It’s only fitting for Matthew Stafford to face Lions in their first home playoff game since 1993

It’s been 30 years since the Detroit Lions hosted a playoff game. Matthew Stafford played three postseason games as a member of the Lions during his 12-year tenure, but he never had the chance to play a postseason game in front of the home crowd in Detroit.

On Sunday night, he’ll get that opportunity, but this time as the opposing quarterback facing the Lions.

Fitting, isn’t it?

Stafford was far from a failure with the Lions, often being let down by the lack of a running game and defense. He put up huge numbers and though he led them to the playoffs three times, he never won a division title. Because of that, many saw his Lions tenure as a disappointment.

Stafford was supposed to be the Lions’ savior after coming aboard as the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, but the lack of postseason appearances and the absence of a win left a sour taste in the mouths of fans.

It’s hard to believe that 15 years after being drafted by the Lions first overall, Stafford will get to play in Detroit’s first home playoff game since 1993 – and have a chance to prevent them from winning their first postseason game period since the 1991 season.

Stafford obviously can’t wait for this opportunity and he knows Ford Field is going to be as loud as it’s ever been.

“The opportunity happens to be in Detroit, which is fun for me on a personal level,” Stafford said after Sunday’s game. “We got some other guys on our team that are from the city too, which is really cool. I know it’s gonna be rocking there. Haven’t had a playoff game there in about 30 years or whatever it is, so it will be a great atmosphere, it will be a tough task for us, but definitely excited.”

Stafford requested a trade following the 2020 season and the Lions granted him his wish, splitting in amicable fashion by sending him to the Rams for draft picks and Jared Goff. Stafford poured a little salt in the wound for Detroit by leading the Rams to a Super Bowl title in his first season in Los Angeles after going 12 years without a single postseason victory in Detroit.

Lions fans still have a ton of respect and appreciation for Stafford and should welcome him with open arms on Sunday night when he returns to Ford Field for the first time since the trade, but Detroit will try to simultaneously spoil that return by beating the Rams in the wild-card round.

It’s going to be a battle between two of the hottest teams in the NFC and the script-writers couldn’t have put together a better storybook matchup in the first round of the playoffs.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire