The Detroit Lions fought and fought, but that wasn’t enough to defeat an old friend and new nemesis in Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Jared Goff threw an interception in the end zone with the chance to take a lead in the fourth quarter to end a comeback hope late. The Lions recovered an onside kick and converted two fake punts successfully, but it wasn’t enough, as Stafford finished with 334 yards and three touchdowns on 28-for-41 passing.
DET – Jared Goff: 22/36, 268 yds., TD, 2 INT
LAR – Matthew Stafford: 28/41, 334 yds., 3 TD
DET – Jamaal Williams: 12 atts., 57 yds.
LAR – Darrell Henderson: 15 atts., 45 yds.
DET – Kalif Raymond: 6 recs., 115 yds.
LAR – Cooper Kupp: 10 recs., 156 yds., 2 TD
Rams close out Lions with field goal
The Rams take over at their own 23.
Darrel Henderson gets stuffed for 3, and the second-down pass goes for 6. Robert Woods gets open for an 18-yard gain on third down that will deliver a death blow to the Lions’ comeback hopes.
Henderson rushes for 8, then 4, as the two-minute warning hits.
Darrell Henderson rushes for 4.
Timeout #2 Detroit (1:54 4th)
Van Jefferson catches a 5-yard pass to bring up third-and-1.
Timeout #3 Detroit (1:49 4th)
Henderson is stuffed for no gain on third down.
Timeout #2 Los Angeles (1:03 4th)
The 47-yard field goal try is good, and that’ll put the Lions away.
Rams 28, Lions 19 (0:58 4th)
Kalif Raymond hauls in a 17-yard pass to the 42 to open the drive. Jared Goff spikes it.
Swift catches a short pass, then has a ball bounce off his hands and into the arms of a diving Rams defensive back.
FINAL: Rams 28, Lions 19
Goff throws red-zone interception, Rams have chance to end game on next drive
It’s first-and-10 for Detroit at the 25. The Lions trail, 25-19, with 13:59 to go in the fourth.
Darren Fells gets open for a 6-yard reception, his fourth catch of the year, on first down. D’Andre Swift rushes for 2, bringing up third-and-2: Swift comes up with 6-yard reception to move the chains.
Goff flips it to T.J. Hockenson for 5 yards on first down, then gets it to the tight end on second down for a gain of 4, to bring up another third-and-short situation. Jamaal Williams pushes forward on third down for a 2-yard gain to give the Lions first-and-10 at the 50-yard-line.
The Lions have an 11-yard gain erased by a very questionable holding call on Halapoulivaati Vaitai. It’s first-and-20, where KhaDarel Hodghe picks up 3. Hockenson picks up 6 on second down, making it third-and-11.
Swift makes a terrific cut to pick up all 11 yards needed for a Lions first down at the 40.
Timeout #1 Los Angeles (8:07 4th)
Williams hits a hole up the middle on first down for a gain of 14 yards to the Rams 26.
Williams rushes for 4, then Swift catches a pass for 5. Williams gets it again on third down, and he rushes up the middle for 5 to make it first-and-10 at the 12.
Williams is stuffed for no gain on first down.
Goff is hit as he throws on the next play, and it’s picked off by Jalen Ramsey. That’s a backbreaking interception for the Lions.
Rams 25, Lions 19 (4:53 4th)
Rams regain lead on Kupp’s second TD
The Rams take over at their own 10 after a penalty on the kick return.
Cooper Kupp gets open for a 15-yard reception on first down.
Injury alert: Lions CB A.J. Parker was hurt on the play and is helped off the field.
Darrell Henderson is cracked by Jerry Jacobs for a loss of 2. Stafford overthrows his receiver on second down, but puts the ball right on Kupp’s numbers on third down for a huge 59-yard gain to close the third quarter. That’s not how you want to head into the fourth.
END 3RD: Lions 19, Rams 17
It’s first-and-10 at the 19.
Jerry Jacobs knocks away the first-down throw to Van Jefferson. Kupp can’t haul in a throw near the sideline on second down, but Higbee hauls in a 14-yard throw over the middle ot keep the drive alive.
One play later, it’s Kupp in the end zone. Rams retake the lead.
The Rams’ two-point attempt is money.
Rams 25, Lions 19 (13:59 4th)
Lions miss chance at touchdown, take lead with FG
The Lions take over at their own 46, trailing by 1 with 3:56 to go in the game.
After a 1-yard run by D’Andre Swift, Jared Goff fires a bullet to Kalif Raymond on a quick crossing route, and Raymond gets all the way to the Rams 16 for a gain of 37 yards.
Jamaal Williams rushes for 3 yards on first down. Goff is forced to throw it away on second down. There’s some miscommunication between Goff and Swift on third down, and that’ll force the Lions to settle for a field goal.
But a field goal, this one of 31 yards, puts the Lions on top.
Lions 19, Rams 17 (1:43 3rd)
Lions force turnover on downs with pass breakup
The Rams take over at their own 18 after the turnover on downs. They lead, 17-16, with 6:14 to go in the quarter.
Matthew Stafford hits Van Jefferson for a gain of 22 yards to the Rams 40.
