Oct 31, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rams roll to easy win over hapless Texans

Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes in three quarters of work and Darrell Henderson scored twice to help the Los Angeles Rams take down the host Houston Texans, 38-22 on Sunday.

Los Angeles (7-1) dominated the game to the tune of 300 yards of total offense in the first half, building a 31-0 advantage midway through the third quarter.

The Texans (1-7) lost for their seventh consecutive game.

Stafford had 305 yards and kept wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s streak of 100-yard games with a TD catch alive. Kupp caught seven passes for 115 yards and raised his NFL-leading figures to receptions (63), yards (924) and touchdown catches 10).

He caught Stafford’s third TD pass with 7:55 on the clock in the third quarter.

Houston went down fighting with three scores in the fourth quarter — all in the final eight minutes, eight seconds of the game.

With the Rams ahead 38-0 and shifting into scrimmage personnel mode, Houston caught fire.

Running back Rex Burkhead plowed for a 1-yard score to get the Texans on the board and three minutes later, quarterback Davis Mills found wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a 45-yard TD.

After recovering an onside kick, Mills connected with Brevin Jordan on a 9-yard TD and ran in the two-point conversion.

An offside penalty on the onside kick attempt threatened to curb the furious Texans’ rally, but Houston forced a punt at the two-minute warning to get another shot down two scores.

Mills completed passes of 34 and 31 yards before time expired.

Henderson rushed for 90 yards on 14 carries for the Rams, who had 31 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Woods scored rushing and receiving TDs. His 16-yard run in the third made it a 38-0 lead for Los Angeles, which outgained the Texans 467-323.

Leonard Floyd had two of Los Angeles’ five sacks.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lionsu at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford outduels Jared Goff, Rams beat tricky Lions

The Detroit Lions battled but ultimately succumbed to a more complete team in the Los Angeles Rams, who won 28-19 on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif.

Looking for his first win, Detroit head coach Dan Campbell took some gambles that paid off, including two fake punts converted for first downs and a successful onside kick, giving the Lions a chance to win a game as heavy underdogs.

But playing against his old team, Jared Goff couldn’t get the job done. Goff finished 22-of-36 for 268 yards with a touchdown. However, looking for the go-ahead score late in the game, Goff threw an interception in the end zone to Jalen Ramsey before throwing another to safety Nick Scott to end the game.

Matthew Stafford, whom the Rams acquired from the Lions in a deal for Goff, completed 28 of 41 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns. Stafford’s favorite target was Cooper Kupp, who finished with 10 catches for 156 yards and two scores.

Stafford threw his 300th career touchdown late in the second quarter on a 2-yard slant route to Kupp, becoming the seventh-fastest QB to reach 300 passing TDs.

The Lions (0-7) took control of the game early. Goff connected with running back D’Andre Swift on a screen pass and Swift took it 63 yards for a 7-0 lead. Swift finished with 144 yards from scrimmage.

Detroit kicker Austin Seibert executed an onside kick to perfection on the following possession, with Lions defensive back Tracy Walker recovering on the Lions’ 45-yard line. Ten plays later, the Lions converted a 37-yard Seibert field goal for a 10-0 advantage.

Punter Jack Fox converted a fake punt on a 17-yard pass to Bobby Price on fourth down to keep the drive alive.

The Rams (6-1) finally got on the scoreboard on the ensuing possession, using a 10-play, 67-yard drive that finished with a Matt Gay 33-yard field goal. The Lions responded with another field goal, this one from 47 yards, to lead 13-3.

Los Angeles took the lead on back-to-back touchdown passes by Stafford: an 11-yard fade route to Van Jefferson and a 2-yarder to Kupp for a 17-13 lead.

The Lions cut L.A.’s edge to 17-16 on a Seibert 41-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

After a big fourth-down stop by the defense, the Lions retook the lead 19-17 on Seibert’s fourth field goal with 1:43 left in the third quarter.

Los Angeles grabbed the lead back for good on Kupp’s second touchdown catch, this one on a 3-yard out route. Robert Woods got in the end zone for the 2-point conversion, and the Rams took a 25-19 lead with 14:04 left to play.

Gay added a 47-yard field goal for the final tally.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) prepares to throw the ball during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Rams begin anew with Matthew Stafford at QB

Matthew Stafford officially joined the Los Angeles Rams as the league year in the NFL began Wednesday.

Stafford was traded to the Rams from the Detroit Lions, who received quarterback Jared Goff and multiple draft picks from Los Angeles. Detroit received a third-round draft pick in 2021 and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.

The swap of former No. 1 picks represents a significant shift for both franchises. Goff took the Rams to the Super Bowl after the 2018 season.

Stafford, 33, was the top pick in the 2009 draft and spent his entire career with the franchise prior to the trade. Detroit posted a farewell to Stafford on Wednesday night.

