The Los Angeles Rams hung in and came away with a 28-19 victory against the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday. Stafford was able to carve a part his old team to lead the Rams to a 6-1 start to the season despite the Lions using all the tricks in their playbook. Jared Goff looked improve from previous games but the Rams defense made the crucial plays when they needed them most. Here is how Los Angeles got the victory.
The Lions got to a fast start after a huge play on a screen from Jared Goff to DeAndre Swift that went for 63 yards. On a third-and-9 LA brought the house on an all-out blitz and Detroit had the perfect play call to put the first points on the board.
Following the touchdown the Lions caught LA off-guard and successfully converted an onside kick that set them up at their own 47 yard line.
Goff could not get anything going for his team following the stolen possession and appeared to have gone three-and-out. “Appeared” because after a fake kickoff they then attempted a fake punt on fourth down and gained just enough for the first down. After a 63 yard touchdown, a fake kickoff, and a fake punt the Lions ended the crazy series of events with a field goal.
Stafford took to the field for the first time of the game and led his team 67 yards to the Detroit 15 yard line. On third-and-4 Stafford looked to have Darrell Henderson open for a moment for the touchdown but a Lions defender smartly got in the running back’s way and the ball harmlessly fell to the turf. LA settled for the field goal.
Score: Rams 3, Lions 10
It took a pass interference call on a deep strike to Van Jefferson to ignite a spark for the Rams offense on their second drive of the game. After the 32 yard penalty and a nifty 11 yard reception by Kupp the Rams got their first touchdown of the game with a strike from Stafford to Jefferson to the left side of the end zone.
The Lions stalled on their next drive and were forced to punt the ball for the first time of the game. DeSean Jackson was lined up as punt returner but was not given a chance to return on a short kick. Stafford found big gains of 27 yards and 22 yards to Kupp and Robert Woods on the drive that would eventually get his team into the red zone. At the two yard line Stafford connected with Kupp on a short pass for the touchdown. The score will go in the history books as Stafford’s 300th touchdown pass in his career—the seventh fastest player to ever do so.
Score: Rams 17, Lions 16
The first half of the third quarter will be defined by good defensive play and continued trickery from the Lions. On the Rams first series of the second half Stafford took hard hits as the offense was forced to punt the ball. Detroit could not get much going either and Goff was sacked twice. On fourth-and-8 the Lions lined up in punt formation but on the snap sent the ball to C.J. Moore who took it 28 yards for the first down. Following the first down the Lions could not convert a fourth down try and turned the ball over on downs.
Detroit would make their own fourth down stop when defender Julian Okwara batted a pass to Tyler Higbee out of the reach of the tight end. With good field position the Lions marched down the field with a 37 yard pass to Kalif Raymond. On the LA 13 Goff looked to have an easy touchdown pass to DeAndre Swift but missed the speedy running back due to a miscommunication between the two. The Lions settled for a field goal and the lead with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
Score: Rams 17, Lions 19
With one of the biggest upsets in the midst of Sunday’s game Stafford took over. He found Kupp on a 59 yard field goal to set the Rams up on the 22 yard line. Then on a third-and-10 found Higbee for a gain of 14. It would only take one more pass to find then end zone as Stafford found Kupp in motion on a five yard touchdown pass, his third touchdown pass of the game and Kupp’s second on the day. A two-point conversion try was then successful by Robert Woods to give the Rams the lead by six.
The Lions then put together a methodical time-killing drive that put them in the red zone and a chance at the lead. After converting four out of four third downs Jared Goff took a snap at the Rams twelve yard line and threw a strike into the end zone looking for six but instead found Jalen Ramsey who returned it for 25 yards. Aaron Donald had quick pressure in the middle of the line that caused Goff’s errant throw.
With a chance to put away the game and end any quiet any whispers of an upset Stafford took the field at the 23 yard line. Despite starting the drive quick with an 18 yard reception to Woods the Lions would show their grit and make a third down stop. The offense did enough, however, as it set up a 47 yard field goal from Matt Gay which effectively secured the win in a close one for the Rams.
Score: Rams 28, Lions 19