Lions vs. Rams final score, results: Detroit sends Matthew Stafford home, wins first playoff game in 32 years

The long wait is over in Detroit.

The Lions fought hard in the regular season to give their fans a home playoff game for the first time in three decades, and they grinded it out to give the fans at least one more by defeating the Rams 24-23 in the wild-card round on Sunday night.

It didn’t come easily for Dan Campbell’s team, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone in a Lions uniform. Detroit’s offense was simply unstoppable early on, rattling off three 75-yard touchdown drives to start the game and jumping out to a 21-10 lead.

It looked as though this one had the chance to be an all-time shootout when the Rams answered right back and made it 21-17 before halftime, but the style of play was remarkably different in the second half. Both teams were more physical, with the Rams making effective defensive adjustments but the Lions’ defense holding serve and keeping Los Angeles out of the end zone.

MORE: Revisiting the Lions’ last playoff win before triumph over Rams

Matthew Stafford had a chance to go down the field and give the Rams the lead deep into the fourth quarter, even getting one more chance when the Lions made the bold call to accept a holding penalty and push Los Angeles out of field goal range, but his third down pass to Puka Nacua was incomplete.

Needing two first downs to ice the game, the Lions’ offense delivered. Detroit’s staff finished the game the only way it knew how, making a bold call and putting the ball in Jared Goff’s hands to pick up the game-ending first down. Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown, converted, and threw his hands up in celebration as the Ford Field crowd let its emotions pour out.

Goff was emotional himself in a postgame interview, and it’s tough to blame him after his time with the Rams ended on a sour note three years ago. The Lions exorcised their demons, sent their former quarterback home, and now get the opportunity to host another playoff game thanks to the Cowboys’ upset loss.

The Lions will host either the Buccaneers or Eagles next Sunday with an NFC championship game bid on the line.

MORE: Inside the breakdown of the Sean McVay-Jared Goff relationship

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Lions vs. Rams in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. Check out the key moments you might have missed below.

Lions vs. Rams final score

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Rams 3 14 3 3 23
Lions 14 7 3 0 24

Lions vs. Rams results, highlights from NFL wild-card playoffs

(All times Eastern)

Final: Lions 24, Rams 23

11:02 p.m. — That’s it! The Lions have won their first playoff game in 32 years! How sweet it is for a franchise mocked for so long. The Lions will host a divisional round game next weekend against either the Eagles or Buccaneers.

11:00 p.m. — The Lions take a risk and let Goff sling it. It works. He hits Amon-Ra St. Brown for another first down, and Detroit is oh so close to its first playoff victory in 32 years. 

10:56 p.m. — It’s now 2nd & 9, and the Rams will hold onto their timeout through the two-minute warning. 

10:55 p.m. — There’s one first down. David Montgomery refuses to go down and bursts forward to start running this clock down. 

10:52 p.m. — The Rams have only one timeout remaining, so we’re at the point that a few first downs could be enough for the Lions to win their first playoff game in 30 years. This is a monumental moment for the franchise. 

10:51 p.m. — Stafford’s high pass to Nacua is INCOMPLETE. There was contact all over, but no penalty is called. The Rams will punt with just over four minutes remaining. 

10:49 p.m. — The Lions lose a yard on third down, and the Rams choose to accept a holding penalty and knock them out of distant field goal range rather than bring up fourth down. That’s a risky, risky call. 

10:47 p.m. — Kerby Joseph delivers a huge hit on Tyler Higbee, forcing an incompletion and flipping the Rams’ tight end upside down. He hobbles off the field. 

10:46 p.m. — The Rams are over midfield after a catch-and-run by Ronnie Rivers. Stafford has 361 yards. 

10:45 p.m. — Add 36 more yards to Puka Nacua’s night. He has 181 yards. Unstoppable. 

10:44 p.m. — The Rams will start this drive from the 8-yard line…Kyren Williams is back on the sideline holding his helmet, but he’s not in the game. 

10:40 p.m. — Goff sails a pass above Josh Reynolds, and the Lions are quickly forced to punt. It’s getting mighty uncomfortable at Ford Field. 

Lions 24, Rams 23

10:33 p.m. — Maher sends the 29-yard attempt through to trim the Lions’ lead to one. This is a big-time moment for a Lions offense that is trying to recapture the momentum it had in the first half.

10:32 p.m. — Kupp is well covered on third down, and Stafford’s pass sails a bit too far out of the end zone anyway. The Lions get a stop and force a field goal try. 

10:30 p.m. — It’ll be a huge 3rd & 8 for the Rams after an injury timeout for Alex Anzalone. Meanwhile, Kyren Williams is out of the game again with a hand injury. 

10:27 p.m. — Nacua halls in a terrific pass from Stafford to take the Rams down inside the red zone. Those two have an incredible connection. 

10:26 p.m. — Kyren Williams is really finding his groove now, and the Rams seem to be running their offense through him all of a sudden. 

10:24 p.m. — Wow, Nacua bullies his way to a first down on a catch-and-run. He has an uncanny ability to stay on his feet. 