A big play for Tyler Higbee is overturned after review, but there was a defensive holding penalty on the Lions, anyway. It’s first-and-10 at the LA 45.
Sony Michel rushes for 4 yards., and Higbee gets open for 5. Michel is stuffed for no gain on third down, bringing up fourth-and-1.
The Lions are prepared for Stafford to roll out on a naked boot, and Julian Okwara gets his hand on the fourth-down pass to break it up and force a turnover on downs.
Rams 17, Lions 16 (3:56 3rd)
Lions can’t take advantage of another fake punt, turn ball over on downs
Detroit opens its drive from the 21, trailing 17-16, with 12:27 left in the third quarter.
Jamaal Williams is stuffed for no gain on first down, but is slammed down after the whistle is blown to draw an unnecessary roughness penalty. It’s first-and-10 at the 33.
Jared Goff is sacked for a loss of 5 on the next play.
Timeout #1 Detroit (11:17 3rd)
D’andre Swift picks up 9 with a second-down screen, but Goff isn’t able to escape pressure on third down and is sacked for a loss of 2.
The Lions go back in punt formation, and again fake it. C.J. Moore breaks it to the left side for a gain of 28 yards to the Los Angeles 37. First down, Lions. Wow.
Swift rushes for 3, and Detroit moves the chains with a 7-yard throw to T.J. Hockenson.
Swift gets 4 more on his next carry, and Hockenson gets 5 more with his next catch.
Swift is stopped for no gain on third and fourth down. Turnover on downs.
Rams 17, Lions 16 (6:14 3rd)
Lions sack Stafford on third down, get stop to open half
The Rams start their first drive of the second half at their own 18.
Charles Harris stops Darrell Henderson after a 1-yard gain. Matthew Stafford’s second-down pass is to no-man’s land and falls incomplete. The Lions jump offsides before a third-down play, and that’ll make it third-and-4.
Robert Woods gets open for a 7-yard pickup to move the chains. First-and-10 at the 32.
Darrell Henderson picks up 13 yards on the next play up the sideline.
Stafford’s first-down pass down the sideline falls incomplete, and his second-down throw to Henderson is broken up by a hard-hitting Tracy Walker.
The Lions do a great job of disguising the rush on third down, and Julian Okwara springs free up the middle to bring down Stafford for a sack.
Kalif Raymond fields the punt with a fair catch at Detroit’s 21.
Rams 17, Lions 16 (12:27 3rd)
First half leaders
DET – Jared Goff: 9/18, 156 yds., TD
LAR – Matthew Stafford: 17/23, 166 yds., 2 TD
DET – Jamaal Williams: 5 atts., 32 yds.
LAR – Darrell Henderson: 8 atts., 27 yds.
DET – D’Andre Swift: 4 recs., 74 yds., TD
LAR – Cooper Kupp: 7 recs., 78 yds., TD
Lions cut deficit to 1 before halftime
Detroit takes over at its own 25 with 1:23 left in the half and one timeout.
Jared Goff hits Kalif Raymond for 15 yards, D’Andre Swift for 8, before going back to Raymond for a gain of 20 that makes it first-and-10 at the Rams 32.
Timeout #3 Detroit (0:34 2nd)
Goff goes back to Raymond over the middle, and picks up 14 yards to the Los Angeles 18. Goff rushes to the line and spikes it with 18 seconds left.
A delay-of-game penalty makes it second-and-15.
Goff’s throw down the sideline sails out of bounds. He does the same on the next play with nobody open.
Austin Seibert’s 41-yard field goal try is good.
Rams 17, Lions 16 (0:04 2nd)
Rams take first lead of game to close first half
The Rams take over at their own 25, trailing by 3.
Matthew Stafford’s first-down throw is knocked away, but his second-down throw to Cooper Kupp near the sideline is caught for a gain of 27 yards.
The Rams pick up 4 yards on their next two plays, setting up third-and-6, where Robert Woods gets open over the middle and runs down the field for a 22-yard gain to the Detroit 21.
After a 2-yard run on first down, a false start makes it second-and-13. Stafford throws complete to Woods for a gain of 10, then again for a gain of 4 to give the Rams a new set of downs.
Stafford’s first-down pass to Tyler Higbee misses, but his second-down throw to Woods is caught for a gain of 9.
Stafford throws his second touchdown pass of the day with a 2-yard pitch-and-catch to Kupp.
Rams 17, Lions 13 (1:23 2nd)
Lions go 3-and-out after Rams score touchdown
Detroit takes over at the 30 after an offsides penalty on the kickoff.
Jared Goff is forced into getting rid of the ball quickly, but accidentally throws it right at a lineman, who tries to catch it. It’s first-and-15.
Goff is again forced to throw it away under pressure. D’Andre Swift only gets a yard on second down. Kalif Raymond’s 12-yard reception on third down is short of the chains, and the Lions will punt.
Jack Fox’s punt is downed at the 25.
Lions 13, Rams 10 (7:07 2nd)
Lions hurt by penalties, have lead cut to 13-10
The Rams take over at the 16-yard-line, trailing by 10 with just over 13:30 to go in the second quarter.
