The Detroit Lions next opponent for the 1st ever postseason game at Ford Field is none other than Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams
The Detroit Lions concluded a remarkable season by claiming the division championship, a feat unseen in 30 years. However, the true challenge lies ahead as Ford Field prepares to host its inaugural playoff game since opening in 2002. In a twist of fate, Detroit's opponent for this historic matchup will be none other than the Los Angeles Rams, led by former franchise quarterback and fan favorite, Matthew Stafford.
The Lions defeated the Vikings to close out the season
Detroit concluded the regular season with a 30-20 victory over the Vikings, marking their second win against them in three weeks. Amon-Ra St. Brown delivered an outstanding performance, securing seven passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, the triumph was marred by injuries to tight end Sam LaPorta and wide receiver Kalif Raymond, both of whom did not return to the game.
Matthew Stafford returns to Ford Field as the enemy
The Rams, led by Stafford, concluded their season with a record of 10 wins and seven losses, securing a playoff spot. In their recent match against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium, Carson Wentz started for the Rams instead of Stafford. Wentz completed 17 of 24 passes for 163 yards, notching two touchdowns along with an interception.
Under Stafford, the Rams' offensive attack was in the top 10 in the NFL, finishing 7th overall in the League with an average of 365.6 total yards per game. In terms of passing, the Rams were ranked 8th in the NFL with an average of 244.6 yards per game, while their ground attack fell just outside the top 10 with an average of 121.0 yards per game.
The Rams' defense didn't fare as well this season, finishing 19th overall in the NFL by allowing an average of 340.3 yards per game.
Stafford will have no shortage of weapons in his return to Ford Field, as Cooper Kupp, Kyren Williams, and Puka Nacua have all had productive seasons for the Rams. He himself finished the year by racking up a total of 3,965 yards along with 24 touchdowns (tied for 10th in the NFL).
This game will also have significant meaning for Jared Goff, whom the Lions acquired in the trade with the Rams for Stafford. As you remember, Goff led the Rams to Super Bowl LIII, where they lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Lions defeated the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field today to close out the regular season with 12 wins and 5 losses
- They soon learned their opponent in the upcoming NFL postseason, as former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams will be coming to town
- This will mark Stafford's first game back at Ford Field since being traded in January of 2021 to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff
Bottom Line: Bring on Matthew Stafford
Fans may not have envisioned that Stafford's first game back at Ford Field wearing an opponent's colors would be in the form of the very 1st playoff game at the venue, but that happens to be the case.
The Lions and Rams will kick off from Ford Field next Sunday night starting at 8:15 PM EST. And you can bet that the venue will be absolutely rocking in what will be one of the all-time great playoff atmospheres to take in. The game will be broadcast on NBC, with local radio coverage on 97.1 The Ticket.