Rams Fall To Lions In NFC Wild Card Round, Ending 2023 Season
Jared Goff, Lions, Rams
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff calls out a play in the first half against the L.A. Rams at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2023.

It was expected to be a rebuilding season for the Los Angeles Rams, but they didn’t follow the script as they went 10-7 in the regular season to earn a spot in the postseason and a first round matchup with the Detroit Lions.

There obviously were plenty of storylines surrounding this first round matchups with the Rams and Lions completing the blockbuster trade a few years ago to swap quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff.

The storylines went out the window when the two teams took the field though and ultimately the Lions came out on top with a 24-23 victory, ending the Rams’ season.

This marked the Lions’ first home playoff game in over three decades and the crowd was definitely excited, making it tough on the Rams offense all night. The Lions offense was humming early, scoring on their first three drives to take a 21-10 lead.

The Rams offense had no trouble moving the ball to keep up with the Lions, although they stalled in the red zone a couple times, going away from Kyren Williams in the run game.

As usual though, Puka Nacua was incredible for the Rams and had a long touchdown, as did Tutu Atwell, to keep them in it. L.A. went into the halftime locker room trailing 21-17 after a half where neither team forced a turnover or punt.

Both defensive coordinators made good adjustments at halftime to slow down the high-powered offenses, and the game remained tight throughout the second half. Sean McVay had to burn a pair of timeouts in the third quarter, which wound up being costly later in the game.

The Rams battled and stayed in it throughout though despite some big hits by the Lions and some tough non-calls by the officials.

L.A. was driving late down one point and was right on the edge of field goal range when a holding penalty backed them up 10 yards. Instead of going for it on fourth-and-14 from the Detroit 44, McVay decided to punt it back to Detroit, trusting his defense to get one more stop.

They weren’t able to get that as Goff eventually found Amon-Ra St. Brown for a first down, allowing the Lions to drain out the rest of the clock and secure the victory.

Both quarterbacks were great in the game as neither team had a turnover. Stafford completed 25-of-36 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns while Goff completed 22-of-27 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown, getting revenge on the team that traded him.

Nacua capped off his historic rookie season by setting another record, hauling in nine catches for 181 yards and a touchdown, the most yards ever for a rookie in the posteason.

Up next for the Rams

Unfortunately, it will be the Lions moving on to the divisional round where they will host the winner of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game next week.

While the Rams’ season is over, there still is a lot to look forward to as they have cap space and all their draft picks. That should help them fill some holes and if they young guys continue to develop and get better, this team should be back in postseason contention next year.