After edging out the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 and ending their losing streak at three games, the Detroit Lions went into Week 6 just trying to keep pace with the Vikings and Packers in the NFC North. The Lions hosted the Los Angeles Rams, who went into Week 6 just a half game behind the NFC West division leaders, the Seattle Seahawks.
Preview: Los Angeles Rams At Detroit Lions
According to the injury report at NFL.com, the Los Angeles Rams have five players listed as questionable for Week 6. Additionally, cornerback Trumaine Johnson did not participate in practice and is listed as out with an ankle injury. The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, have four players who definitely won’t be playing against the Rams, with seven more players listed as questionable. On offense, both tight end Eric Ebron and running back Theo Riddick are out with ankle injuries. Sitting out from Detroit’s defense includes DeAndre Levy (quadricep injury) and Etuini Ngata (shoulder injury). Although they did see full participation in practice, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and safety Don Carey are both listed as questionable for Week 6.
According to standard fantasy football scoring provided by the NFL, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (18.88 points) is projected to be a Top 10 fantasy earner at his position, while Rams QB Case Keenum (11.86 points) is projected at No. 25 among this week’s starting quarterbacks. At running back, LA’s Todd Gurley (10.20 points) is projected to finish in the Top 20 at his position, while Detroit’s Zach Zenner (8.20 points) just misses the Top 25. At receiver, both Marvin Jones (13.10 points) and Golden Tate (11.10 points) are Top 25 projections, while no one from Los Angeles cracks the Top 50. Detroit’s Cole Wick (8.90 points) is a decent pick at tight end, while the kickers from either team — Matt Prater (9.00 points) of Detroit and Greg Zuerlein (7.00 points) of LA — are respectable picks for Week 6. While neither teams’ defense is expected to be outstanding, they are both projected to be Top 15 finishers.
According to the most recent odds posted at Odds Shark, the Detroit Lions are 2.5 point favorites at home against the LA Rams, with the spread ranging from two to three points depending on where bets are placed. The over/under is set at 44.5 points.
In the opening drive of the game, a couple of solid runs from Zach Zenner and a big reception from Golden Tate put Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions offense at 1st and goal early in the game. A successful seven-yard pass to Marvin Jones — and the PAT from Matt Prater — gave Detroit an early 7-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, the Rams answered with seven points of their own on their first drive. Todd Gurley rushed for 29 yards on four carries, and Kenny Britt caught a pass from Case Keenum and beat a pair of defenders before crossing the goal line. With just over five minutes left to play in the first quarter, the game was tied.
When the Lions took the ball for their second drive of the game, the scoring finally stopped. After being assisted by a pair of false start penalties, the LA defense was able to stop Detroit from converting with just one yard to go on 2nd and 3rd down, forcing the first punt of the game. The Rams took over and nearly marched the ball to the 50-yard line before the end of the quarter.
As Los Angeles continued their drive in the second quarter, they would ultimately take the lead. Through the first five weeks of NFL play, the Detroit Lions defense hadn’t allowed a single rushing touchdown. After a completed pass from Keenum to Gurley set up a short 1st and goal, the Rams quarterback earned the first rushing touchdown against the Lions in 2016 and put the Rams up 14-7 early in the second quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Lions to respond, however. On their next drive, after eleven plays, they found themselves with another 1st and goal. After two ugly passes on 2nd and 3rd down, Andre Roberts caught a pass in the endzone, despite the Rams secondary getting called for pass interference, after Stafford found himself scrambling on 4th and goal from the two-yard line. With just over three minutes remaining in the half, Detroit tied the game at 14.
LA’s final drive of the first half was a rather dramatic one. After Keenum completed a 43-yard pass to Kenny Britt, the Lions were called for pass interference, giving the Rams a 1st and goal. On the next play, however, Keenum had the ball stripped behind the line of scrimmage, and when LA came up with the ball, they found themselves facing 2nd and goal from the 19. They would benefit from another penalty the following play, however, as a personal foul gave them half the distance to the goal and an automatic first down. A few plays later, it was 4th and goal from inside the one-yard line with just four seconds on the clock. The Lions defense stopped Todd Gurley from breaking the tie, leaving things 14-14 at halftime.
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A total of three penalties left the Rams facing 3rd and 15 on their own five-yard line in their first set of downs in the second half. When they failed to convert, they were forced to punt for the first time in the game. As the Lions battled back, Stafford was able to pull a defensive lineman offside before tossing a bomb to Golden Tate on 3rd and 12 from their own 38-yard line. A few plays later, on 2nd and goal from the four-yard line, Anquan Boldin caught the short pass for a touchdown. After the extra point, the Lions took a 21-14 lead over the Rams.
It didn’t take long for the Rams to make a comeback, however. On the very next drive, Kenny Britt made an incredible catch for 47 yards that put LA inside Detroit’s 30-yard line. A few plays later, Lance Kendrick made his 16th career reception and his first NFL touchdown, helping the Rams tie the score at 21 halfway through the third quarter. The Lions would fail to make much progress on their next drive, leaving the ball in the hands of the Rams as the third quarter came to an end.
Beginning the fourth quarter on Detroit’s nine-yard line on 2nd and two, it was a short pass to Britt on 3rd and one — followed by the receiver breaking two tackles — that gave Los Angeles a 28-21 advantage early in the final quarter of the game.
However, the Lions responded on the very next drive. Full of penalties for both teams and big passes from Matthew Stafford, the thirteen-play drive ended with a pass to Golden Tate that he ran in for Detroit’s fourth touchdown of the game. The extra point would tie the game at 28 points with just over six minutes left in the game.
The LA Rams were unable to do much on their next drive, leaving them with no option but to punt for one final time. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, Stafford was able to march Detroit back down the field, giving them a good position for a simple field goal with less than ninety seconds remaining in the game.
LA’s final drive of the game began with a swatted pass that was still completed for four yards. The following play, however, was the proverbial nail in the coffin, as Keenum threw the only interception of the game. After downing the ball for the next two plays, the Lions sealed up the victory 31-28. With that result of the game, both teams head into Week 7 with a record of 3-3.
Where to Watch Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Rams
The NFL Week 6 match-up between the LA Rams and Detroit Lions aired live from Ford Field in Detroit. The game was televised on FOX and the NFL RedZone beginning at 1 p.m. EST. For fans on the road, the game was broadcast on Westwood One Radio. Additionally, the Rams at Lions game can be streamed online with a subscription to the NFL Game Pass service.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]