By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It was a big anticipation of the two quarterbacks playing against their former teams. Jared Goff a former Ram and Mathew Stafford who spent some twelve years with the Lions.
They would meet at So-Fi Stadium and for a while Goff and the Lions had the upper edge as they were ahead in the third period 19-16 in the third.
Goff didn’t need a homecoming game to remind him it’s much easier to win when in LA.
And Matthew Stafford is liking where he is being surrounded so much talent He completed 28 of 34 for 334 yards and three touchdowns against his former team, the Rams’ 28-19 victory.
Goff connected on 22 0f 36 for 268 yards one touchdown and two interceptions. One INT was by the Rams Jalen Ramsey in the endzone with just under five minutes left to put the game away.
The pick was a present on Ramsey’s birthday.
Stafford and Goff both had high emotions in the first game since they switched uniforms in a blockbuster trade last winter. Their postgame reunions with former teammates and coaches were uniformly warm, especially for the Rams’ (6-1) narrow win.
”Got a lot of great friends, got a lot of people that I care about that are on that team or from that city, and just glad to have this one over with,” said Stafford. “It was good to see them, I just haven’t seen those guys in awhile. I talk to them you know and all that kind of stuff, but its good to see their face. I spent a lot of time with a lot of those people over there and have some really good relationships.
Afterward, Goff chatted with his former teammates and exchanged pleasantries with coach Sean McVay, who slapped his former quarterback’s helmet after their hug.
”I didn’t think about it until after, but there’s a lot of guys I never saw after the trade,” Goff said. ”Being able to see them and say hello and catch up for two minutes was good. It was healthy. And then once the game started, it was very as usual. It really felt like any other game.”
That was bad news for the struggling Lions and good news for the Rams, who made a series oof mistakes.
The Rams led 25-19 when Goff drove the Lions to the Los Angeles 12 while converting four third downs. But Ramsey came up with his latest game-changing play while Goff was being hit by Aaron Donald.
”Those two guys are the best at their position for a reason, and made a great play on us,” Goff said.
The Lions fell to 0-7 on the season and Goff still hasn’t won a NFL start without McVay as his head coach, to 0-14. McVay is 42-0 when the Rams lead at the half.
Cooper Kupp the league’s leading receiver 10 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns for the Rams, including the go-ahead score with 13:59 left. Van Jefferson also caught a scoring pass from Stafford, whose first TD pass to Kupp was the 300th of his NFL career. Robert Woods had six receptions for 70 yards.
McVay summed up the game. “It was a good win the defense came through at the end. We still have some things to work on.”
RAM NOTES: Earlier in the week the Rams traded Linebacker Kenny Young to the Denver Broncos for a 224 sixth round pick. Young was third on the team with 39 tackles.