Well, that went better than expected.
But the Detroit Lions' defensive effort still wasn't enough, as Matthew Stafford and the offense struggled to put points on the scoreboard in Sunday's 30-16 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Aaron Donald terrorized rookie tackle Frank Ragnow and strip-sacked Stafford deep in Detroit territory late in the fourth with the Lions facing a 3-point deficit. The Rams sacked Stafford four times in the game, and former Lion Ndamukong Suh made six tackles.
The Lions gained 310 yards of offense, but couldn't move the ball when it mattered, finishing 2-for-12 on third down. Matt Prater kicked three field goals, and offensive guard Taylor Decker scored Detroit's only touchdown.
For the most part, the Lions' defense faired quite well against the Rams' high-flying attack. Los Angeles picked up just 277 yards of offense through three quarters, and Detroit forced two turnovers: A Quandre Diggs interception in the second quarter and a Damon Harrison strip-sack of Jared Goff in the third.
DET - Matthew Stafford: 20/33, 245 yds., TD, INT
LAR - Jared Goff: 17/33, 207 yds., TD, INT
DET - LeGarrette Blount: 16 atts., 61 yds.
LAR - Todd Gurley: 23 atts., 123 yds., 2 TDs
DET - Levine Toilolo: 4 recs., 90 yds.
LAR - Robert Woods: 5 recs., 67 yds., TD
Red-zone interception seals the deal for Rams
Matthew Stafford's first-down throw to Luke Willson falls incomplete. He misses Kenny Golladay down the right sideline on second down. Ndamukong Suh receives a roughing the passer penalty for pushing Stafford to the ground after he lets go of it on third down.
Willson draws a pass interference penalty on the next play, giving Detroit a first down at the Los Angeles 48.
Then Kenny Wiggins takes a holding penalty, backing the Lions up 10 yards.
Stafford completes a 25-yard pass to TJ Jones, and then finds Levine Toilolo for a 19-yard completion to give Detroit a first down at the 14-yard-line.
Stafford misses to Golladay and Toilolo on first and second down. Stafford is intercepted in the end zone by Troy Hill, and after Jared Goff takes a knee, this one will be over.
Rams 30, Lions 16 (FINAL)
Gurley touchdown extends Rams' lead late
The Lions fail to convert on another onside kick attempt. Los Angeles will get it at the 45.
Robert Woods rushes for 2 yards on first down.
Timeout #1 Detroit (2:49 4th)
Todd Gurley rushes for 5 yards on second down.
Timeout #2 Detroit (2:45 4th)
Gurley breaks free and could have easily scored, but he goes down at the 2-yard-line after a gain of 36 to keep possession for the Rams.
Timeout #3 Detroit (2:32 4th)
Gurley is stopped for no gain on first down.
Gurley gets in the end zone, and the Rams have a 14-point lead late in the fourth.
Rams 30, Lions 16 (1:54 4th)
Lions stopped in red zone, add another field goal
Greg Zuerlein's kick goes for a touchback.
Theo Riddick somehow is able to avoid being dropped behind the line on first down, picking up a yard before getting tackled by Ndamukong Suh. Matthew Stafford's throw to Bruce Ellington on second down yields another yard. Stafford goes deep to Kenny Golladay on second down, which draws a pass interference penalty. That's a 48-yard penalty that'll give the Lions a first down at the Los Angeles 25.
Riddick rushes for a gain of 7 yards on first down. Bruce Ellington makes a 3-yard reception on second down to move the chains.
LeGarrette Blount is dropped behind the line by Aaron Donald on second down. Stafford is sacked hard for a loss of a yard on second down. But there were three penalties on the play, and they'll re-do the down. Riddick is dropped for a loss of 1 on second down.
Timeout #1 Los Angeles (3:07 4th)
Stafford somehow escapes a sack, steps up and fires a bullet to Kenny Golladay in the back of the end zone; Golladay isn't able to get both feet in-bounds, and the Lions will try another field goal.
Matt Prater's 35-yard attempt is good.
Rams 23, Lions 17 (2:54 4th)
Rams extend lead to 10 points in fourth quarter
Jared Goff's first-down pass to Robert Woods is complete to the Detroit 16-yard-line for a gain of 8. Todd Gurley picks up a new set of downs with a 3-yard carry on second down.
Gurley rushes into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown run.
Rams 23, Lions 13 (6:53 4th)
Donald strip-sacks Stafford, Rams get ball deep in Detroit territory
Detroit takes over at the 31-yard-line.
Matthew Stafford hands to LeGarrette Blount on first down for a gain of 4 yards. Blount moves the chains with a 7-yard halfback draw on second down.
Matthew Stafford is strip-sacked by Aaron Donald. Samson Ebukam recovers for Los Angeles at the Lions' 24-yard-line.
Rams 16, Lions 13 (8:13 4th)
Lions' defensive line shuts down Goff
Jared Goff gets away with a terrible throw on first down; Romeo Okwara got both hands on the football with nobody between him and the end zone, but he drops it. Eli Harold gets a hand on Goff's second-down throw, but he can't reel in the interception, either. Ziggy Ansah shifts to the left, shoots a gap, and hits Goff as he lets go of an incomplete pass. What a drive for Detroit's defensive line.
Bruce Ellington fair catches the punt at Detroit's 31-yard-line.
Rams 16, Lions 13 (9:48 4th)
Lions offense struggling to overcome three-point deficit
LeGarrette Blount breaks free on the weak-side edge and steams ahead in the open field, picking up 24 yards before jumping out of bounds at the 44-yard-line.
Blount goes up the middle for a 3-yard gain on first down. Matthew Stafford is sacked by Aaron Donald for a loss of 6 yards on second down. Stafford's pass to Bruce Ellington on third down is good for only 5 yards, and the Lions will punt.
