Jared Goff, Lions defeat Rams 24-23, advance to divisional round

Jared Goff, Lions defeat Rams 24-23, advance to divisional round

The Lions got it done.

After an offensive onslaught in the first half where each team scored on its first three possessions, Detroit was able to hold on in a tight fourth quarter to defeat the Rams 24-23 in Sunday's wild card matchup.

The Lions went into halftime up 21-17 and scored a 54-yard field goal on their first drive of the third quarter. But after that, the offense went cold, punting twice to give the Rams a chance to take the lead.

But Los Angeles had trouble in the red zone as it has all season. When the Rams had third-and-8 at the Detroit 11, Matthew Stafford’s pass to Cooper Kupp fell incomplete. L.A. had to settle for a 29-yard field goal to narrow Detroit’s lead to one.

Then on the Rams’ next drive, the Rob Havenstein was flagged for holding on third-and-4 from the Detroit 34. Sensational rookie receiver Puka Nacua got the target on third-and-14 and appeared to be held when the pass came in but no flag was thrown as the ball fell incomplete.

That was Los Angeles’ last chance, as the team punted back to Detroit and the Lions didn’t give the ball back.

Coming out of the two-minute warning, Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown with an 11-yard pass over the middle to get a game-sealing first down.

That gave the Lions their first postseason victory since the 1991 postseason when they went to the conference championship.

The Rams amassed 425 yards and averaged 7.7 yards per play. But the offense was 0-of-3 in the red zone while the Lions were 3-of-3. That was the clear difference in the game.

Goff finished 22-of-27 for 277 yards with one touchdown. He had a fumble in the first half but the Lions recovered it. St. Brown caught seven passes for 110 yards to help pace an offense that finished with 334 yards and 23 first downs.

Nacua set a rookie record for a playoff game with 181 yards receiving on nine catches. He had a 50-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Stafford was also on point throughout his return to Detroit, completing 25-of-36 passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The game featured no turnovers from either team.

Aidan Hutchinson finished with 2.0 sacks to lead Detroit.

With the Cowboys' loss to the Packers earlier on Sunday, the Lions will stay home next week to take on the winner of Eagles/Buccaneers on Monday night.