"STREAMING"!!@ Detroit Lions vs Los Angeles Rams LIVE Online ((free)) [™]
Here's Rams vs. Lions: Time, how to watch, live stream, key matchups, prediction for Super Wild Card Weekend The NFL playoffs are finally here, and one of the marquee matchups of the weekend is a game that pits a number of players against their former teams as the No. 3-seed Detroit Lions play host to the No. 6-seed Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.
Detroit and L.A. executed one of the most significant trades in recent league history just three years ago, with the teams swapping Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff and draft picks. The Rams won the Super Bowl, then dramatically regressed, and are now back in the tournament. The Lions have slowly but surely built things up, and are now hosting a playoff game for the first time in 30 years.
Which of these teams will advance to the divisional round? We'll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here's a look at how you can watch the game.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Jan. 14 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field (Detroit)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Lions -3; O/U 52 (via SportsLine consensus odds)
When the Rams have the ball
I wouldn't necessarily call this as "revenge game" from the perspective of Matthew Stafford, who was traded to a much better situation and immediately won a Super Bowl, rather than having to spend the past few years navigating through a rebuild. But it will still of course be fascinating to watch him play against his former team, which made him the No. 1 overall pick in the draft back in 2009.
Since returning from his one-week injury absence, Stafford has been on fire, completing 65.8% of his passes at an average of 7.8 yards per attempt, with 16 touchdowns against four interceptions. He's elevating teammates, helping Puka Nacua to rookie receiving records, getting Cooper Kupp back in rhythm, and even turning Demarcus Robinson into a major passing-game contributor.
Detroit's defense showed some improvement down the stretch of the season after going through a disastrous spell from Weeks 10 through 14 during which the Lions allowed at least 26 points in ive straight games. Over the last few weeks, though, Detroit allowed Nick Mullens to tear it up through the air twice, depending almost exclusively on turnovers (eight in the final three weeks of the year) to get stops. If Stafford can avoid giving the ball away, there should be plenty of opportunity for him to find success.
Nacua and Kupp will have strong matchups wherever they line up. The Lions checked in 23rd in FTN's DVOA against No. 1 receivers and 20th against No. 2s. Cam Sutton is the team's strongest cover corner. Kindle Vildor and Jerry Jacobs have been liabilities. Brian Branch has been a playmaker in the slot and C.J. Gardner-Johnson could be back to play a larger role, but this remains a below-average coverage unit. Kyren Williams could have an advantage against the Lions' linebackers in coverage as well. So long as the Rams are able to protect Stafford in the pocket and give him enough time for the routes to develop down the field, these guys should eat.
The biggest area of concern in protection will come on the right side of the offensive line, where Rob Havenstein will have to deal with Aidan Hutchinson. It seems likely that the Rams will this keep one or both of Tyler Higbee (or Davis Allen, if Higbee can't go with his injury) and Williams in to pass protect, with special attention paid to Hutchinson on those plays with chips and help. The rest of the Lions' pass rush is not particularly imposing, and the L.A. offensive line has held up quite well throughout this year despite playing a rookie guard in Steve Avila and having benched Joe Noteboom in favor of Alaric Jackson.
Detroit's defense was better against the run than the pass, checking in first in rush defense DVOA and allowing only 1.16 yards before contact per attempt, according to Tru Media, the ninth-best mark in the league. Kyren Williams was outrageously productive after returning from injury, though, totaling 688 yards on 131 carries (5.3 per attempt). He topped 4.5 yards per carry in four of his six games and ran for at least 87 yards in all six. Williams isn't an elite athlete and