The Detroit Lions’ playoff opponent is finally set. After the Lions finished with a 12-5 record and the NFC’s third seed, they will face off against the Los Angeles Rams, who finished the year 10-7 in the conference’s sixth seed.
UPDATE: The game will be played on Sunday night at 8:15 p.m. ET on NBC.
This sets up a highly-anticipated return to Detroit for Matthew Stafford, nearly three years after the Lions traded him (by request) to Los Angeles. Stafford has since won a Super Bowl, while the Lions have slowly rebuilt to win their first NFC North title in 30 years—well before the Stafford years.
The Lions have been one of the most consistently solid teams all year, while the Rams are one of the hottest teams in football. After a 3-6 start to the year, Los Angeles has now won seven of their last eight games, with their only loss being an overtime defeat to the AFC’s top-seeded Baltimore Ravens.
Of course, it’s a pretty big game for Jared Goff, too. It’s his first playoff game since the Rams’ postseason loss that eventually led Sean McVay and company to send Goff packing, despite a couple of Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl appearance with the Rams. It’s no secret that the divorce between Goff and McVay wasn’t exactly a clean one. But Goff downplayed the emotions after Detroit’s win on Sunday.
“A lot of buddies on that team and it’d be good to see them, but yeah, we’ll see,” Goff said.
As of right now, the date and time for the Lions vs. Rams game has not been announced. That’s expected to be released at some point during “Sunday Night Football.”
Here are the NFC first-round matchups:
2. Cowboys vs. 7. Packers
3. Lions vs. 6. Rams
4. Buccaneers vs. 5 Eagles