When the Detroit Lions welcome them to Ford Field on Sunday the St. Louis Rams could be reliving some unpleasant memories from just a few months ago—the same memories that caused them, in the first place, to draft big, run-stuffing Michael Brockers. Injury—a high ankle sprain—means he'll be out at least a month, which leaves the Rams exactly where they were last season. And last season, Lions starter Kevin Smith will be happy to know, the Rams allowed 2433 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
In the run defense's, uh, defense, most teams were so far ahead of them so fast that they spent most of the game running out the clock. But there's not much that excuses that 4.8 yards-per-carry against.
With Brockers gone, the Rams' ability to stop Kevin Smith will be dependent almost entirely on the new system implemented by Jeff Fisher and the cabal of underlings that's replaced Gregg Williams as ersatz defensive coordinator. Which is maybe more pure, if much less exciting. Of course, the Rams aren't the only ones missing important personnel. The Lions are down two running backs, with Jahvid Best on the physically unable to perform list and Mikel Leshoure suspended for the season's first two weeks. So Kevin Smith vs. a defensive line down its highly-touted rookie it is.