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5 questions and answers after LA Rams need fourth quarter comeback to beat Lions

Despite win, Sean McVay was facing difficult questions following the win

NFL: Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford had a 117.3 passer rating vs. the Detroit Lions
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford’s 33rd career fourth quarter comeback led the Los Angeles Rams to victory over the overmatched, but game Detroit Lions 28-19. The tense victory, against a winless Lion team leaves just as many questions as answers.

Question #1

For Ram fans, the question wasn’t IF the Lions would commit multiple turnovers, but rather, which players would force them.

Answer

Jared Goff, on his return to SoFi Stadium, managed the game until the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter, before a game-clinching interception by Jalen Ramsey. Goff had led the Lions to the Rams 12-yard line, on a nine-minute drive, before Ramsey undercut a pass intended for TJ Hockenson.

LA has now forced multiple turnovers in five of seven contests and they are 5-0 in those games.

Question #2

Can Matthew Stafford carry the Ram offense?

Answer

Obviously.

In a game where the running game stalled, Staff threw for over 300 yards, three touchdowns, and scored on five of seven drives (not counting kneel downs). Yes, Rams wide receivers were running wide open a lot of the time and Detroit’s secondary is a mess, but on the 90-yard game wining drive, Stafford hit both long and short throws with equal success. Clutch is a word that comes to mind.

Stafford now has 301 career touchdown passes—and it already feels like 201 of those have gone to Cooper Kupp.

Question #3

“Are the Rams defensive problems scheme or execution?”

Answer

At first glance, giving up over 400 yards and losing the TOP battle 33:00 to 27:00 screams both. The Lions gained over 300 of those yards on just 10 plays. Missed tackles and bad angles were the main culprits.

Yes, all the plays and yards count, but Lions haven’t been a big play offense this season, the long gain plays don’t align with their season form. The Rams defensive line applied good pressure, particularly off the edges. They only charted two sacks put harried Goff all game

Question #4

“What’s the deal with the special teams?”

Answer

At halftime of the Fox TV broadcast, Laura Okmin reported that the Rams had expected the Lions to pull some ST shenanigans.

If they truly did expect tricks, it makes the poor execution even worse. The two successful fake punts and and an onside kick kept the Lions in the game. Where was Tutu Atwell? Looks like a return game by rotation.

Question #5

Were the Rams looking past the Lions? And if they were, to whom?

Answer

Of course and it will probably more of the same next week versus the Houston Texans. The Lions and Texans are bad teams who will eventually shoot themselves in the foot. No matter how sloppy the Ram tacklers or special teams perform. this years offense can carry the team over the also-rans.

At DraftKings Sportsbook, the game time betting odds versus Detroit were LA Rams -16.5 and had been bet up all week, the Texans game opened at Rams -14.

After the trip to Houston, the Rams will face three consecutive tough opponents, at home vs. the Tennessee Titans, and on the road vs. arch rival San Francisco 49ers, and the Green Bay Packers.