TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 1: Detroit Lions Vs. St. Louis Rams

Lions
Rams
Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders
St. Louis Rams v New York Giants
Quarterback
Winner Why did the Detroit Lions make the playoffs last season? Because Matthew Stafford stayed healthy last year and he was able to use his arm strength and quick release to find Detroit’s big-play receivers. Stafford suffered a hand injury during the preseason but he should be ready for the opener.
Sam Bradford struggled with his health a year ago and could not match what he did as a rookie. He is healthy at the start of the season and he can depend on his mobility to buy time and throw accurately to his receivers.
Offense
Winner There is no stopping wide receiver Calvin Johnson when he is healthy and all systems are go for the start of the season. Nate Burleson is a fine complementary receiver and Tony Scheffler can get open and catch the ball. The running game is loaded with question marks.
New head coach Jeff Fisher is going to try to steady the ship in St. Louis and that means a heavy dose for veteran running back Steven Jackson. The receivers seem limited as rookie Brian Quick has size and strength but needs experience. Danny Amendola is a hard working hustler who is not a big-play threat.
Defense
Winner The Lions know they have talented players on defense, but discipline was an issue all season. Cliff Avril is a solid pass rusher while defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh can destroy the interior running game and crush the pocket. Middle linebacker Stephen Tullock had 111 tackles last year.
Fisher wanted to bring in Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator but Roger Goodell put the former Saints defensive coordinator on the sidelines because of his role in Bountygate. Fisher and veteran coach Dave McGinnis will look to Chris Long for a pass rush and dependable middle linebacker James Laurinaitis to make tackles.
Special Teams
Winner Jason Hanson has seemingly been kicking since the Reagan administration. While Hanson may have lost some range, he will not miss shorter kicks. Titus Young and Stefan Logan give the Lions a pair of solid return men.
The Rams were done in by special teams last year and Fisher is going with a new placekicker in Greg Zuelein to try to steady the field goal kicking. The return game is ordinary.

The Winner Is

Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders
Winner Lions
4 out of 4

Jim Schwartz has some problems controlling his emotions on Game Day, but he knows his team is moving in the right direction and he’s not going to put up with any slippage in the 2012 season opener. Look for an easy win by the Lions, who appear to have an overwhelming edge in talent.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

    The Colts are still alive for the playoffs while the Jets are just playing out the string.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

    The Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and look to keep pace with the Falcons as they match-up with a tough Chargers team.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Philly

2016 Guide To Holiday Mall Hours
What's New On The Nearby Slopes
Sign Up Now!

Listen Live