The Detroit Lions Lost Another Game, But Put Up A Fight Against The Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams started this game with the football, and surprisingly the Lion defense was able to force them to punt right off the bat. An awry third-down pass from quarterback Jared Goff gave the Lions possession of the ball early in the first quarter.
However, the Lion offense stalled after picking up two first downs and then had to punt.
Los Angeles then dominated the rest of the first quarter. An 11-play drive eventually stalled out in the red zone, and kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked a 24-yard field goal for the first points of the game.
Score: Rams lead 3-0
The Lions aggressively advanced down the field on the ensuing possession. An 11-yard run from running back Theo Riddick was followed by a 24-yard reception by wide receiver Kenny Golladay to put Detroit in striking distance. However, a failed third and two shovel pass to wide receiver Bruce Ellington was stopped for a loss forcing the Lions to settle for a Matt Prater field goal.
On the following drive, Lions safety Quandre Diggs made a great play to intercept Goff. The Detroit offense was unable to get into a rhythm though and went three and out.
The rest of the quarter was again dominated by the Ram offense. Goff threw an eight-yard touchdown to wide receiver Robert Woods and then Zeurlein hit another field goal (this time from 47) before the teams went into the locker room.
Score: Rams lead 13-3
The Rams looked to be near putting the game away, having the ball at midfield when defensive tackle Damon Harrison made a play strip-sacking Goff and giving the ball back to the Lions.
The momentum of the game finally seemed to swing Detroit’s way a bit, when the turned the turnover into a field goal to make it a one-possession game.
After a failed surprise onside kick the Rams were set up in great field position. Zuerlein made his third field goal of the game, a 48 yarder.
Tight end Levine Toilolo set up the Lions in scoring position quickly with his biggest play of the season, a 39-yard reception. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was then able to find tackle left tackle Taylor Decker for a wide open 11-yard touchdown pass on a trick play.
Score: Rams lead 16-13
The Lions had two chances to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter but were forced to punt the on the first and then fumbled the ball away on the second when Stafford was sacked by reigning defensive player of the year defensive lineman Aaron Donald.
After the fumble, running back Todd Gurley scored a 13-yard touchdown to put the Rams ahead by 10 points.
The Lions were able to answer with a field goal to make it back into a one-possession game, but with only 2:54 left decided to try an onside kick. The Rams recovered and ultimately scored another touchdown from Gurley to clinch the game.
Score: Rams win 30-16
The Lions held Goff to 17/33 207 yards one touchdown one interception one fumble and a 68.6 QB rating
The Lion passing defense did an excellent job on MVP contender Goff. The Detroit front seven did a good job of keeping Goff uncomfortable all day and the Lion secondary did their job in pass coverage for the most part.
Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns at 5.7 yards per carry
As good as the Lion pass defense was, their run defense was bad. Gurley ran wild through the Lion front seven with several big runs featuring great blocking from the LA offensive line. For much of the game, the Lions run defense simply had no answers.
Matthew Stafford was sacked four times and turned the ball over twice
Stafford continued his massive cold streak on Sunday. While he actually had a hot start to the game he melted down once again in the fourth quarter. He lost a fumble and threw an interception in the final quarter. Stafford now has eight fourth-quarter turnovers in the Lions last four losses, with a clean game against the Panthers sandwiched between those losses.
The Lions ran the ball on the first play of nine out of their 12 possessions
Two of the 12 possessions that started with pass attempts were in the final two minutes of each half. This kind of predictability in the offensive play calling consistently set up the Lions with difficult second and longs that turned into third and medium to long situations.
Plays Of The Game
Quandre Diggs’ Interception
Damon Harrison’s Strip-Sack
Taylor Decker’s Touchdown Reception
Lions Player Of The Game
Levine Toilolo is this weeks Lions player of the game. The tight end had by far his biggest game of the season and was the Lions biggest playmaker on offense recording four receptions for 90 yards.
If Toilolo keeps playing like this he could earn more targets in the passing game. He has been a solid blocker all season, but this is the first time he’s flashed potential in the passing game as a Lion. Toilolo is a free agent after the season and is making a strong case that he is worth re-signing.