Stafford was unable to lead the Lions to an NFC North division title and another regime change in the offseason brought first-time general manager Brad Holmes and first-time head coach Dan Campbell to Detroit.

The Rams also announced a four-year deal with pass rusher Leonard Floyd, which is reportedly worth $64 million.

Even with the additions, there were many key losses early in the offseason for Los Angeles.

Stafford currently has two years left on a team-friendly contract due to pay him a combined $43 million — $20 million this year and $23 million next year.

The Rams worked feverishly in recent weeks to reach full compliance with the 2021 salary cap, which includes charges of $20 million for Stafford and $22.2 million in “dead money” for Goff.

Likewise, the Lions are still being charged for Stafford ($19 million) and now take the $14.15 million hit for Goff.

The Rams and Lions got together again Wednesday to finalize a second trade that will send defensive tackle Michael Brockers to Detroit for a seventh-round pick in 2023. Brockers signed a three-year, $24 million deal prior to the 2020 season and is owed $8 million this season.

Rams general manager Les Snead also reworked deals for several high-priced players on the roster, including defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, to clear a total of $30 million under the 2021 cap.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Lions thank Matthew Stafford, complete trade for Jared Goff

Dec 2, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) prepares to throw the ball during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

A wholesale restart for the Lions now includes quarterback Jared Goff, who was officially traded to Detroit for Matthew Stafford.

Stafford went to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for three draft picks — a third-round selection this year and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 — ending a run with the Lions that began as the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft.

Detroit posted a farewell to the longtime linchpin on Wednesday night.

“As the quarterback, as the guy that’s at arguably the most important position on the field, if you’re in a place that you’re not wanted and they want to move on from you, the feeling’s mutual,” Goff told the Los Angeles Times after the trade was agreed upon prior to the Super Bowl. “You don’t want to be in the wrong place. It became increasingly clear that was the case. (The trade) is something that I’m hopeful is going to be so good for my career.”

The Lions are being reshaped from the top after another fruitless season left the franchise without a playoff win since 1991. Stafford was 0-3 in three playoff appearances, all wild-card losses.

Goff, 26, said he is trying not to let the “sour” ending with head coach Sean McVay spoil the big games and big production they shared in winning the NFC West twice and reaching Super Bowl LIII.

When he talked to the new decision-makers in Detroit, general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, about the pending trade, Goff said he had a revelation.

“(Talking to the Lions) is what made me go, ‘Oh my God, this is how it’s supposed to feel,’” Goff told the Times.

Stafford, 33, has two years remaining on his existing contract and reportedly discussed a new deal with the Rams.

There is some question about the Lions’ commitment to Goff. Holmes has been closely studying the 2021 quarterback class and said he’s intrigued by the options potentially available to the Lions in the first round.

Holmes and his old boss, Rams general manager Les Snead, hooked up on a second trade this week, landing defensive tackle Michael Brockers in Detroit for a seventh-round pick in 2023. Brockers is owed $8 million in 2021 as part of a three-year, $24 million deal signed last spring.

Detroit also announced on Wednesday the team has signed Romeo Okwara to a contract extension. Okwara had 10.0 sacks in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford boosts Rams’ Super Bowl LVI odds

The Los Angeles Rams immediately became one of the favorites to win Super Bowl LVI with the acquisition of quarterback Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions.

Listed at 18/1 by SportsBetting.com last week, the Rams are now being offered at 10/1 by the sportsbook, making them the third favorite behind the Kansas City Chiefs (6/1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9/1).

The Chiefs and Bucs will face off in Super Bowl LV next Sunday.

The Rams’ 2020 season end with a loss to the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the playoffs, and coach Sean McVay declined to fully endorse Jared Goff as the team’s starting quarterback for next season.

It quickly became apparent why on Saturday, when the Rams sent Goff and a bevvy of draft picks to Detroit to acquire Stafford.

The Lions were 80/1 longshots last week to win Super Bowl LVI, and SportsBetting.com lengthened those odds to 150/1 following the trade. Detroit is now even with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the biggest longshots among the NFL’s 32 teams.

Super Bowl LVI Odds:
Kansas City Chiefs 6/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9/1
Los Angeles Rams 10/1
Buffalo Bills 11/1
Green Bay Packers 12/1
Baltimore Ravens 12/1
New Orleans Saints 15/1
San Francisco 49ers 18/1
Seattle Seahawks 20/1
Indianapolis Colts 25/1
Miami Dolphins 25/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 25/1
Cleveland Browns 28/1
Dallas Cowboys 28/1
Tennessee Titans 28/1
Los Angeles Chargers 33/1
Minnesota Vikings 33/1
New England Patriots 33/1
Arizona Cardinals 40/1
Chicago Bears 40/1
Las Vegas Raiders 50/1
Philadelphia Eagles 50/1
Denver Broncos 50/1
Atlanta Falcons 66/1
Carolina Panthers 66/1
New York Giants 66/1
Houston Texans 66/1
Washington Football Team 66/1
Cincinnati Bengals 100/1
New York Jets 100/1
Detroit Lions 150/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 150/1

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford’s next team? Colts lead deep pack

With Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions heading for a parting of the ways after 12 years, he becomes the first of what could be the deepest pool of available veteran quarterbacks in recent memory.

