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Bold prediction of the week: Lions keep it close against the Rams

Yeah, we’re at that point in the season again.

NFL: OCT 17 Bengals at Lions Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I can’t believe we’re already doing this and it’s only Week 7, but I guess that’s what happens when your team is 0-6. I feel like even in spite of all the despair that 2020 held we didn’t get to “the Lions will keep it close” being a bold prediction until at least Week 10. Then again, Matthew Stafford makes any game a winnable game. I miss you, Matthew.

Bold prediction of the week: Lions will be within one possession at some point in the fourth quarter

I’m really curious to see how Sunday will play out. On the one hand, Rams’ coach Sean McVay can hand the reins to an undoubtedly locked-in Stafford and just let him rip the ball for 40+ points. On the other hand, we could see a steady, reigned-in offense where the Rams are up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, relax, and allow the Detroit Lions to score some late meaningless points so it looks closer than it was.

It’s really hard to tell, as we’ve seen both scenarios from the Lions this season. There were the heartbreakers against Baltimore and Minnesota, both losses by a score of 19-17, and the late rally against the 49ers that was technically ended within one possession at a score of 41-33. On the other hand, the Lions were decimated by 18, 10, and 23 by the Packers, Bears, and Bengals respectively, all games that were fairly out of hand at some point in the third quarter.

Where Sunday plays out is really up in the air. The Lions' coaching staff indicated earlier this week that they would be focusing on getting the ball to folks who are present and participating in practice—that would preclude the two best weapons on offense in T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift, both of whom continued to be limited by injuries this week.

It doesn’t seem like a good idea to turn away from your stars when your offense is already sputtering, but Dan Campbell seemed convinced that a large portion of Goff’s struggles were attributed to a lack of chemistry with his receivers. If that truly is the case, then the new ball distribution plans should work in the Lions’ favor on Sunday.

Maybe, just maybe, that’ll be enough to keep them in it come the fourth quarter.