10:21 p.m. — Kyren Williams is also back in and runs for 15 yards. The Rams need him to get going just like that.

10:20 p.m. — A strange moment here as officials stop the game and try to get Puka Nacua off the field, only to say he’s already been evaluated. Nacua stays on the field. 

End of third quarter: Lions 24, Rams 20

10:15 p.m. — The Rams bottle up the Lions’ running game, and Goff gets tripped up on third down to bring a quick end to their drive. 

10:14 p.m. — Stafford is out of the tent and throwing on the sideline. Meanwhile, Puka Nacua is in the tent.

10:12 p.m. — A concussion specialist is reportedly in the tent with Stafford. He was also holding his rib cage area. 

Lions 24, Rams 20

10:10 p.m. FIELD GOAL — The Lions hold strong and force a field goal by Maher. The Rams trail by four.

10:09 p.m. — Stafford takes two hard hits and is in the medical tent as well…that’s a major cause for concern for the Rams. 

10:08 p.m. — Kyren Williams is in the injury tent, which could be a major blow to the Rams’ offense. 

10:06 p.m. — A terrific job by Stafford to find Davis Allen for a 22-yard gain, and the Lions are suddenly in the red zone looking to tie this game. 

10:05 p.m. — The Rams pick up a couple first down thanks to Ronnie Rivers, who has gotten involved in the offense with two touches here. 

Lions 24, Rams 17

9:58 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Badgley drills it from 54 yards out, so the Lions salvage that drive and extend their lead to seven.

9:57 p.m. — The drive blows up rapidly, with Goff taking a sack from Ernest Jones one play after Jahmyr Gibbs is dropped for a 5-yard loss. It’s 3rd & 21, and a short play to get back into field goal range might in the cards now.

9:55 p.m. — Amon-Ra St. Brown is scorching hot right now, with receptions of 30 yards and 17 yards to take the Lions well into Rams territory. He’s up to 89 yards on five catches.

9:50 p.m. — After Hutchinson gets his second sack of Stafford, the Rams QB throws incomplete on third down and LA is forced to punt. Aaron Glenn’s defense seems to be finding a little something. 

9:47 p.m. — The Rams start the half quickly with a 14-yard completion to Demarcus Robinson.

End of first half: Lions 21, Rams 17

9:32 p.m. — The Lions’ defense responds, and the Rams just don’t have enough time to get anywhere on their final drive. That’s the end of a fun first half. Lions still in front.

9:28 p.m. — It sure looks like Ernest Jones was the one who jumped here…

9:27 p.m. — The Lions tried to get the Rams to jump and believed they did, but it’s called a false start by Taylor Decker. That’s a questionable call. Detroit will punt. 

9:26 p.m. — Goff gets hit on 3rd & 5, which forces a wobbly pass. Will the Lions go for it? Looks like it…

9:24 p.m. — 3rd & 15? No problem. Goff finds Amon-Ra St. Brown for 23 yards, keeping the drive alive and preventing the Lions from getting the ball right back. 

9:20 p.m. — The Rams bring pressure, and Goff loses a live ball that gets recovered 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The Lions will have 2nd & 25…

Lions 21, Rams 17

9:15 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Woah, Stafford tosses a beauty to Tutu Atwell, who breaks free and walks into the end zone with nobody near him. These are two high-flying offenses at Ford Field. It’s 21-17, Lions.

9:14 p.m. — Sean McVay draws up a great fourth down play as Stafford finds Cooper Kupp near the sideline to convert. That’s a huge moment. A turnover on downs would’ve set up the Lions with great field position. 

9:13 p.m. — Stafford’s downfield shot to Demarcus Robinson just misses, and it looks like the Rams are keeping their offense on the field on 4th & 5. 

9:10 p.m. — A casual 20 more yards for Nacua as the Lions have a hard time bringing him down. Cameras keep showing the cut on Stafford’s throwing hand, but his throws have been on the money. 

Lions 21, Rams 10

9:06 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Goff throws on 4th & 1 and finds LaPorta in the back of the end zone! Another beautiful play drawn up by Ben Johnson, and it has the Lions back in front by 11. Every Lions drive has resulted in a touchdown.

9:05 p.m. — The Rams finally slow the Lions’ running game, setting up 4th & 1…and Detroit will go for it.

9:02 p.m. — Jahmyr Gibbs cannot be tackled! The Rams are struggling to bring guys down, and Detroit is now set up with 1st & 5 from the LA 6 with the help of a neutral zone infraction by Aaron Donald. 

9:00 p.m. — More than 18 minutes into the game, Goff throws his first incompletion. 

8:59 p.m. — Now Jameson Williams gets in on the action with a great grab over the middle to take the Lions into Rams territory.

8:58 p.m. — Another big run for Mongtomery, who bursts forward for 11 yards to kickstart the Lions’ drive.

Lions 14, Rams 10

8:55 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Stafford sure is feeling fine! He hits a wide open Nacua downfield for a massive touchdown. What a play. The Rams steal the momentum right back.