Detroit hasn’t officially put the soon-to-be 33-year-old on the trade block, but the sides have reportedly agreed the time has come for Stafford to move on. He could soon be joined by Deshaun Watson, who reportedly wants out of Houston.

There are at least two playoff teams who will be in the market for a veteran quarterback this offseason, and potentially more.

The market for Stafford begins with Indianapolis, which lost to Buffalo in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Philip Rivers announced his retirement last week and backup Jacoby Brissett is a pending free agent.

The Colts are being offered as the +300 favorite to land Stafford by SportsBetting.ag. Next is the San Francisco 49ers (+350), who may move on from oft-injured Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

The Denver Broncos (+400) have not committed to Drew Lock, who regressed in areas in 2020 after showing intriguing potential as a rookie.

The Washington Football Team won the woeful NFC East and has a talented young roster at many positions other than quarterback. With 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins released and the future of 36-year-old Alex Smith uncertain, the addition of Stafford could make the WFT (+450) a legitimate NFC contender next season.

The list of potential destinations for Stafford doesn’t stop there – New England, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints are just three more of several playoff-worthy rosters which could be a change at QB away from taking the “next step.”

SportsBetting.ag is offering odds on all 31 potential NFL destinations.

Matthew Stafford next team odds:
Indianapolis Colts (+300)
San Francisco 49ers (+350)
Denver Broncos (+400)
Washington Football Team (+450)
Carolina Panthers (+700)
New England Patriots (+800)
Las Vegas Raiders (+1000)
Los Angeles Rams (+1100)
Houston Texans (+1200)
Dallas Cowboys (+1400)
New Orleans Saints (+1400)
Atlanta Falcons (+1600)
New York Jets (+1800)
Philadelphia Eagles (+1800)
Green Bay Packers (+2000)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+2000)
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2000)
Chicago Bears (+2200)
Miami Dolphins (+2500)
Minnesota Vikings (+3300)
NewYork Giants (+3500)
Tennessee Titans (+4000)
TampaBay Buccaneers (+6600)
Cleveland Browns (+7500)
Arizona Cardinals (+10000)
Cincinnati Bengals (+12500)
Baltimore Ravens (+15000)
Los Angeles Chargers (+15000)
Buffalo Bills (+20000)
Seattle Seahawks (+20000)
Kansas City Chiefs (+25000)

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) drops back to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Lions QB Stafford departs with ankle injury

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford injured his right ankle on his team’s third offensive play of Saturday’s game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was later ruled out by the team.

Stafford returned to the sideline in the second quarter but Chase Daniel again took the field as Detroit’s quarterback with 4:52 left in the half. The Lions were trailing 27-0 at the time.

Stafford injured the ankle after throwing an incomplete pass with Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White applying pressure. Stafford appeared to take a misstep, causing the ankle to roll.

He remained in the game for one more play. The Lions then examined him and called for a cart but Stafford declined and hopped off the field to the locker room.

When Stafford returned to the field with his right foot heavily taped, he watched the replay of his injury with a team video person.

Detroit declared Stafford out shortly after the third quarter began.

Stafford completed 2 of 3 passes for 17 yards.

It is the third recent injury for Stafford, a 12-year veteran who started his 164th NFL game on Saturday. Stafford suffered a thumb injury in a game against the Washington Football Team on Nov. 15 and injured his ribs versus the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 13. He recovered to start the next game on both occasions.

Stafford entered Saturday with 3,774 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Detroit also ruled out guard Joe Dahl (back) in the third quarter.

The Lions trailed 34-0 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) reacts after an injury during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Lions QB Stafford undergoes X-rays for rib injury

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford departed Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter due to injured ribs.

Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell said after the game that Stafford was getting X-rays on his ribs. Bevell said it was “too early to tell” if Stafford will miss any games.

Stafford was hurt after he scrambled for 6 yards and was tackled by Green Bay’s Kenny Clark.

He stayed in for the next play, a 2-yard touchdown run by Kerryon Johnson with 6:30 remaining, but came off the field holding his left side. Stafford didn’t return when the Lions next had at the ball as backup Chase Daniel finished up the game.

Stafford twice went to the locker room for treatment, returning to the field on both occasions to lob some practice throws. After the second round of throws, he displayed visible discomfort that made it clear to Bevell that he couldn’t continue.

