponents throw passes against them. The Rams defensive average depth of target is 9.3, the Lions 9.2. The Rams on a whole are better in coverage. But the Lions win out against the run.
What could be the deciding factor could be the Lion’s one distinct advantage, quarterback pressure. The Lions have the third-highest pressure percentage in the league. The Rams have the seventh-worst.