August 12, 2012; Indianapolis, IN USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) looks to pass under the pressure of St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) during the first quarter of play in Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE
St. Louis Rams vs. Detroit Lions: the Rams' Week 1 matchup at Ford Field will test their young defense to its breaking point.
The St. Louis Rams' young defense has a new, famously hard-nosed head coach, in Jeff Fisher, and a new secondary, centered around rookie Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan. They had a new No. 1 draft pick, Michael Brockers, in the middle of the defensive line, though his ankle injury will keep him out for a month. Now they have a 2012-opening assignment that appears to be impossible: Week 1 they'll face the Detroit Lions, who rode a Matthew Stafford breakout season to 474 points.
That line—featuring Chris Long and Robert Quinn—and that secondary will spend their first regular season game chasing an offense that took 663 pass attempts up and down the Ford Field turf. Calvin Johnson is an impossible assignment for any cornerback; he caught 96 balls for 1681 yards and 16 touchdowns. Stafford, too, is tough to stop; he was sacked 36 times last year, and it still didn't keep him from topping 5000 yards.
They might not be able to do it, but they'll have to; if the defense is young and inexperienced, the offense has done even less coalescing. If the Rams are going to stay in their first game of the season, they'll need to stop this nearly unstoppable Lions attack.