8:53 p.m. — Stafford appears to be dealing with a cut on his hand after he collided with the helmet of Alim McNeill, but he seems to be fine.

End of first quarter: Lions 14, Rams 3

8:49 p.m. — Wow, what a job by Stafford to fire a pass to Demarcus Robinson on 3rd & 16. That’s one way to quiet the crowd.

8:47 p.m. — Aidan Hutchinson sacks Stafford on first down, firing up an already energized Ford Field crowd.

Lions 14, Rams 3

8:44 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — The Lions’ offensive line opens up a huge hole, and Jahmyr Gibbs runs right through it for the touchdown! Detroit has just carved up this Rams defense so far. It’s 14-3.

8:43 p.m. — Josh Reynolds is a star tonight! He goes for 33 yards all the way to set up 1st & Goal for the Lions. Reynolds is up to 75 yards already. 

8:40 p.m. — The Lions are moving the ball well again, this time with the help of a big catch-and-run by Jahmyr Gibbs. The Rams’ tackling was an issue on that play. Detroit is well into Rams territory. 

Lions 7, Rams 3

8:36 p.m. FIELD GOAL — It’s not what they wanted, but the Rams are on the board with a field goal by Brett Maher. 7-3, Lions.

8:35 p.m. — The Lions brought heavy pressure to force a third consecutive Stafford incompletion. That was nearly an interception on a ball Stafford just had to heave into the air. A field goal try is coming.

8:34 p.m. — Stafford throws his first two incompletions of the night, and it’s now 3rd & Goal for the Rams. 

8:32 p.m. — The Rams are moving quickly down the field after a sneaky catch-and-run by Puka Nacua. LA is into the red zone. 

8:30 p.m. — Kyren Williams will be a huge part of what the Rams do tonight, and he already has 14 yards on two carries as LA moves into Lions territory.

8:29 p.m. — Stafford throws incomplete downfield on 3rd & 1, but the Lions are called for pass interference to give the Rams some life.

Lions 7, Rams 0

8:23 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — David Montgomery runs it into the end zone to give the Lions the lead! What a drive for Detroit, and that’s why Ben Johnson is such a hot head coaching candidate this cycle.

8:22 p.m. — 1st & Goal from the 2 after another nice play by Reynolds…

8:21 p.m. — Sam LaPorta looks pretty healthy as he takes the Lions down to the 11. Ben Johnson has whipped up a terrific drive to this point. 

8:19 p.m. — Former Rams WR Josh Reynolds hauls in a great pass from Goff to take the Lions down to the LA 30-yard line.

8:17 p.m. — David Montgomery runs right up the gut for a first down on the first snap. Nice start for this all-important Lions running game. 

8:16 p.m. — The Lions will start the night with the ball, looking to build some early momentum. 

8:10 p.m. — We are minutes away from kickoff in the city of Detroit’s first playoff game in three decades. Now that the Cowboys lost, they can earn one more next weekend. 

7:40 p.m. — Boos for Matthew Stafford at Ford Field. Lions fans appreciate what he did for the franchise, but all bets are off in a playoff atmosphere.

7:20 p.m. — With the Cowboys’ loss all but sealed, the Lions would host another playoff game if they advance. The Rams, meanwhile, would avoid the 49ers with a win and face the winner of tomorrow night’s game between the Buccaneers and Eagles.

6:55 p.m. — The Lions might have Barry Sanders, but the Rams have Bryan Cranston on hand at Ford Field.

6:25 p.m. — Some perspective from Barry Sanders…

5:45 p.m. — Matthew Stafford is in the building, back where he spent the first 12 years of his career.

5:15 p.m. — Lions brass might be enjoying what they’re seeing early in Dallas, where the Packers have a lead on the Cowboys. A Dallas loss and a Lions would allow Ford Field to host another playoff game next week. 

4:15 p.m. — The winner of this game will know its opponent the second the final whistle blows if the Cowboys win. In that scenario, the Lions would go to Dallas with a win while the Rams would go to San Francisco with a win. If the Cowboys lose, the winner tonight will face the Eagles-Buccaneers winner.

4:00 p.m. — It’s a nice day to have a dome. The temperatures is currently 8 degrees in Detroit, with a feels like temperature of -9. 

Lions vs. Rams start time

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 14
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET 

The NFL playoffs continue with Lions vs. Rams from Ford Field at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 14.

MORE: Revisiting Dan Campbell’s playing career

What channel is Lions vs. Rams on today?

  • National TV: NBC (U.S.) | TSN+ (Canada) 
  • Live stream: Peacock, Fubo (U.S.) | DAZN (in Canada)

Lions vs. Rams will be broadcast by NBC, representing the network’s second game of the weekend and third when including Saturday’s exclusive Peacock broadcast. Mike Tirico (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (color analyst) will be on the call from Ford Field.

For those who prefer streaming, the game can be found on Peacock and Fubo, which offers a free trial.

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