NFL: Lions Savor First Playoff Win in 32 years

Detroit Lions Sport News


  • Detroit held off former star quarterback Matthew Stafford and the LA Rams 24-23 in Sunday’s Wild Card round game.
  • It was the Lions first win in the NFL playoffs since 1992.
  • The Lions will host the winner of Monday’s Bucs/Eagles game Sunday at 3 p.m. at Ford Field.

The only bad thing about Sunday night for Lion fans is that they failed to cover the spread.

Detroit’s 24-23 win over the LA Rams was vindication and a celebration for Lion fans years in the making. The fact that it came against former star Lions QB Matthew Stafford made it extra sweet. Stafford was booed early, cheered late, and demonstrated his class and toughness in defeat.

Michigan sportsbooks say the Lions are 0-1 against the spread in the playoffs, but they’re 1-0 where it counts and moving on. FanDuel, DraftKings Sportsbook and Caesars will have extensive markets on every NFL Divisional Round playoff game this weekend.

And thanks to the Cowboys annual playoff collapse, the Lions are home again on Sunday. Here are the heroes from the Lions win.

Jared Goff 

The pressure on Goff was tremendous. He was traded for Stafford in 2021, basically dumped by the Rams who felt he wasn’t good enough to win a Super Bowl.

With fans chanting his name pre-game, Goff came out on fire in the first half, leading the Lions to three TD drives and a 21-17 halftime lead. He finished 22-27 for 277 yards and one score.

Yes, there were a couple of scary moments. Goff tried an ill-advised pass backwards when he was pressured, and he nearly fumbled and tripped on a scramble. But with a chance to win the game, Goff fired a strike to Amon-Ra St. Brown for the game-clinching first down.

Ben Johnson 

The Lions force a Rams punt with under four minutes to play, and just need two first downs to ice the game. People who have watched the Lions all season (like me) knew this was a situation the Lions had been in before.

Johnson, the Lions offensive coordinator, stayed true to what the Lions do well. Goff found running back David Montgomery in the flat, and he made a move avoiding a tackle and got the first down (as big as the final throw and catch was, this might have been bigger).

After the two-minute warning, the Lions had it second-and-nine. A first down wins it and the Lions played to win, with Johnson calling for a pass to St. Brown.

Lion fans better enjoy Johnson while they can, because he’s about to become a head coach somewhere soon.

Aidan Hutchinson 

After the game, plenty of fans were griping about some of the official’s calls that went in favor of the Lions, particularly a possible pass interference on Puka Nacua on the Rams last offensive possession.

Forget it. Every team has bad calls go for and against them. The Rams have had some breaks go their way in the past. In fact, plenty of them. While fans like to (and will) complain, the truth is the calls do even out…over time. Refs are human. The game is faster and faster and tougher and tougher to call.

Hutchinson, the Lions star defensive end, was the one who rushed Stafford on the third down incompletion (drawing a holding penalty). The call knocked the Rams out of field goal range and eventually forced the Rams to punt.

There was quite a celebration in Ford Field Sunday night, and next week, the Lions get to do it all over again.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.