Matthew Stafford’s first-down pass to Cooper Kupp falls incomplete, and his second-down throw to Van Jefferson is caught for a gain of 5. Jerry Jacobs is flagged for pass interference after attempting to defend a pass down the sideline. That brings up first-and-10 at the Detroit 47.
Darrell Henderson rushes for 5 on first down. Stafford tries for a deep shot on the next play, but it’s defended well by Tracy Walker and knocked away. Austin Bryant is flagged for a neutral-zone infraction, and Stafford is hot that the whistle was blown before he gets a free play.
Henderson gets 2 yards on a first-down reception, then rushes for 10 to make it first-and-10 at the 25.
Henderson’s next carry goes for no gain, but Kupp moves the chains with an 11-yard catch to the 14.
Henderson rushes for 3. Stafford looks for Henderson in the end zone on third down, but the pass falls incomplete.
Stafford’s next throw to the same spot is caught by Van Jefferson for a Rams touchdown.
Lions 13, Rams 10 (8:36 2nd)
Lions extend lead to 13-3 in second quarter
Detroit takes over at its own 25, leading 10-3, with 2:55 left in the opening quarter.
After a 1-yard run by D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson gets open for a 21-yard grab that takes the Lions to their own 47-yard-line.
Jamaal Williams rushes for 5 yards on the next play, moving Detroit into Rams territory at the 48. Williams finds a crease toward the right side on second down, bounces off tacklers, and gets to the 36 for a gain of 12.
Goff takes off with the pocket collapsing around him on the next play, gets out of bounds for a gain of 3.
END 1ST: Lions 10, Rams 3
A holding penalty makes it second-and-17. Robert Rochell knocks away the second-down pass. Swift takes the handoff on third down and picks up a whopping 14 yards, which will leave the Lions short of the chains but give give them a chance to convert on fourth down — or at least that’s what it appears.
The Lions simply try to draw Los Angeles offsides, and will take a timeout to set up for the field goal.
Timeout #1 Detroit (13:45 2nd)
Stafford, Rams chip into Lions lead with FG
Matthew Stafford finally takes the field with the Rams’ offense.
LA takes over at the 18, down 10, with a little over 7 minutes left in the game.
Aaaaand they’re off and running. Tyler Higbee hauls in a 17-yard reception.
Darrell Henderson rushes for 4, opening up a 29-yard reception by Cooper Kupp on the next play.
Henderson hauls in a 4-yard reception to bring up second-and-6 at the 29. Henderson rushes for 3. Kupp catches a 5-yard pass on third down to move the chains. First-and-10 at the 21 coming up.
Stafford dumps it off to Kupp on first down, only gets 1 yard. Higbee gets 5 yards on second down. Stafford has a man in his face and looks for Henderson, but the pass falls incomplete.
Matt Gay kicks a 33-yard field goal to get Los Angeles on the board.
Lions 10, Rams 3 (2:55 1st)
Lions run onside kick, fake punt, extend lead with FG
Well, this one is off to a hot start.
The Lions go for an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, and it’s executed to perfection. The Lions get it back at the Detroit 47.
D’Andre Swift rushes for 3 yards, which will set up third-and-7 after an incompletion. Jared Goff is tattooed as he lets go of the third-down throw, incomplete.
But the Lions run a fake punt, and Jack Fox puts it right on the numbers to Bobby Price for a 17-yard gain that gives the Lions first-and-10 at the LA 33. Wow.
Swift rushes for 7 yards on first down, and Williams goes for 6 to move the chains.
Swift gets wrapped up for a loss of 1, bringing up second-and-11 at the 21. Williams only gets 2 on second down.
Goff’s third-down throw is disrupted by the Rams’ pass rush and falls incomplete.
Austin Seibert’s 37-yard field goal try is good.
Lions 10, Rams 0 (7:28 1st)
Swift gives Lions lead with 63-yard touchdown
Detroit takes over at the 25 to start the game. Jared Goff gets a light ovation.
Jamaal Williams takes the first-down handoff up the middle, fights through contact for 6 yards. Kalif Raymond takes an end-around for a yard on second down. Goff gets the check-down pass to D’Andre Swift for 4 yards to keep the drive alive.
Swift rushes for a yard after Goff misses to T.J. Hockenson on first down, bringing up third-and-9.
Swift catches a screen pass with everybody coming in on third down, and he takes it all the way to the house for a 63-yard receiving touchdown.
Lions 7, Rams 0 (12:07 1st)
The winless Lions (0-6) will undoubtedly have a tough time containing the Los Angeles Rams’ passing attack, led by Stafford, which ranks fourth-best in the NFL. The Rams (5-1) are fresh off a convincing 38-11 rout over the Giants a week ago,
For Goff, Sunday’s matchup is a shot at redemption — not just with the team that drafted him in 2016 and then dumped him over this past summer, but also with his current team, which has struggled to come up with big plays on offense since his arrival.
Lions at Rams
► Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. Sunday, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
► TV/radio: Fox/97.1
► Records: Lions 0-6, Rams 5-1
► Line: Rams by 16