Lions edge Rams, break decades-long playoff win drought


January 15, 2024 – 12:45 AM EST

Footballs and a Detroit Lions helmet before a 2024 NFC wild card game between the Lions and Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Goff passed for 277 yards and a touchdown as the host Detroit Lions won their first postseason game in over 30 years by holding off the Los Angeles Rams, 24-23, on Sunday night.


David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for touchdowns for the NFC North Division winners in their opening-round victory. Amon-Ra St. Brown caught seven passes for 110 yards for the Lions, whose last playoff win came on Jan. 5, 1992, against Dallas.

“Just really proud of him and what he means to us,” Detroit coach Dan Campbell said of Goff. “He’s one of the reasons that we won this division and he’s another reason why we just won our first playoff game here in 30 years. What a stud.”

The Lions (13-5) will host the winner of Monday’s Philadelphia-Tampa Bay game in the conference semifinals next weekend.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, playing in Detroit for the first time since the Lions traded him in March 2021, passed for 367 yards and two touchdowns. Puka Nacua caught nine passes for 181 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (10-8). Kyren Williams added 61 yards on 13 carries.

“I wouldn’t want anyone else as our quarterback other than Matthew Stafford,” Los Angeles coach Sean McVay said. “We would of never been in this situation without Matthew Stafford’s leadership, his guidance, his resilience — he was one of the main catalysts for what was right about this football team.”

The Lions scored on their first three possessions and led 21-17 at halftime.

Goff connected on all five of his pass attempts on the Lions’ first drive. Montgomery finished it off with a 1-yard plunge.

Brett Maher kicked a 24-yard field goal on Los Angeles’ first possession.

Goff also completed all four of his throws on Detroit’s second drive. Gibbs scored the touchdown with a 10-yard run up the middle.

The Rams cut Detroit’s advantage to 14-10 on Stafford’s 50-yard, third-down touchdown pass to Nacua.

Detroit regained an 11-point lead midway through the second quarter. Goff hooked up with Sam LaPorta from 2 yards out on 4th-and-1 for the touchdown.

Stafford fired a 38-yard scoring pass to Tutu Atwell, who beat one-on-one coverage, with 4:02 remaining in the half.

Michael Badgley nailed a 54-yard field goal with 8:41 left in the third quarter to give the Lions a 24-17 lead.

Maher made a 27-yard field goal later in the quarter to pull the Rams within four points. He nailed a 29-yarder with 8:10 remaining to cut Detroit’s lead to 24-23.

Following a Lions three-and-out, the next Rams’ possession stalled in Detroit territory. After Los Angeles punted, the Lions then picked up two first downs to run out the clock.

“From the moment I got here, you imagine getting that playoff win and having this type of atmosphere in front of our home crowd,” Goff said. “Being able to sit on the ball like that and finish it out, yeah, it kind of all hit me there.”

–Field Level Media

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