The Detroit Lions downed the Rams, ending their playoff losing streak of nine games. The final score was 24-23 and the game came down to the final minute.
There were many big performances and storylines to this game, but the biggest has to be Detroit winning their first playoff game in 32 years in front of their home fans. It was a very electric atmosphere and emotional for many. They will be hosting another game next week as well.
The Lions win a playoff game for the first time in 32 years! pic.twitter.com/u09TFRvCUV— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2024
Lions' Top Performers
Jared Goff played an exceptional game. He threw for 277 yards and a touchdown and did not turn the ball over. He completed an impressive 81.5% of his pass attempts and managed the game very well.
Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds carried the receiving game. St. Brown had seven catches for 110 yards, averaging almost 16 yards a catch. Reynolds went for 80 yards on five receptions, averaging exactly 16 yards a catch. The rookie tight-end Sam LaPorta hauled in Goff’s only throwing touchdown but did not do much outside of that.
The Detroit backfield continued to have a big role in the Lions games, with both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs rushing for a touchdown. Montgomery added 57 yards on 14 carries, and Gibbs tallied 68 total yards.
Defensively, Aidan Hutchinson helped the Lions' defense win the game, recording 6 tackles. He had two sacks and five total quarterback hits, applying pressure to Matthew Stafford all night.
Rams' Top Performers
On the other side, the Rams also played a very impressive game but fell just short of a win. The Rams were not expected to even be in the playoff picture, but they exceeded expectations and almost took down the third seed.
Matthew Stafford played a very good game, throwing for 367 yards and two touchdowns on a nearly 70% completion percentage. This was Stafford’s first game back in Detroit since being traded away, and the fans let him hear it, booing him upon entry.
Rookie Receiver Puka Nacua played an amazing game tonight and made his final case to win the NFL Rookie of the Year award. He set a playoff record for most receiving yards as a rookie, going for 181 yards on nine receptions. He also hauled in a deep touchdown early in the second quarter.
Puka Nacua rookie records this season:— PFF (@PFF) January 15, 2024
✅ Most receptions in a season
✅ Most receiving yards in a season
✅ Most receiving yards in a playoff game pic.twitter.com/nG5c30aYhc
On Defense, Rams Linebacker Ernest Jones played a very good game, making many key plays to keep the Rams in it. He recorded nine total tackles. He also had two sacks and forced a fumble, but the fumble was not recovered by the Rams.
Conclusion and Future Playoffs
The party in Detroit will go on all night but will have to end shortly as they have to prepare to host another playoff game next week. They will be hosting the winner of the Buccaneers vs. Eagles Matchup taking place Monday, which will both be tough matchups. The Lions, however, are one of the best teams in the league already and will look to stay hot and make a much-needed playoff run.
Now that the streak is finally over, Detroit can focus on starting a new playoff streak, this time winning games and getting to the Super Bowl. If the Lions can get Jared Goff to play like he did tonight, they will be nearly impossible to beat for the rest of the postseason.
DIVISIONAL ROUND SCHEDULE:— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 15, 2024
4:30 ET: Texans at Ravens or Chiefs
8:00 ET: Packers at 49ers
3:00 ET: Eagles/Bucs at Lions
6:30 ET: KC at BUF or PIT at BAL https://t.co/bvquF2knoO