INGLEWOOD, California – Matthew Stafford has known since the NFL schedule was released more than five months ago that a showdown against the Detroit Lions, his former 12-season team, was looming. However, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback said it wasn’t something he paid much attention to.
However, on Sunday, after the Rams defeated the Lions 28-17, Stafford expressed his relief that he could finally leave the meeting behind.
“Am I happy it’s over? Yes,” said Stafford, who applied to the Lions owners for a trade after last season. “I have a lot of good friends, I have a lot of people that I care about who is on that team or in that city and I’m glad I’m done with this one. I can put the stories aside and go out and play soccer for the rest of the year and just enjoy it. “
Rams coach Sean McVay and Goff may also put the saga that has surrounded their relationship behind them following the successful trade last January that brought Stafford to Los Angeles and sent Goff, two first-round picks and one third-round pick. to Detroit.
After shaking hands with Lions coach Dan Campbell after the game, McVay searched through a crowd of players before finally locating Goff, his quarterback for four seasons, and the two hugged.
McVay initially refused to share what was said, but eventually relented. “I said, ‘Good job, I’ll get back to you a bit later.’
Goff sidestepped a similar question posed about his interaction with McVay and responded more generally about seeing former teammates.
“Just a bunch of guys saying a good job and me echoing that,” Goff said. “That’s pretty typical post-game, just ‘good job’ and ‘thank you.’ That was it.”
The Rams showed a tribute video to Goff before kickoff, thanking the former No. 1 pick for his five seasons in Los Angeles that included two division titles, an NFC championship and a Super Bowl appearance.
With the victory, the Rams improved to 6-1 and the Lions fell to 0-7 to remain the only winless team in the NFL.
The day began on somewhat emotional terms for Stafford, as the often stoic quarterback described his arrival at SoFi Stadium amid a scene of Detroit fans wearing his No. 9 Lions jersey.
“It was a humbling experience. It was really nice to see him,” Stafford said. “I thought it was cool, I really appreciate it. I’ve said it a ton of times and I really mean it: I loved my time there.”
Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp was among the Detroit staff Stafford greeted before the game.
Rams and Lions fans, many of whom were among the announced crowd of over 70,540, erupted in cheers in the second quarter as Stafford completed a 2-yard pass to receiver Cooper Kupp and the stadium announcer congratulated Stafford on complete his 300th career touchdown. Approve.
Stafford becomes the thirteenth quarterback in NFL history to reach the milestone, being the fourth youngest at the time behind Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Brett Favre. Stafford also tied with John Elway for the 12th most touchdown passes in NFL history.
“It means a little,” Stafford said, smiling, when asked what it meant to be in the same realm as Elway. “I grew up watching John and it was huge. I wore the number 7 in high school and college because of John and was a huge fan of the way he played the game, the way he threw the ball, all of that. It’s pretty Great, I’m sure I’ll appreciate it more when I’m done playing, but on the road it’s good to do it with a win. “
Despite watching most of the first quarter off the bench after a series of special teams errors, Stafford finished with 28 of 41 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns.
The Lions closed as 16.5-point underdogs entering the game, but kept it surprisingly competitive behind three special teams plays, including a recovered side kick and two false punts that led to conversions. In fact, the Lions entered the fourth quarter with a 19-17 lead and were in position for a touchdown from the lead with 5:03 left until defensive lineman Aaron Donald hit Goff as he threw a pass into the zone. Score that cornerback. Jalen Ramsey hung up. The Rams kicked a field goal on subsequent possession to secure the victory.
Detroit failed to score in five trips to the red zone. Goff completed 22 of 36 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.
The Lions have lost two games this season on field goals of more than 50 yards in the final second and now they have lost despite playing close to a Super Bowl-hoping Rams team along the way.
Goff said his record does not reflect his effort.
“We’re way better than our record shows. Ultimately, in this league that doesn’t matter,” Goff said. “It’s not really like that. I can say it for as long as I want, but until we win some games, we can’t prove it.”