Just over a year ago, the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions ignited the NFL world with a blockbuster transaction that resulted in one of those teams winning the Super Bowl.
Detroit and Los Angeles agreed to exchange starting quarterbacks, as well as two first-round picks and a third-round pick going to the Lions. It was amazing since then-LA QB Jared Goff had led the team to a Super Bowl berth only two years prior and was just in his sixth season in the NFL. All this while Stafford, a Lions franchise legend, was entering his 13th season in the NFL and still putting up incredible numbers on an underperforming club.
The Rams’ decision was taken because they had a clear win-now mindset. Rams coach Sean McVay had helped build a squad that was filled with talent on both offense and defense. But Goff’s play has been lackluster at best since their Super Bowl victory in 2018. With the team’s premier talent aging, LA felt their potential championship window was fading. So they were looking for an improvement in QB play and found it in Stafford. He also had previously demanded a trade from the organization after 12 years and no post-season wins.
Overview of the game details
Matt Stafford guided the Los Angeles Rams to their second Lombardi Trophy with a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday night. By rallying from behind at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, Stafford helped his alma school achieve a historic feat.
A crucial part of the game was when a Stafford interception came from Rams wideout Ben Skowronek, who played a larger role in the second half after Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a non-contact injury in the second quarter.
Stafford and Cooper Kupp, on the other hand, performed what they had done all season. They dialed in when the game was on the line. Offsetting penalties negated a four-yard Kupp touchdown on first-and-goal inside two minutes. Stafford connected with his No. 1 weapon again three plays later for a one-yard touchdown, giving the Rams the final 23-20 advantage, which Aaron Donald would secure with a vital pressure on Burrow on the next drive.
Should the Lions have traded Stafford?
Many questioned Stafford’s ability to be a “Super Bowl-level” quarterback. An enormously wide label commonly used to players who have yet to win a post-season game. Stafford and the Rams won the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Whether you credit Stafford, Sean McVay, Donald, or Cooper Kupp, the reality is that Stafford won a Super Bowl in his first season after leaving Detroit.
Not only is the Lions’ 2023 first-round selection still on the table, but the draft picks have failed to produce anything concrete. Who knows what will happen with the 32nd pick? Or who knows what Melifonwu’s future will hold? Who knows how the Rams will do in the coming season?
Furthermore, we don’t believe the Lions could have got more in exchange for Stafford.
We believe the Rams deal still provided the Lions with the best opportunity to rebuild. The Rams made the most of their transaction. It’s now up to the Lions to follow suit.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Preview
The Dallas Cowboys will host the Detroit Lions on Sunday in an intriguing NFC inter-divisional matchup at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys have won the last four meetings between the two teams, including a 35-27 road win in 2019.
Keep reading to see team news and our Cowboys vs. Lions prediction.
Detroit Lions Team News
Detroit (1-4) is coming off a bye week and has lost three consecutive games. The Lions have one of the league’s highest-scoring offensive units and are ranked second with 423.6 yards a game. Seventh-year quarterback Jared Goff has completed 59.7 percent of 187 pass attempts with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. The former top overall pick has thrown multiple scoring passes in three out of five games this season.
D’Andre Swift returns to lead the NFL’s eighth-ranked rushing attack. The 23-year-old running back averaged 8.6 yards per carry over the first three weeks before missing the past two games with an assortment of injuries. Jamaal Williams has a team-high 332 yards on 77 rushes and paces the Lions’ ground game with six touchdowns.
A trio of talented pass-catchers headline a high-octane passing offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown leads the Lions with 27 receptions and three scores, while Josh Reynolds has tallied 23 catches and four touchdowns. Tight end T.J. Hockenson has caught 19 passes and found the end zone on three occasions.
The Lions will butt heads with the league’s fourth-ranked scoring defense that allows 16.3 points a game. The Cowboys have posted a league-high 24 sacks and limited opposing teams to 19 points or less in five games.
Dallas Cowboys Team News
Dallas (4-2) had its four-game winning streak snapped Sunday night with a 26-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Backup signal-caller Cooper Rush threw three picks and suffered his first career loss in six starts. Dak Prescott will be under center for the Cowboys this week after missing the last five games with an injured thumb.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard have combined for 678 rushing yards and four scores. Pollard averages 5.3 yards an attempt and is a big-play threat with three touches that spanned more than 46 yards.
CeeDee Lamb is the Cowboys’ top wideout with 409 yards and two touchdowns on 33 receptions. The former first-round pick averages 10 targets per game and should benefit from the return of Prescott. Noah Brown has caught 20 passes and a score, while Pollard and Dalton Schultz have each recorded nine catches.
Dallas will face one of the NFL’s worst defensive units. The Lions rank last in points allowed (34), total yards (428), rushing yards (167), and sacks (7). Detroit has surrendered 27 points or more in every game this season.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions Prediction
The Cowboys are seven points favorites in a game with an over/under of 47.5 points. The Lions should be able to move the ball on the ground, but Goff will be tested by a dominant defensive front that has terrorized opposing quarterbacks this season. Dallas should have little trouble moving the chains against a woeful Detroit defense.
Prediction: Dallas 34, Detroit 24
Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots Prediction & Preview
The Detroit Lions and New England Patriots will be looking to snap two-game losing skids Sunday when the two squads clash at Gillette Stadium. The Lions rolled to a 26-10 victory over the Patriots in their last meeting during the 2018 season.
Keep reading until the end for our Lions vs. Patriots prediction.
