The Detroit Lions' long-awaited home playoff game will come to fruition in a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
Last time out: Detroit closed out the regular season with a 30-20 win over Minnesota. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had a monster seven-catch, 144-yard performance. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions leaned on Goff in a game where they managed just 70 yards on the ground.
The Vikings nearly hit 500 yards of total offense but failed to turn it into points. The Lions found success getting to the quarterback, as they recorded four sacks and 15 quarterback hits. Minnesota was held to just two of 13 on third down and failed to convert their one opportunity in the red zone. Late interceptions from Cam Sutton and C.J. Gardner-Johnson sealed the Lions' win.
With a playoff spot already secured, the Rams and their opponent (49ers) each sat many of their starters. The Rams ended up winning a narrow 21-20 contest. Filling in for quarterback Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another. Wentz utilized his legs often, finishing as the team's leading rusher with 56 yards on 17 attempts.
Defensive halftime adjustments resulted in a second-half shutout for Los Angeles. A Desjuan Johnson forced fumble and Byron Young recovery ended any comeback attempt from San Francisco.
Comparison: For the sixth time this season the Lions will be featured in primetime. Detroit is 4-1 in their previous night games with their only loss at Dallas in the controversial two-point conversion game. Los Angeles has only been featured twice in primetime, and are 1-1.
Matchups: Sunday night's game has all the potential for a shootout. The Rams hold the eighth ranked scoring offense and seventh ranked total offense in the league. They find themselves up against a Detroit defense ranked 23rd in points allowed per game and 19th in total defense. Meanwhile, Detroit's offense, which is fifth in scoring and third in total offense, takes on a Los Angeles defense ranked 19th in points allowed and 20th in total defense.
In their last meeting: Goff's return to Los Angeles ended in a 28-19 defeat. That 2021 Rams team went on to win the Super Bowl.
The overall series: Los Angeles holds a 45-41-1 edge over the Lions. Since the franchise moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the two teams have met just three times with the Rams taking two of those contests.
Matchup odds: ESPN Analytics favors Detroit with a 53.9 percent chance to win.
Here are 5 Rams storylines to follow heading into Sunday's matchup:
1. Matthew Stafford ready to experience whatever reception awaits him in Detroit
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford opens up about returning to Detroit for the first time since being traded in 2021 … READ MORE
2. Sean McVay on Matthew Stafford facing Lions in Detroit, approach with players going through playoff run for first time
Head coach Sean McVay speaks with the media on Stafford's return to Detroit, his past relationship with Goff, and the challenging environment Ford Field presents ... WATCH
3. Playoff opener chance to return home to Detroit for Rams' Alaric Jackson and Desjuan Johnson
For offensive lineman Alaric Jackson and defensive end Desjuan Johnson Sunday's game is a homecoming ... READ MORE
4. Aaron Donald on relationship with Lions QB Jared Goff, impressions of Detroit's OL
Defensive lineman Aaron Donald talks with media about facing former teammate Jared Goff and shares his thoughts on the Lions' offensive line ... WATCH
5. Cooper Kupp on Jared Goff's time with Lions, preparing for loud environment at Ford Field
Wide receiver Cooper Kupp discusses what he's seen from Lions' Jared Goff, how he's feeling after sitting out Week 18, and the mentality of the team going into the playoffs ... WATCH
View photos of the starters for the Los Angeles Rams.