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NOTEBOOK: Lions to host winner of Eagles-Bucs for Divisional Round

Football season continues in Detroit.

Ford Field will open its gates at least one more time this season as the Lions will host either Philadelphia or Tampa Bay next Sunday afternoon at Ford Field in the Divisional Round of the playoffs at 3 p.m.

They get that honor for the first time since 1991 after defeating the Los Angeles Rams Sunday night, 24-23, in an entertaining Wild Card matchup between the No. 3 seed Lions and No. 6 seed Rams. The Lions got a complete team win to beat the Rams with their offense getting the lead early and sealing it late, their defense forcing some key red zone and late-game stops, and their special teams playing perfect.

And with No. 7 seed Green Bay beating the No. 2 seed Dallas Cowboys at home Sunday afternoon, Detroit now gets to host the winner of Monday night's matchup between the No. 4 Buccaneers (9-8) and No. 5 Eagles (11-6) in Tampa. Green Bay will head to San Francisco to play the No. 1 seed 49ers in the other NFC semifinal matchup.

"I had no preference there if we had to go to Dallas, great, now we get a home game, even better," Lions quarterback Jared Goff said after the game. "But yeah, once (Green Bay) got out to that early lead, you're like, 'Alright, we win this game, we get another one at home.' And yeah, we're excited."

Ford Field was such a home-field advantage for the Lions Sunday and next week is expected to be the same.


It was a grind all week for rookie tight end Sam LaPorta to get the knee injury he suffered last week in the win over Minnesota to a point where he could play and impact the game.

He had a critical 2-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter on a 4th & 1 play at the 2-yard line.

"Yeah, a ton," Goff said of the appreciation he has for LaPorta for what he went through. "That dude's a stud, and I told him that all week. And he battled. I don't know if people quite know how badly he was hurting throughout the week to get himself ready to go for that game, takes a lot of guts, takes a lot of strength and courage. And he helped us today. He really did. And he's a hell of a player."

LaPorta finished with three receptions for just 14 yards but had the touchdown and was really good blocking in the run game all night. Hopefully another week of rehab makes the knee feel even better next week.


There's something about crunch time and the playoff push that has defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson playing some of the best football of his career.

Hutchinson recorded two sacks, five quarterback hits, six tackles and two tackles for loss vs. the Rams. He's now got 7.0 sacks, nine tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits in the last three games.

"I feed off late in the season," Hutchinson said. "It's playoff time. I've been waiting for my opportunity in the playoffs and just want to make the most of every opportunity I get."

View photos from the Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions Wild Card game at Ford Field on Sunday, Jan. 14 in Detroit, MI.


  • Jack Fox only punted three times Sunday, but they were three important punts Detroit needed to flip momentum. On the night, Fox averaged 49.3 yards per punt. His three punts pinned the Rams at their own 10, 10 and 8-yard lines.
  • Rookies Jahmyr Gibbs and LaPorta had touchdowns Sunday. The only other time two rookies produced touchdowns in a playoff game for Detroit was on Dec. 29, 1957, with Terry Barr and Steve Junker.

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