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Who has more on the line Sunday: Matthew Stafford or Jared Goff?

The Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions come into Sunday’s wild-card game in very different situations. The Lions began the year with high expectations, even drawing the season-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 – a game they won at Arrowhead. The Rams, on the other hand, were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL by many.

Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff have been the leaders of each team all season, but which one has more on the line this Sunday? It’s a tough call but given the pre-season expectations for each team, as well as each quarterback’s past accomplishments, Goff seems to have more riding on this game than Stafford.

For one, Goff has a chance to stick it to his former team – as well as his former head coach, Sean McVay, who spearheaded the decision to trade Goff for Stafford. Goff was viewed as the throw-in piece of that trade three years ago, but he’s turned into a long-term solution at quarterback for the Lions.

With a win on Sunday, Goff can prove to the Rams and McVay that he didn’t suddenly become a below-average quarterback after a couple of tough seasons in Los Angeles. It would remind the Rams of what they traded away, not that they have an ounce of buyer’s remorse after winning a Super Bowl in Year 1 of the Stafford era.

Additionally, it gives him a chance to continue chasing what he came so close to achieving five years ago: winning a ring. Stafford and McVay won one in their first season together, which Goff probably wasn’t overly happy to see. No would blame him for being mad about seeing his former team and his replacement win a championship right after being dumped by Los Angeles.

In order for Goff to keep his Lions alive in their pursuit of a Super Bowl, he has to go through the team that didn’t think he was good enough to get them to the pinnacle of the sport. He came close, taking the Rams to the Super Bowl in 2018, but he couldn’t get them over the top the way Stafford did.

There’s no doubt Stafford has a lot riding on this game, too. If he leads the Rams to another title, it’ll bolster his Hall of Fame resume. He’s not a lock for Canton right now but if he can add another ring to his finger, along with the eye-popping numbers he’s put up in his career, his case for the Hall of Fame gets considerably better.

That being said, there’s still less pressure on Stafford. He and the Rams are playing with house money in a season that was viewed as a year to rebuild. Few people expected the Rams to get even this far, and while they won’t be satisfied with simply making the playoffs, reaching the divisional round will be a huge accomplishment for one of the youngest rosters in football.

There’s the added bonus of Stafford potentially beating his former team and dragging out the Lions’ playoff victory drought even longer, but he has far less to prove than Goff.

Stafford is a Super Bowl champion. Goff is the guy the Rams broke up with because they found someone better.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire