Into the fire. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Welcome back, football.
The Rams are sitting on a surprising 13-10 halftime lead thanks to, well, it depends on how you want to look at it.
On one hand, the Rams were prepared for Detroit's offense that was methodical for the majority of the first half, opting for the shorter intermediate game with WR Calvin Johnson and TE Tony Scheffler. Three interceptions set the tone for the game, with Janoris Jenkins picking one off near the goalline to open the trio. Jo-Lonn Dunbar provided the second with a long return to put the Rams on track for a second field goal. Cortland Finnegan was the first Ram to get in the end zone this season with a pick 6 that really provided the other side of the coin this half: the Lions' offense was way too predictable.
That pick six came as Stafford tried to find Calvin Johnson on the sideline who was covered high and low, as the Lions stuck with the same strategy throughout the first half. The Rams need to be prepared for one of two things in the second half. Either the Lions are going to go even shorter with the offense, moving to slants and screens with a heavier run game, or they'll play a riskier pass offense, giving Chris Long and Robert Quinn (as well as any blitzers) a chance to wreak havoc. I expect the latter (as we saw with the Megatron reception near the end of the half).
Will the pass rush negate the long options for the Lions in Johnson and Titus Young? Will the cornerbacks and safeties (gulp) force Stafford to check down when the rush doesn't get to him? Will the offense be able to do more on 3rd down and in the red zone?
Damnit, I've missed football.