The Lions have a 38-42-1 record against the Rams all-time. The Lions won the last meeting 44-6 in 2010 at Ford Field behind three touchdowns passes from
2011 REGULAR SEASON RANKINGS
|Points per game||29.6 (4)||12.1 (32)|
|Total yards per game||396.1 (5)||283.6 (31)|
|Rushing yards||95.2 (29)||104.2 (23)|
|Passing yards||300.9 (4)||179.4 (30)|
|Points allowed||21.4 (23)||25.4 (26)|
|Total yards allowed||367.6 (23)||358.4 (22)|
|Rushing yards allowed||128.1 (23)||153.1 (31)|
|Passing yards allowed||239.4 (22)||206.3 (7)|
|Turnover ratio||+11 (4)||-5 (23)|
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Stafford set team passing records with 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns last year, becoming just the fourth quarterback with 5,000+ yards and 40+ in a season. He's a year older and seems to have taken even more ownership of Scott Linehan's offense. What does he have in store for an encore?
The NFL is all about matchups. Lions fans know that better than most with receiver
Suh said he expects to have an “outstanding” season in 2012 after what he described as an “indifferent” year in 2011. Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said Suh has changed his technique after watching film with him over the offseason and says his big defensive tackle has looked “unbelievable” on the practice field. Lions fans want to see the impact plays from 2010 that were missing last year.
Steven Jackson, RB:
Jackson rushed for 1,145 yards last season becoming just the seventh player in NFL history with 7 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Since 2006, he’s averaged 114.7 scrimmage yards per game (9,868 yards, 86 games), most in NFL.
"I’ve said it with some other running backs; that’s not a guy you can stop 9 out of 10 times," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Jackson. "That tenth he has the ability to go to the house with it. I want to play our very best on defense.”
Cortland Finnegan, CB:
He joined the Rams this offseason as a free agent after six seasons with Tennessee (93 games, 79 starts). Finnegan is a physical corner who can get involved in some “extra curricular activities” with receivers from time-to-time. He’ll have his hands full with Calvin Johnson.
Chris Long, DE:
Long came into his own as a pass rusher last season leading the team with a career-high 13 sacks. His 13 sacks ranked seventh in the NFL last year and were two more than
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
“It’s life in the NFL,” Schwartz said. “We’ll see when we get to Sunday how it looks, but our job doesn’t change. Our job is to score and to limit scoring on offense and defense. Whether we have 11 new starters or one new starter it doesn’t change that job. It doesn’t change the confidence we have in the guys we’ll put on the field.”
How’d they prepare for the unknown
There’s always some element of the unknown heading into Week 1 of the regular season. Teams don’t show a lot in the preseason, so, head coaches, coordinators, assistant coaches and quality control coaches rely on history and tendency to help game plan for Week 1 opponents.
It’s particularly tough for the Lions this week because they’re facing a Rams team with a new head coach in Jeff Fisher, new offensive and defensive coordinators and 33 new players on the roster.
“We have to prepare for his past,” said Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. “We expect some wrinkles, opening day things that we haven’t seen in preseason.”
Week 1 in the NFL is about in-game adjustments. Can the Lions make the right one’s early?
The Last time the Lions played a game at Ford Field they clinched a playoff berth with a victory over the Chargers on Christmas Eve. The lasting images from that game are the Lions players showing their appreciation for the fans by walking around the field slapping hands with them.
“It’s been building for a while so a home opener is very exciting,” Schwartz said. “An opener in any sport is exciting, football you only have 16. There are very few opportunities for it. So the crowd will be there. We have to do our jobs to give them something to cheer for and keep them in the game and affecting the game.”
Calvin Johnson ended last season with 560 yards and four touchdowns in his last three games, including the playoff loss to the Saints. Johnson started last season with two touchdowns in each of his first four games. Can he duplicate that feat starting Sunday?
Holding down the fort
This isn’t the first time running back