Lions to be without Louis Delmas, Chris Houston against Rams

The Lions had one of the worst defenses in the league last year, allowing 24.2 points per game, good for 23rd in the NFL. Their awful passing defense was a big part of that and things aren’t going to be much better this season, especially not week 1. Having lost starter Eric Wright to the Buccaneers in free agency alright this offseason and cutting his replacement Aaron Berry for off the field issues, the Lions will now be without Louis Delmas and Chris Houston against the Rams this week, their only two remaining competent starters.

This leaves Jacob Lacey, Bill Bentley, John Wendling, and Erik Coleman starting in the secondary for the Lions, with Drayton Florence operating as the nickel back. Lacey struggled as a starter in Indianapolis last year. Bentley is a 3rd round rookie. John Wendling is a career journeyman backup and Coleman is a veteran who has been a backup in Atlanta over the last few seasons. Florence, meanwhile, was cut twice this offseason, first by the Bills and then by the Broncos, who made him a final cut. He’s only been with the Lions about a week.

The Lions have a ferocious pass rush, but even that won’t make this secondary look very good. Sam Bradford might not be the best quarterback, but this is about as easy of a matchup as he’ll get and with Steven Jackson by his side, the Rams should be able to run effectively on a Lions’ defense that ranked 30th on the ground last year. That will help the Rams move the football and take some off the pressure off an underrated offensive line in pass protection. The Lions, meanwhile, will have their explosive offense limited by the Rams equally good defensive line, against a decent Lions’ offensive line, and the Rams’ significantly superior secondary.  There’s a chance the Rams could pull out this victory.

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