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O'HARA: What we learned from the Wild Card Round

The Detroit Lions have built a winning team with enough of the traditional elements in place to guarantee they can play with any team in the league.

Offense, defense, special teams – the Lions are well stocked at most position groups.

They also have depth at a key intangible – trust.

The players have trust in the coaching staff. The coaching staff has trust in the players. And the players have trust in each other.

That's what we learned from the Lions' performance in Sunday's 24-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams Sunday in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.

From the moment they scored the game's first touchdown to take a 7-0 lead that they never relinquished until they sealed the victory with quarterback Jared Goff's pass to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth quarter that clinched the victory, the Lions never wavered.

It was a team effort in not succumbing to any of the pressure – whether it was Goff facing comparisons of former Lions QB Matthew Stafford, to rookie tight end Sam LaPorta playing with a knee injury, to the Lions finishing off the game in style.

We start with head coach Dan Campbell for a lesson in how Goff and others dealt with the pressure.

Goff completed 22 of 27 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown.

"I expected that out of him," Campbell said. "If anything it probably felt a little special when you hear it every once in a while.

"I wouldn't think it would make him tight. If anything, it probably gave him a little boost."

Goff made it a football game, not a one-on-one vs. Stafford.

"I just kept going back to what this game was about," Goff said. "It was about us. It was not about them. It was not about me. It was not about my history there. It wasn't about anyone on their team or any coaches.

"It was about us – about the 53 in this locker room."

Player support: Defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson had two sacks in another strong performance. He had some strong words in support of Goff after the game.

"We knew Jared had a lot on his plate this week," Hutchinson said. "I thought he handled it with a lot of grace. He handled it like a true professional.

"It shows the kind of guy he is. He played his butt off today. He showed Detroit what he's made of."

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

LaPorta support: LaPorta played despite a knee injury sustained in the previous week's game against the Vikings.

LaPorta played 45 of the 55 offensive snaps. He had three receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown.

Players respect teammates playing through injuries, and LaPorta's teammates were well aware of what he went through to get ready to play.

"He battled," Goff said. "I don't know if people quite know how badly he was hurting."

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