Week 13: 5 Key matchups for the Detroit Lions vs the Los Angeles Rams

The Detroit Lions have a very difficult matchup this week against the Los Angeles Rams. Here are five key matchups for the Lions if they are to stand a chance.

1. LG Frank Ragnow vs DT Aaron Donald

This is going to be a very interesting matchup between the Lions first-round pick, OG Frank Ragnow, against a top-five candidate for MVP in Donald.

The rookie is going to have his work cut out for him. I am eager to see what Ragnow can do versus top competition. Donald leads the NFL with 14.5 sacks — three more than the next closest. Not to mention, he is doing it from the interior which makes it even more impressive.

2. LB Jarrad Davis vs RB Todd Gurley

For everyone who reads these weekly key matchup pieces, you probably already know that I consider Davis a bust. He consistently struggles in coverage and chooses the wrong gaps against the run. Today, he needs to have the best game of his career, or close to it, as Gurley can make him look silly. Gurley is one of the League’s best dual-threat running backs.

Gurley has already surpassed a thousand yards rushing on the year, as well as over 400 receiving yards with 17 total touchdowns.

3. WR Kenny Golladay vs CB Aqib Talib/ Marcus Peters

With Marvin Jones out for the year, all eyes will be on Golladay. The Rams tend to stick their corners on one side of the field rather than having them follow matchups, so the Lions may be able to exploit the Rams defensive backs by using Golladay in the slot. Peters has had his fair share of struggles this year, but it still would be wise to get Golladay on a smaller nickel corner to create a mismatch.

Talib is just returning from an injury, so he may be slightly limited. Golladay is the only receiving threat the Lions have. Add the limited receiving options with RB Kerryon Johnson being out, this matchup favors the Rams heavily.

4. C Graham Glasgow vs DT Ndamukong Suh

Suh returns to Detroit alongside a better defensive line pairing than he ever had in his career. Suh was a menace for the Lions for many years and now he is going to do the same against his former team. Normally, a team could just double team Suh and remove him from the play, however, now paired with Aaron Donald, Suh is actually the lesser of two evils.

Glasgow got banged up a little bit last game and missed his first snap of the season. He will be tested today and we will see if he’s up for the challenge.

5. DE Ziggy Ansah vs LT Andrew Withworth

Ansah has a sack in three consecutive games since his return — even with his limited snaps. Whitworth has allowed five sacks on the year as well as being called for four penalties. If Ansah can use his speed, he may be able to get around the stellar left tackle.

Ansah was not on the injury report this week for the first time since 2017. He will still probably be splitting reps at defensive end though. Not only does this make him less likely to get hurt again, but also keeps him fresh and at the top of his game when he is on the field.

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