Wild Card Game Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Rams

Wild Card Weekend Preview Lions vs. Rams
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The Detroit Lions wrapped up their regular season with a win over the Minnesota Vikings, while the Rams wrapped up their season winning four straight games and seven of their last eight, most recently beating the 49ers 21-20.

Los Angeles Rams 10-7 (6th Seed) @ Detroit Lions 12-5 (3rd Seed)

Date: Sunday, January 14
Time:  8:00 p.m. EST
TV Channel: NBC
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Line: Lions -3.0 / O/U: 51.5

2023 Season Stats

Detroit:

2023 Offense P/G (League Rank) 
Total Yards: 394.8 (3)
Passing Yards: 258.9 (2)
Rushing Yards: 135.9 (5)
2023 Defense (League Rank) 
Total Yards Allowed: 336.1 (19)
Passing Yards Allowed: 247.4 (27)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 88.8 (2)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 27.1 (5)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 23.2 (23)

Los Angeles:

2023 Offense (per game averages) 
Total Yards: 359.3 (7)
Passing Yards: 239.0 (10)
Rushing Yards: 120.3 (11)
2023 Defense (per game averages) 
Total Yards Allowed: 337.9 (20)
Passing Yards Allowed: 231.1 (20)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 106.8 (12)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 23.8 (8)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 22.2 (19)

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: Rams Lead 45-41-1
Current streak: Los Angeles has won two straight
Last Detroit win: 10/16/2016 (31-28)
Last Los Angeles win: 10/24/2021 (28-19)

2023 Top Players

Detroit Lions

Passing: Jared Goff – 407-605, 4575 yards, 30-12 (TD-INT)
Rushing: David Montgomery – 219 ATT, 1015 YDS, 13 TD
Receiving: Amon-Ra St. Brown – 119 REC, 1515 YDS, 10 TD
Tackles: Alex Anzalone – 129 (85-44)
Sacks: Aidan Hutchinson – 11.5
Interceptions: Kerby Joseph – 4

Los Angeles

Passing: Matthew Stafford – 326-521, 3965 YDS, 24-11 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Kyren Williams – 228 ATT, 1144 YDS, 12 TD
Receiving: Puka Nacua – 105 REC, 1486 YDS, 6 TD
Tackles: Ernest Jones – 145 (74-71)
Sacks: Kobie Turner – 9
Interceptions: Ahkello Witherspoon – 3

Lions Players To Watch:

Offense: Quarterback – Jared Goff

This is a revenge game for Goff as he takes on his former team with the chance of giving the Lions their first playoff win since 1991. In this matchup, he’s facing a Rams pass defense that ranked 20th in the league; he can’t turn the ball over and has to get points on almost every offensive drive for the Lions to win what is expected to be a shootout.

Defense: Defensive Back – Ifeatu Melifonwu

Melifonwu has stepped up over the last few weeks. In the last four games, he has had 22 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and seven pass deflections. This matchup against the Rams won’t be easy, and it’ll be tough to cover up Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. The Rams rank tenth in the league in passing, and the defense will need to contain them over the top with the help of Melifonwu.

Bottom Line: Shootout expected at Ford Field

The Detroit Lions are about to be in for a shootout against the Rams, and it will be Matthew Stafford’s first game back in Detroit. This game will be a real test for the Lions defense if they want to win their first playoff game since 1991, if the Lions defense plays like they did against the Cowboys offense in Week 17 then the Lions should come out on top. If the Lions defense can also for Stafford to make a turnover and get the ball back to the offense, that will be key as they will look to hold the momentum for all 60 minutes. Expect Ford Field to be loud and possibly the loudest it’s ever been, as this Lions team is different from what Detroit fans have ever experienced and has a shot at making a deep run, but that starts Sunday night.

CJ

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