Matthew Stafford, after week of Jared Goff questions, is the answer as Rams top Lions
For nearly eight minutes Sunday, Sean McVay answered questions seemingly without catching his breath.
And, of course, about Jared Goff.
It wasn’t until McVay exited the interview room that he finally was able to exhale.
A week of nonstop questions about his fractured relationship with Goff — and the trade that sent the former No. 1 pick to the Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford — was finally, mercifully, over.
On Sunday, Stafford showed his abundant gifts while passing for 334 yards and three touchdowns. But Goff had the Lions on the brink of an upset until star cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted a pass in the final minutes. The play helped seal a victory that improved the Rams’ record to a 6-1.
Afterward, McVay sought out Goff and embraced him.
“I just said, ‘Great job, I’ll touch base with you a little bit later on,’ ” McVay said.
In the days leading to the game, McVay acknowledged mistakes in the detached way he communicated with Goff before the Rams unceremoniously exiled the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft to Detroit so they could upgrade with Stafford.
So, McVay wasn’t the only one relieved to move on. Goff and Stafford also had tired of being asked about the emotional toll of playing against their former teams for the first time.
Rams overcome offensive misfires in 28-19 win over Lions
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Rams have won the Jared Goff revenge game.
A late interception by Rams defensive back Nick Scott on a last-gasp drive by the Lions closed out the Rams’ victory over the Lions on Sunday.
Matt Gay kicks field goal to increase Rams’ lead late
Rams 28, Lions 19 — :55 left in fourth quarter
Rams Matt Gay kicked a 47-yard field goal to give the Rams a cushion that should be enough for them to claim their sixth win of the season and fend off a potential upset by the Lions.
Jalen Ramsey intercepts Jared Goff in the end zone late in the fourth quarter
Rams 35, Lions 19 — 4:33 fourth quarter
Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey brought a long Detroit drive to an abrupt stop with an end-zone interception late in the fourth quarter. The Lions moved the ball downfield at will during a 15-play drive that chewed up more than nine minutes.
After helping the Lions advance to the Rams’ 12-yard line, Ramsey intercepted a Jared Goff pass intended for tight end T.J. Hockenson.
Rams take back the lead on another Matthew Stafford-Cooper Kupp TD
Rams 25, Lions 19 — 13:59 left in game
Matthew Stafford connected with Cooper Kupp for a five-yard touchdown pass and Robert Woods took a shovel pass and ran the ball in for a two-point conversion to put the Rams back in the lead.
The key play during the drive was a 59-yard pass from Stafford to Kupp on third down. Stafford also found tight end Tyler Higbee on third down during the eight-play, 90-yard drive.
Stafford has completed 25 of 38 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns.
Kupp has 10 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Lions re-take lead on field goal in the third quarter
Lions 19, Rams 17 — 1:43 left in third quarter
Austin Seibert kicked a 31-yard field goal to put the Lions back into the lead.
The Rams wasted an opportunity after linebacker Kenny Young stopped running back D’Andre Swift on fourth-and-one at the Rams’ 18-yard line. The Rams took possession and advanced to the Lions’ 46, but Matthew Stafford’s fourth down fell incomplete.
Jared Goff then drove the Lions 41 yards in six plays for the field goal.
Goff has completed 13 of 24 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown.
Kalif Raymond has five catches for 98 yards.
Lions kick another field goal just before halftime
Rams 17, Lions 16 — Halftime
Lions quarterback Jared Goff closed out the second quarter by leading his team on an eight-play, 52-yard scoring drive that culminated with Austin Seibert’s 41-yard field goal.
Goff completed passes of 15, 20 and 14 yards to Kalif Raymond during the drive.
Goff has completed nine of 18 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 17 of 23 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Receiver Cooper Kupp has seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Van Jefferson also has a touchdown catch.
Matthew Stafford connects with Cooper Kupp to give Rams the lead
Rams 17, Lions 13 — 1:38 left in second quarter
Matthew Stafford connected with receiver Cooper Kupp for a two-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams their first lead.
Stafford completed a 27-yard pass and a 22-yard strike to receiver Robert Woods during the 11-play, 74-yard scoring drive.
Stafford has completed 17 of 23 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Rams cut into Lions’ lead on Matthew Stafford to Van Jefferson TD pass
Lions 13, Rams 10 — 8:36 second quarter
Matthew Stafford is finding his rhythm.
Stafford connected with receiver Van Jefferson for an 11-yard touchdown pass to complete an 11-play, 84-yard drive.
Stafford had a key third-down completion to receiver Cooper Kupp.
Stafford has completed 10 of 14 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Austin Seibert kicks field goal to extend Lions’ lead
Lions 13, Rams 3 — 13:40 left in the second quarter
Austin Seibert kicked a 47-yard field goal to increase the Lion’s lead to 10 points.
