This Sunday saw the Detroit Lions snatch a surprising win from the LA Rams in their wild-card clash, culminating in a heart-stopping 24 – 23 scoreline. The game’s crescendo focused on quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff, who were central to the unfolding drama.
Elevating the excitement, the backstory of the quarterbacks trading places added a charged atmosphere. In a twist that shook the NFL, Stafford and Goff swapped jerseys in the post-2020 season draft – a historic move. Stafford, a 12-year Detroit mainstay, found a new home with the Rams, while Goff, after a five-year stint in Los Angeles, transitioned to the Lions. This unprecedented swap of first-round draft quarterbacks added a unique flavor to the game, especially with Brad Holmes, the Lions’ GM, having roots in the Rams’ camp, adding layers of complexity to this high-stakes showdown.
Stafford led the Rams to a Super Bowl win in his first season with Los Angeles, but Goff and the Lions are still searching for the title. The Lions’ recent win could be the first step toward that goal. The game marked the Lions’ first playoff win in thirty-two years.
After the Lions’ surprising win, Goff and Stafford were seen sharing a handshake, where Stafford wished Goff all the best. “Go win it all buddy,” Stafford said in a now-viral video clip. Goff appeared surprised but responded in kind, saying “You’re one tough S.O.B., all right? I have so much respect for you. Keep going.”
Stafford and his family have continued to express love for their home city of twelve years after the loss. Stafford’s wife Kelly wrote in an Instagram caption, “What a season.. and for it to end at Ford Field ♥️ Already excited for this Rams team next season… And he will be back next year Detroit, but until then, go get you one!!!”
Kelly and her husband have been vocal in their support of Detroit over the years. They have made significant donations to the SAY Detroit Play Center, a training center for children. The SDPC runs after-school programs focusing on arts and sports, also contributing to community enrichment programs. The couple’s love for the city was contrasted by fans who booed Stafford on the field. However, Kelly shrugged off the negative reaction, telling The Detroit News, “It’s sports. The city wants to win. Everything is fair game.” She commented: “The booing just gave my husband more fire. The more you love, the more you hate.”
The Lions are set to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this coming Sunday, January 21 in their next playoff game. A spot in the NFC Championship Game will go to the winner of the game. The Lions will have the home-field advantage and have already beaten the Buccaneers once this season. The last time the Lions went to the NFC Championship Game was in 1991, and the team has never competed in a Superbowl. Detroit fans are eager to see their team finally make it to the Superbowl. The pressure will be on Goff on Sunday night to make it happen.