Lions Preview & Team News
Detroit (1-3) lost a 48-45 shootout against the Seattle Seahawks last week despite racking up 27 first downs and 520 total yards. The Lion’s high-octane offense is averaging a league-high 35 points and ranks first in the NFL with 447 yards a game.
Jared Goff continued his torrid start to the young season with 378 passing yards and four touchdowns. The former top overall pick has posted a 99.9 Quarterback Rating while tossing 11 scoring passes with just three interceptions. Goff is 1-1 against the Patriots with two touchdown passes and three picks.
Jamaal Williams paced Detroit’s sixth-ranked rushing attack with 108 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Williams is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has found the end zone twice in three of the Lions’ four games this season. Craig Reynolds rushed for 30 yards on two rushes, including a 21-yard scamper.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson caught eight passes for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Josh Reynolds had seven catches for 81 yards and a score. Tom Kennedy hauled in three passes for 54 yards, and Kalif Raymond caught a trio of balls for 38 yards.
The hard-luck Lions have suffered three setbacks by a combined 10 points. Detroit should be able to move the ball on the ground against a Patriots defensive unit that is allowing 135 rushing yards an outing. However, New England’s pass defense is ranked 11th, limiting Tua Tagovailoa, Lamar Jackson, and Aaron Rogers to less than 250 passing yards.
Patriots Preview & Team News
New England (1-3) boasts the league’s 10th-ranked rushing attack and will lean on running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson against the Lions’ 30th-ranked run defense. Harris posted 18 rushes for 86 yards last week against the Green Bay Packers, while Stevenson had 14 carries for 66 yards.
Brian Hoyer or rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe will be under center for the Patriots. Zappe threw for 99 yards and a touchdown after Brian Hoyer left the game with a brain injury. Detroit allows 279 passing yards a game to rank near the bottom of the league.
Stevenson led New England with four catches against the Packers, while Nelson Agholor tallied three receptions. DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, and Hunter Henry each caught two passes last week.
Lions vs. Patriots Prediction
The Patriots are three-point favorites at home in a matchup featuring two of the league’s worst defensive units at stopping opposing rushing attacks. Detroit will struggle to throw the ball against New England, while a backup quarterback will hinder the Patriots passing game. Both squads will look to establish the running game with the Patriots’ 1-2 punch of Harris and Stevenson winning the battle.
Prediction: New England 27, Detroit 24
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Prediction & Preview
The Detroit Lions will hit the road Sunday for an NFC North matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Lions edged the Vikings, 29-27, in Week 13 last year to notch their first win of the season. They’ll be hoping for a similar result and will believe they can as they’ve had a good start to the season compared to last year.
That said, this is the first game not at Ford Field so they won’t have the support from the home crowd. Plus, the Vikings will be wanting to rebound after a heavy defeat to the Eagles in Week 2.
Detroit (1-1) has the league’s fourth-ranked offense and averages 405.5 yards an outing. Quarterback Jared Goff has completed 41 of 71 passes for 471 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception. The former top overall pick is 2-2 in his career against the Vikings with eight scoring passes and two picks.
D’Andre Swift headlines a ground attack that averages a whopping 7.2 yards per carry and is ranked third with 186 yards a game. Swift has tallied a full 10 yards a rush and has 200 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. Jamaal Williams has found the end zone twice while posting 81 yards on 23 attempts, and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has a pair of carries for 68 yards.
Brown has been Goff’s favorite target and has caught 17 balls for 180 yards and three scores. Tight end T.J. Hockenson has hauled in seven passes for 64 yards, while Swift, DJ Chark, and Josh Reynolds have each posted a touchdown catch.
The Lions should be able to run the ball against a Vikings defense that has allowed opposing running backs to average 5.3 yards a rush and 137 yards a game. The Philadelphia Eagles torched Minnesota’s run defense for 163 yards in a 24-7 win this past Monday.
The Vikings’ pass defense has surrendered 275 yards an outing and four touchdowns to rank near the bottom of the league. The Eagles had four receivers with 69 yards or more in their Week 2 victory.
Minnesota (1-1) has struggled offensively under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell and has as many field goals as touchdowns this young season. Veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins had a forgettable outing against the Eagles with three interceptions and several passes that should have been picked off.
Running back Dalvin Cook opened the season with 90 yards against the Green Bay Packers but was limited by the Eagles to 17 yards on six carries. Cook should see more touches against a Detroit run defense that has allowed 5.1 yards and 152 yards a game to enemy running backs.
Two-time Pro Bowl receiver Justin Jefferson has transformed 23 targets into 15 receptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns. The ability of the Lions’ secondary to contain the former LSU standout will play a massive role in the success of Detroit in Sunday’s showdown.
Cook and wideout Adam Thielen have caught seven balls apiece, and pass catchers Johnny Mundt, K.J. Osborn, and Irv Smith Jr. have each tallied five catches.
Vikings vs. Lions Prediction, Picks and Parlay
In a projected high-scoring affair with an over/under of 52.5 points, the Lions’ high-octane offense will be able to outscore the Vikings in a wild shootout. Look for Swift to put up productive numbers and Goff to continue his impressive start to the 2022 season.
Prediction: Detroit 34, Minnesota 31
With the Vikings as favorites at – 250 and the Lions at +210 to get the win, we think the Lions’ Moneyline is worth a shot. Or better, use it in a parlay or same game parlay.
Our picks for the Same Game Parlay are Lions Moneyline, over 52.5 points, and for Swift to score a touchdown in the game. The odds for this at BetMGM are +650 (7.50).