Jared Goff’s 21-yard pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson was the key play in a eight-play, 46-yard scoring drive.
Goff has completed four of nine passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Jared Goff isn’t making life easy for the Rams
Lions 10, Rams 3 — End of first quarter
Jared Goff is making nearly all the plays.
The Detroit Lions quarterback, in his first game at SoFi Stadium since the Rams traded him for Matthew Stafford, has completed four of eight passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Goff ended the first quarter by scrambling for three yards and then hurdling the Lions bench.
The Lions begin the second quarter facing a second-and-seven situation at the Rams’ 33-yard line.
Matthew Stafford and Rams get onto the scoreboard
Lions 10, Rams 3 — 2:55 left in first quarter
Matthew Stafford showed much of why Sean McVay was so happy to trade Jared Goff to acquire the 12-year veteran.
Stafford completed a 16-yard pass to tight end Tyler Higbee and a 29-yard pass to Cooper Kupp during a drive that ultimately stalled at the 15-yard line when a pass into the end zone fell incomplete.
Matt Gay kicked a 33-yard field goal to cut the Rams’ deficit to seven points.
Detroit Lions are finding creative ways to make life difficult for Rams
Lions 10, Rams 0 — 7:28 left in first quarter
The Lions are pulling out all the stops.
After recovering an onside kick, the Lions appeared to stall at midfield. But coach Dan Campbell called for a fake punt and Austin Seibert completed a pass to Bobby Price for a first down.
Jared Goff drove the Lions to the Rams’ 19-yard line before Seibert came on to kick a 37-yard field goal.
Lions strike first on Jared Goff screen pass for 63-yard touchdown
Lions 7, Rams 0 — 12:07 first quarter
Jared Goff did not look nervous in his return to SoFi Stadium.
Goff read a third-down blitz, completed a screen pass to running back D’Andre Swift and then watched Swift run 63 yards for a touchdown.
Goff has completed two of three passes for 67 yards.
Detroit then got the ball right back after recovering an onside kick.
Double role reversal: Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford to play against former teams
After watching it be built from the ground up, Jared Goff played only seven games for the Rams at SoFi Stadium.
He never heard a cheer. Or a boo.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no fans were allowed to attend games in the new stadium during the 2020 season.
Goff, once the face of the Rams franchise, returns to the $5-billion venue Sunday as the quarterback for the winless Detroit Lions.
“Never got to see it with fans,” Goff told Detroit reporters this week, “so it will be cool to see that and just be there.”
Will he be cheered or booed?
Meet Dont’e Deayon: Rams’ secret weapon against Jared Goff and Lions
For four seasons, before the Rams traded Goff to the Lions for Matthew Stafford, coach Sean McVay designed and called plays for him. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee caught passes from him.
But no player might know Goff’s tendencies better than cornerback Dont’e Deayon.
For most of three-plus seasons, Deayon toiled on the Rams practice squad, lining up against Goff and the first-team offense but rarely getting an opportunity to parlay that experience into games.
Rams vs. Lions matchups: Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay looking for fast start
When Rams have the ball: Quarterback Matthew Stafford faces his former team for the first time with an arsenal of receivers unlike any he played with at one time in Detroit. After last week’s 38-11 victory over the New York Giants, Stafford, coach Sean McVay and other players on offense were not happy about another slow start, or uncharacteristic sacks and penalties. Stafford has passed for 16 touchdowns, with four interceptions in a scheme in which McVay has used more straight drop backs than in the past with Jared Goff. Cooper Kupp has a team-best 46 catches, seven for touchdowns. Robert Woods and Van Jefferson also have been involved the last two games, but McVay could once again find it necessary to increase the role of DeSean Jackson. Running back Darrell Henderson continues to play through a rib issue. Against the Giants, he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown in 21 carries and made a nice play on a 25-yard touchdown catch. Running back Sony Michel was limited in practice because of a shoulder injury but is expected to play Sunday. Former Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers anchors the Lions line. Linebacker Charles Harris has four sacks. Cornerback Amani Oruwariye has intercepted three passes.
Rams vs. Detroit Lions: NFL betting odds, lines, picks and analysis
Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams (-15, 50.5)
Rams fans have been looking forward to the Jared Goff revenge game, right? Or would it be better to call this the Matthew Stafford revenge game? Whatever the case, the quarterbacks who were traded for each other in March will be competing at SoFi Stadium with the Rams in a huge favorite role against the Lions.
Stafford is playing some of the best football of his career with Los Angeles, and Goff has struggled with Detroit. For that reason, among others, the Rams are one of the biggest favorites of the season.