What We Saw: Week 7

Lions @ Rams

Final Score: Rams 28, Lions 19

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)


This was a fun game to watch from start to finish as two quarterbacks who were traded for each other faced off for the first time. The Lions were hanging with the Rams for most of the first half, but a Cooper Kupp touchdown with less than 1:30 remaining in the half swung some momentum that was difficult for the Lions to recover from. We definitely saw some of the reasons why Rams head coach Sean McVay decided to move on from Jared Goff for the stronger-armed Matthew Stafford; Stafford was able to flawlessly lead the Rams offense up and down the field while the Lions offense sputtered at times and relied on big plays to stay in the game, including two successful fake punt conversions and a successful onside kick. Without those, this is a much different box score.


Detroit Lions




Jared Goff: 22/36, 268 yards, TD, 2 INT, 2 Sacks | 1 carry, 3 yards

Jack Fox: 1/1, 17 yards


A quick glance at the scoreboard tells you the Rams won the game by two possessions. A quick glance at Jared Goff‘s stat line tells you that he gave away exactly that many possessions. The Lions don’t need him to be a strong-armed slinger, but they do need him to take care of the ball if they want to succeed. Considering the Rams have a good pass rush, Goff held his own against his old team but was ultimately doomed by his turnovers. It was clear why McVay decided to move on from Goff. Thankfully for Goff, he is a much better fit for the Lions’ offense than the Rams. The stat line for Goff isn’t indicative of his day as a 63-yard screen to Swift in the first quarter makes Goff’s line look respectable. With that said, the Rams are a tough team to hang with and Goff actually impressed me overall. I think this team is gearing up to beat up lesser teams as long as Goff can keep his head straight after so many close losses.


Running Back


Jamaal Williams: 12 carries, 57 yards

D’Andre Swift: 13 carries, 48 yards | 10 targets, 8 receptions, 96 yards, TD

C.J. Moore: 1 carry, 28 yards


Jamaal Williams will continue to hang around and eat up yards between the twenties as was evident today, but the Lions know who the playmaker is on their offense. D’Andre Swift totaled 21 touches on the day which is the volume you love to see with someone as explosive as Swift. The split with Williams may seem like a bane, but it’s actually great for Swift’s availability as the season progresses. There was some rumbling about the true roles in this backfield early on in the season, but I think those questions have been answered. With plays like this, why would you give the ball to anyone else out of the backfield when it matters?



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Kalif Raymond: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 115 yards

T.J. Hockenson: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 48 yards

Bobby Price: 1 target, 1 reception, 17 yards

Darren Fells: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

KhaDarel Hodge: 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards


The surprise of the game was Kalif Raymond, whose stock continues to rise. The passing game was predictably centered around Swift and Hockenson, but I don’t think anyone saw eight targets going to Raymond ahead of time. The speedster was able to take advantage of the looks and rack up over 100 yards. I was not paying much attention to Raymond before this game, but he captured my attention on a short route over the middle which he turned into a 37 yard gain.



It wasn’t the catch or the route, but it was the speed of this guy that impressed me. Everyone else looked like they were in slow motion for a couple of seconds before Raymond was brought down. He truly looks like he can be a dangerous weapon in the open field if the Lions are able to keep him involved and is someone to keep an eye on moving forward. T.J. Hockenson continues to be one of the most heavily targeted tight ends in the league, but until other pass-catching threats develop in the Lions’ offense, teams know to smother the talented Iowa product.


Los Angeles Rams



Matthew Stafford: 28/41, 334 yards, 3 TD, Sack | 2 carries, -2 yards


Matthew Stafford might be seen pinching himself on occasion as he continues to question if he’s actually on the Rams under Sean McVay or if he’s dreaming. Everyone knew Stafford was an incredibly talented quarterback, but Rams head coach Sean McVay might have finally unlocked the 33-year old quarterback’s potential. The Rams passing attack was always very effective, but now it’s explosive too thanks to the cannon attached to Stafford’s right shoulder. The personnel and scheme are there, and as long as the Rams stay healthy, we will continue to see dimes like this from Stafford:



Running Back


Darrell Henderson Jr.: 15 carries, 45 yards | 6 targets, 3 receptions, 19 yards

Sony Michel: 2 carries, 4 yards


The Rams heavily relied on the passing game in this one as they were somehow playing from behind in the first half and continued to throw after halftime. Gamescript heavily impacted the ceiling for Darrel Henderson Jr. Combine that with valuable goal-line looks being funneled into the passing game and it was a rather disappointing day for the surging Henderson. Sony Michel was a non-factor and is not a threat to Henderson for the time being. The 3.0 YPC leaves something to be desired, but the Rams got Henderson involved in the passing game as well as the running game, which is some good news!


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Cooper Kupp: 13 targets, 10 receptions, 156 yards, 2 TD

Robert Woods: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 70 yards

Tyler Higbee: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 46 yards

Van Jefferson: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards, TD


Cooper Kupp now has more than double his touchdown total from 2020 in less than half the games. McVay got Kupp involved all over the field, and at times it feels like the short passing game that revolves around Kupp is simply an extension of the running game. Stafford spread the ball out to all of his playmakers and you can tell his rapport is developing with the rest of his receiving corps. Robert Woods continues to be second fiddle to Kupp, but he brought in all of his targets and will be involved no matter what – he just needs to find the end zone more often. Same goes for Tyler Higbee. Both pass-catchers will continue to get looks throughout the season with a high chance of finding the end zone in this high-octane offense. This week it was Van Jefferson‘s turn on the beauty of a catch from Jefferson over the defender for a score:





— Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter) 

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