Former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo had been known for successful defensive schemes, although they take a while for players to comprehend.
Hence after a .208 winning percentage, the Rams axed him and went for top free agent coach Jeff Fisher.
Fisher is the right man for the job, regardless of Sunday’s result in Detroit.
The Rams lost 27-23 to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Matt Stafford threw the game-winning touchdown to Kevin Smith in the final 10 seconds to win the game.
The air-it-out Lions are an offensive power house when it comes to passing the football.
Matt Stafford threw the ball 48 times; the entire team rushed the ball only 18 times. This was a formula that Detroit used to get to the playoffs last year, and it appears they expect to do the same in 2012.
Here’s what we can take away from the game.
Matt Stafford is money in clutch situations: Stafford had a lousy first half of the game, throwing three picks including one that went back for a touchdown.
Still he held his composure, carried the team with his arm and in the closing moments delivered. Stafford had his receivers covered in the end zone.
With no time outs, he took the chance to go ahead and check down to Smith who was wide open, and delivered. That’s the ball game. Lions win.
The Rams' defense will steadily improve in 2012: Jeff Fisher’s defense incorporates a react first think later style, which should be better for this group of young players.
One of Fisher’s former players in Tennessee, Cortland Finnegan picked off a Stafford pass and took it in for a touchdown. This gave the Rams an infectious feel that they could win. 24 of the 53 players on the Rams' roster are no longer playing in the league.
That’s a fresh deck of cards for Fisher to try and win with it. Today you could see a small spark in what could be a gelled group later in the year.
The Lions like to pass a lot, but need to run a little more: If the Lions want to improve on last year’s success, they need to find a bit more balance in their offense.
Hey with Calvin Johnson, it’s understandable why the team throws so much. Granted the team tried to start the game running the ball against the Rams.
The Lions had little success and fell behind, hence time to start chucking the ball down field. However if the organization could find an impact runner to go along with Kevin Smith, the balance would just make this offense more potent than it already is and take pressure off Stafford.
Sam Bradford still has the worst offensive line in the league – Rams quarterbacks were sacked 55 times last year. In Detroit, quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked three times. The team signed talented center Scott Wells to a $24 million contract over the off season.
However, Wells left the game against the Lions with a foot injury, showing once again how bad this line really is.
What is surprising is that Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley didn’t get to Bradford more than they did. In late August, The Rams traded Jason Smith to the Jets for Wayne Hunter, in a right tackle for right tackle “change of scenery move”. Both guys have been pretty lousy. The jury is out on whether this move will help or not.
Lions may have dodged a bullet: The Lions and Matt Stafford were not as crisp as they should have been on opening day, but still won the game. The Rams as of yet, are not a team that strikes fear in the opposition.
Next week the Lions go to San Francisco to take on Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers, which played in the NFC championship last year. The Lions may have been looking ahead.Detroit's coach Jim Schwartz will be wanting a proper handshake from Harbaugh this time. We will have our eyes peeled to see if he gets it?