INGLEWOOD – At some point all these tough losses will turn into a win for the Detroit Lions. Today wasn't that day unfortunately.
Posted as 16.5-point underdogs playing in Los Angeles against an explosive Rams team, the Lions played them toe-to-toe and had a chance to take the lead with less than five minutes left, but a Jalen Ramsey interception of Jared Goff in the Rams end zone ended the comeback bid as Los Angeles went on to win 28-19.
The game was closer than the final score would indicate, but it's another loss for this young Lions football team, who drops to 0-7 on the year. While these losses are tough, it proves once again there's no quit in this team, and hopefully they'll be better for it down the line.
Detroit jumped out to a 10-0 lead thanks to a big play by running back D’Andre Swift and a couple trick plays on special teams.
The Lions got off to a terrific start scoring a touchdown on a 63-yard screen pass from Goff to Swift on their opening drive. It was a terrific call by offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn on a Rams blitz, with guard Jonah Jackson and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown making nice blocks down field to spring Swift.
Dan Campbell and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp opened their bag of tricks after that.
Following the Swift touchdown, the Lions went for the onside kick and safety Tracy Walker recovered it. Detroit failed to pick up a first down following the onside kick, but punter Jack Fox executed a perfect fake punt with a good throw to cornerback Bobby Price for the first down. That set up a 37-yard Austin Seibert field goal to give the Lions a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Detroit led 13-3 midway through the second quarter when Stafford found wide receiver Van Jefferson for an 11-yard scoring strike to trim the Detroit lead to 13-10.
The Rams took their first lead of the game late in the second quarter on Stafford's second touchdown pass of the game, this one a two yarder to wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
Goff was able to execute the two-minute offense to perfection to end the half trailing 17-16 as the Lions added a late Seibert field goal.
Detroit retook the lead 19-17 on Seibert's fourth field goal of the game late in the third quarter, but Stafford answered with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kupp, and added a two-point pass to wide receiver Robert Woods to retake the lead 25-19.
Detroit got down to the LA 12-yard line with five minutes to play, but Ramsey stepped in front of a Goff pass in the end zone intended for tight end T.J. Hockenson, and the Rams were able to move the ball down the field and ice the game with a 47-yard field goal with 58 seconds left.
Goff's second interception of the game in the final minute ended the contest.
Detroit had 415 yards of total offense in the game, and Swift ended with 144 scrimmage yards and a touchdown.
Wide receiver Kalif Raymond also had a nice game with six receptions for 115 yards.
QB comparison: Goff, in his first return to Los Angeles since being traded from the Rams this offseason, finished 22-of-36 passing for 268 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions to finish with a 70.1 passer rating.
Stafford completed 28 of his 41 pass attempts for 334 yards and three touchdowns. He was really sharp, finishing with a 117.3 passer rating. With the win, Stafford's now beaten all 32 teams in the NFL.
Key moment: The last play of the third quarter was a killer for the Lions. Leading 19-17 and having the Rams in a 3rd and 12 at the Rams' 22-yard line, Stafford hit Kupp for a 59-yard gain down to the Lions' 19-yard line.
Lions nickel cornerback AJ Parker left the game two plays prior after injuring his shoulder making a tackle. Daryl Worley replaced Parker, and Stafford went after him the first chance he got. Worley trailed Kupp on the long completion.
The Rams scored a touchdown four plays later when Kupp beat Worley again and added the two-point conversion to make it 25-19.
Injury report: Outside linebacker Trey Flowers left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury, but he did return.
Also leaving in the third quarter was Parker, who injured a shoulder making a tackle. Parker did not return.
Next week: vs. Philadelphia (2-5)