Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
The Detroit Lions won their first postseason game since 1991 on Sunday when Jared Goff, the former quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams, led Detroit past Matthew Stafford and L.A. in a thrilling primetime battle.
The Rams swapped Goff for Stafford prior to the 2021 season and went on to win the Super Bowl the following year. But it now seems that the trade was a true win-win, as Goff has led the Lions where no quarterback has brought them in 32 years: the Divisional Round.
It was a long and winding road for the Lions to get to this point, though. They finished below .500 for four consecutive years from 2018-21 before finally making some noise in 2022. Their 9-8 record nearly earned them a postseason spot, but they missed out via a tiebreaker. Now, Goff prepares to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Stafford dedicated the first 12 years of his career to the Lions franchise and is the team’s leader in just about every major passing category. He led the Lions to the postseason three times, but was unable to get over the hump of the Wild Card round.
In a true passing of the torch moment, Stafford spoke with Goff on the field after the Lions 24-23 win over the Rams and gave him some encouragement, via the NFL:
Stafford to Goff after an incredible playoff game…
— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2024
Stafford and Goff show an immense amount of mutual respect following an incredible outing from both quarterbacks. Both players posted passer ratings of above 120 and QB ratings above 74, with Stafford throwing for 367 yards and two touchdowns while Goff tossed 274 yards with one touchdown.
And while the Rams’ cinderella story continuing could have been an incredible story line for the postseason, the Lions are one of the NFL’s best stories this season. Them finally getting over the postseason win hump behind Goff and a hugely likable roster makes them an easy team to root for, even for Stafford and the Rams.
Sean McVay happy for Jared Goff
After the Rams’ loss to the Lions, Rams head coach Sean McVay praised Goff, calling his performance efficient and insisting he is happy for the former Rams signal caller.
“Jared was really efficient. You can see the command he has,” McVay said. “I think there’s a lot made of it, but I’m really happy for him. Obviously we wanted to come away with the win, but he’s done a great job. I think the grit, the resilience, and the way he’s done his thing here over the last three years, I’m happy for Jared, and I certainly am appreciative of the four years we had together.”
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