The St. Louis Rams' pass defense has shown some major improvement so far, intercepting Matthew Stafford three times, but the run defense—well, that's another story. Despite the Detroit Lions being down to Kevin Smith, their third-string running back, they've gotten both offensive touchdowns on the ground, responding to Sam Bradford's first touchdown of the year with three quick passes to Brandon Pettigrew and then a Kevin Smith touchdown.
Smith has 13 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon, exceeding the limited expectations of everybody who's watched the Detroit Lions but who has not watched the St. Louis Rams' run defense. In a pass and passing-turnover-heavy game, that makes him the afternoon's leading rusher; Steven Jackson has struggled, taking the ball 21 times for just 53 yards.
It's not the way Lions fans expected the Detroit offense to succeed, but Rams fans are probably less surprised than you'd expect; they watched running backs big and small break off big plays all last season, and with Michael Brockers injured the defensive line isn't yet at full strength.
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