The 5-1 Los Angeles Rams face the 1-5 Detroit Lions and the two obvious storylines dominate Week 7 discussions: The first, Matthew Stafford facing off against his ex-team repping the city where he managed to gain at least a modicum of respect league-wide. The second being mostly concerning to Rams fans, ex-Rams quarterback Jared Goff returning to the home that dumped him for Stafford and the revenge factor that comes with it. Not expected to be much of a factor at all.
Sometime during the days, hours or minutes leading up to kick-off, the players or coaches will dismiss these storylines. If either team say it’s just another game, they are lying. This is a game with deeper significance than either team might want to own up to.
Los Angeles Rams – Detroit Lions Week 7 Odds/Prediction: Big Odds, Big Victory
Game date & time: October 24, 1:05PM (PT) at SoFi Stadium
Spread at publishing: Rams favored by 15 points (opened at 13.5), over-under: 50.5
For ex-Rams franchise quarterback Jared Goff, this cannot but be a somewhat personal game. Understandable considering the fact that even Sean McVay has expressed regret towards his part in how things were handled prior to the parting process. But truly, Goff now has bigger fish to fry. He could sooner than not be dangling from Detroit honeymoon coattails now that his current head coach has begun dancing around firm criticisms. The motivation to pull off a stunning upset has got to be present in the Week 7 contest, win or lose. Its visibility might determine his future at least as an NFL starter.
Meanwhile, Sean McVay’s post-game press conference after the Rams Week 6 dismantling of the New York Giants was telling. The man was not being a cliché, he was quite serious. He was also quite disturbed. Losing to the lowly New York Jets in 2020 did not appear to disturb him like this past 27-point Rams victory.
Why the Rams will win
He made his well-deserved appreciation for the Rams defensive unit’s overall impressive outing known and heartfelt. The Giants were simply over-matched in both talent and healthy bodies and their efforts were more admirable than ugly. That being said, when speaking of the offense, at times McVay appeared to be seething inside. This is because in consecutive games the Rams put their best foot forward later rather than sooner. The slow starts are not going unnoticed by the fans either. The fans, however, are not the concern of McVay on the larger scale. Neither is the Detroit Lions, for that matter, despite what you’re bound to hear.
The inability to come out firing on all cylinders consistently is not a Week 7 problem alone, it’s a longer term problem. It’s a postseason problem. It’s an overall problem when facing quality teams in general and McVay doesn’t want his team comfortable with it rather the Rams lose or win — or win big.
Why the Rams will win big
The Rams will have a game plan scripted with the intent to score early and often. This mindset is not likely to let up well into the fourth quarter. In fact, it could be a great game for fantasy football players who drafted multiple Rams to start them all. If this point has not been clear as yet, the Rams scoring output here has little to do with their Week 7 opponent. McVay has been trying to get his team to become the mirror image of how he sees himself as an offensive mind. This goes way back to the reasoning that brought Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles. Realistically, it goes back farther than that, in this writer’s opinion.
With the capable top-tier quarterback and the potent overall play of a defensive unit many thought would drop off significantly from their top 2020 billing, the excuses why the Rams cannot return to the Super Bowl are vanishing. That is not to go into the push his buddy Kliff Kingsbury is giving him in just three years with his undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
Additional betting information and prediction
A few NFL experts might be inclined to quickly point out the Lions knack for mild second-half comebacks. Put that puppy to bed should there be an inclination to bet this game. These are the McVay-era Los Angeles Rams. 41-0 when leading at halftime is not a thing to take lightly.
Furthermore, there is probably not a NFL quarterback that knows more about the abilities and ferociousness of Aaron Donald than Jared Goff. This, going in, is a mental victory for Los Angeles and especially when the pressure is on late in the game. Goff, like most quarterbacks facing the Donald-led defensive front of the Rams, will not do much stepping up in the pocket. And everyone knows that if conditions aren’t as close to perfect for Goff as possible, he could implode.
While the Lions have out-scored their opponents in the second half in four of six games, so have the Rams. All things considered, who will have the better third and fourth quarters?
Week 7 Prediction: Rams 41, Lions 16
For more Rams-Lions picks information and more, see NFL Week 7 Survivor League Top Picks.