“Obviously we know (No.) 9 is a warrior, man,” left tackle Taylor Decker said, referring to Stafford by his uniform number. “He’ll battle through a lot, he’ll push through a lot of pain, so you know if he can’t go then it’s really because he can’t. Obviously, the team will take a look at it, but the medical stuff’s not really my thing.”

Daniel said in his postgame media session that Stafford “was in pain for sure. He got bent over sideways out there.”

Stafford completed 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown before exiting.

Daniel was 3-of-6 passing for 29 yards in his second appearance for the Lions. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 94 yards, one touchdown and one interception against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9 when Stafford departed to be evaluated for a possible concussion.

Stafford has passed for 3,522 yards and 22 touchdowns against nine interceptions this season.

The Lions (5-8) visit the Tennessee Titans next Sunday. If Daniel draws the start, it will be the sixth of his 11-year NFL career.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrates with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Packers beat Lions to clinch NFC North crown

Aaron Rodgers passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns — including a record-setting score to Davante Adams — and ran for another score as the visiting Green Bay Packers clinched their second straight NFC North title with a 31-24 victory against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Green Bay (10-3) vaulted into possession of the top seed in the NFC with the New Orleans Saints’ loss at Philadelphia. The Packers, who own the tiebreaker against the Saints, play two of their final three regular season games at home.

Detroit (5-8) saw its flickering NFC playoff hopes take a hit as quarterback Matthew Stafford exited the game with a rib injury late in the fourth quarter. Stafford was shaken up on a hit by Kenny Clark one play before Kerryon Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to bring the Lions within 28-21 with 6:30 remaining and was later replaced by Chase Daniel.

Packers placekicker Mason Crosby kicked a 57-yard field goal on the ensuing possession before Matt Prater’s 32-yarder brought the Lions within the final margin with 1:49 to go. Detroit’s onside kick attempt after the Prater field goal went out of bounds, and the Packers closed the game with a first down.

Green Bay raced to a near perfect start, with Rodgers completing each of his 10 throws on the team’s first two possessions for 119 yards and touchdowns to Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Adams’ 56-yard catch and run marked the eighth straight game in which he has caught a touchdown, breaking Hall of Famer Don Hutson’s franchise record. Adams has 14 touchdown receptions this season, tied with Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs for tops in the NFL.

Stafford was 24-for-34 passing for 244 yards and a touchdown to T.J. Hockenson. Danny Amendola led the Lions with six receptions for 66 yards, while D’Andre Swift ran for a touchdown in his return to the lineup after a three-game absence.

Adams had seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown while Valdes-Scantling had six catches for 85 yards and a score. Rodgers opened the second-half scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run to cap a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that swallowed 8:49 of clock time as Green Bay took a 21-14 lead.

Aaron Jones paced the Green Bay ground game with 15 carries for 69 yards.

The Packers’ defense sacked Stafford four times.

The teams entered halftime tied at 14, with Rodgers and Stafford both turning in sparkling first halves. Rodgers was 12-for-15 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the first 30 minutes while Stafford was 17-for-22 for 203 yards and a touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) runs after a catch for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Washington Football Team at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Lions RB Swift (concussion) to sit out vs. Panthers

Detroit Lions rookie running back D’Andre Swift will miss Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers due to a concussion.

Swift sustained the head injury earlier in the week. He practiced on Wednesday but sat out Thursday with the team later listing the absence was due to a concussion before being ruled out Friday.

Lions coach Matt Patricia was vague when it came to how the concussion occurred.

“Just something that came up and wanted to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence there, making sure that he was OK and that’s just how they saw it,” Patricia said. “We’ll be careful and make sure he’s out there as soon as he can based on the protocols.”

The second-round pick from Georgia made his first career start last Sunday against the Washington Football Team and rushed for 81 yards on 16 carries and added five receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Overall, Swift has rushed for 331 yards and four touchdowns and caught 31 passes for 275 yards and two scores.

Veteran Adrian Peterson said he was informed on Thursday that he would likely receive more of the rushing workload.

“I’m here to try to win, that’s my main objective,” Peterson said. “Of course I want to play, I’m a competitor.

“So I heard the news (about Swift’s concussion), the first thing was, ‘What’s going on?’ It was my concern for his health. It kind of threw me off. But after that, just, OK, the young guy’s down. As a running back room, we have to step up and handle our job.”

Kerryon Johnson, the main starter in 2019, will also see more playing time. Peterson has rushed for a team-leading 371 yards and Johnson has 112.

The Lions also ruled out receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola due to hip injuries. This will be the third straight game Golladay misses and the first of the season that Amendola sits out.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is one of six Lions listed as questionable. Stafford is dealing with soreness in his right (throwing) thumb and was a limited practice participant on Friday.

Also questionable are defensive linemen Austin Bryant (thigh) and Da’Shawn Hand (groin), linebacker Jarrad Davis (knee), safety Will Harris (groin) and offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot).

–Field Level Media