Sunday’s wild-card spherical win got here on the expense of former Lions (now Rams) QB Matthew Stafford in his return to Detroit. Each groups got here out firing within the first half with the Lions carrying a 21-17 lead into halftime.
The Lions entered the playoffs because the No. 3 seed and can play the winner of the “Monday Night time Soccer” matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:15 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN/ESPN+) within the divisional spherical subsequent weekend.
For the primary time in three a long time, the Lions hosted a house playoff recreation in Detroit, and the sold-out ambiance was electrical. With a plethora of ex-players and celebrities cheering them on, the Lions held off the Rams to finish the NFL’s longest energetic playoff victory drought. They hadn’t received a playoff recreation since defeating the Dallas Cowboys within the 1991 divisional spherical.
Promising pattern: Defensive finish Aidan Hutchinson continued his stellar play. Hutchinson ended the common season with 5 sacks within the closing two video games and put loads of strain on Stafford, recording two sacks and 4 QB hits.
Largest gap within the recreation plan: Defensively, the secondary was picked aside by Stafford within the first half. Throughout the common season, the Lions allowed seven passing TDs of 25-plus air yards, the second most behind the Washington Commanders (11). On Sunday they gave up two to the Rams. Stafford threw a 50-yard landing cross to receiver Puka Nacua and a 38-yard landing to receiver Tutu Atwell.
QB breakdown: Chants of “Jared Goff” echoed all through the constructing forward of the kickoff because the followers gave him his respect previous to going through the quarterback (Stafford) he was traded for in 2021. Via the primary two drives of the sport, Goff was 9-of-9 and had not been pressured nor left the pocket whereas averaging 5.3 air yards per try. Goff would finish the evening with 277 passing yards, whereas going 22-for-27 with a landing. — Eric Woodyard
Subsequent recreation: vs. winner of Eagles/Buccaneers (3 p.m. ET, Sunday, Jan. 21)
Within the week main as much as the sport, Stafford stated a number of instances that whereas he was excited to return to Ford Area, he was most excited that the Rams had been enjoying a playoff recreation of any type after most exterior of the constructing did not assume they’d an opportunity to make the postseason.
Stafford’s return to Detroit — his first recreation at Ford Area since he was traded to the Rams — didn’t have a fairytale ending for the Rams quarterback, who didn’t throw a landing within the second half.
Stafford accomplished 25 of 36 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns with a passer score of 120.9 in a recreation the Rams by no means led.
Silver lining: The Rams continued to get manufacturing out of rookie fifth-round decide Puka Nacua, who had 9 catches for 181 yards and a landing. Nacua set the file for many receiving yards by a rookie in NFL playoff historical past, based on ESPN Stats & Data.
Troubling pattern: The Rams had been held and not using a landing in three pink zone journeys towards the Lions, going 0-for within the pink zone in a recreation for the primary time this season.
Largest gap within the recreation plan: Goff was an ideal 22-of-22 for 277 yards and a landing when he was not pressured. That’s the most such makes an attempt with out an incompletion in a playoff begin since ESPN started monitoring pressures in 2009. On the flip facet, Goff was 0-of-5 with three sacks when pressured. These eight dropbacks below strain and not using a completion are tied for Goff’s profession excessive. — Sarah Barshop