Sam Martin's punt is downed at the 16-yard-line.
Rams 16, Lions 13 (10:13 4th)
Lions' Harold sacks Goff on huge third down
Pharoh Cooper returns Sam Martin's kick to the 21.
Todd Gurley runs out of real estate while looking for the edge and is pushed out-of-bounds for no gain on first down. Jared Goff's pass on second down is complete to Tyler Higbee for a gain of 16.
Gurley picks up 2 yards on a first-down carry. The Rams move the chains with a 9-yard completion to Gurley.
Goff rolls out and misfires to Josh Reynolds on first down from the 48. Gurley picks up 3 yards through the middle on the last play of the third quarter. It'll be third-and-7 from the Detroit 49 when we return.
Rams 16, Lions 13 (End 3rd)
Goff sucks the air out of the building with a 9-yard completion to Robert Woods that moves the chains.
The Rams are flagged for delay of game before the next snap. It's first-and-15 from the Lions' 45.
Goff throws it short of Woods with the pocket closing in on first down. Gurley pulls in Goff's pass on second down for a gain of 10, but both teams received a penalty, so they'll re-do the down. Goff misses an open Cooper on second down, bringing up third-and-15. Edge rusher Eli Harold beats his blocker and takes Goff to the turf for a loss of 10.
Johnny Hekker's punt bounces into the end zone.
Rams 16, Lions 13 (12:44 4th)
Taylor Decker scores Lions' first touchdown of game
The Lions take over at the 25 after a touchback.
LeGarrette Blount rushes for 5 yards on first down. Theo Riddick rushes for a gain of 6 yards on second down to move the sticks.
Matthew Stafford fires a strike over the middle to a wide-open Levine Toilolo for a gain of 39 that puts Detroit at the Los Angeles 23-yard-line.
The Lions run a wide-receiver pass on the next play, and Bruce Ellington is lucky to throw it out-of-bounds before being dropped for a loss. Riddick hauls in a 12-yard pass from Stafford on second down that'll make it first-and-10 from the 11.
The Lions run some more trickery on first down. Offensive tackle Taylor Decker releases from his defender and catches an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Rams 16, Lions 13 (3:02 3rd)
Rams regain 10-point lead with field goal
Detroit try to catch the Rams by surprise with an onside kick, but Sam Martin's kick only goes about 6 yards. The Rams have it at the Detroit 38.
Todd Gurley rushes for 3 yards on first down. He catches a pass from Jared Goff on second down for a gain of 5. Gurley is stuffed by A'Shawn Robinson on third down for no gain. Surprisingly, the Rams offense is coming off the field.
Greg Zuerlein's field goal try from 48 yards out splits the uprights.
Rams 16, Lions 6 (5:46 3rd)
Lions kick field goal after Jones touchdown is called back
Matthew Stafford connects with Kenny Golladay on first down for a 15-yard completion that'll give the Lions a new set of downs at the Rams 32.
Graham Glasgow is flagged for holding on the next play, making it first-and-20.
Stafford picks up the first down immediately with a 22-yard completion to Levine Toilolo.
Theo Riddick carries the ball 3 yards on second down and LeGarrette Blount picks up 2 on second down. Riddick keeps the drive alive with a 6-yard reception.
Ndamukong Suh pulls down Zach Zenner by his collar on first down, making it first-and-goal from the 4-yard-line.
Blount loses 5 — five — yards on a first-down carry. Stafford's throw to Riddick on second down falls incomplete. He hits TJ Jones in the end zone on third down, but Jones is flagged for offensive pass interference. Woof. Third-and-goal from the 19, now. Stafford hands it to Riddick for a gain of 8.
Matt Prater's 29-yard field goal try is good.
Rams 13, Lions 6 (7:56 3rd)
Harrison strip-sacks Goff, recovers in Rams territory
Jared Goff starts off the second half firing, as he hits Robert Woods on first down for a 23-yard completion that'll move the Rams near midfield.
On the next play, Damon Harrison strip-sacks Jared Goff and then recovers the fumble for Detroit at Los Angeles' 47-yard-line.
Rams 13, Lions 3 (13:21 3rd)
Lions go three-and-out on first drive of second half
Greg Zuerlein's kick bounces into the end zone. First down for Detroit at the 25 to start the half.
LeGarrette Blount is stopped up the middle for a gain of 1 on first down.
Since his 9-yard carry on the Lions' first play from scrimmage, Blount has picked up just 5 yards on six carries.
Matthew Stafford's second-down pass is jumped by Troy Hill and nearly intercepted. Stafford throws to Bruce Ellington on a crossing route on third down and the pass is dropped.
JoJo Natson returns Sam Martin's punt to the 26-yard-line.
Rams 13, Lions 3 (14:03 3rd)
First half leaders
DET - Matthew Stafford: 9/13, 87 yds.
LAR - Jared Goff: 11/21, 137 yds., TD, INT
DET - Theo Riddick: 3 atts., 14 yds.
LAR - Todd Gurley: 12 atts., 65 yds.
DET - Kenny Golladay: 2 recs., 35 yds.
LAR - Brandin Cooks: 4 recs., 62 yds.
Lions' offense can't find groove before halftime
Greg Zuerlein's kick bounces off the crossbar of the uprights. Detroit will have it at the 25.
Matthew Stafford hits Kenny Golladay for an 11-yard gain on first down.
Stafford's throw to Ellington on the next play is a little high and goes through Ellington's hands. Then Graham Glasgow draws some yellow laundry for a false start to make it second-and-15. Stafford completes it to Riddick for a gain of 8 on second down. It'll be third-and-7 from the Detroit 39.
Timeout #2 Detroit (0:25 2nd)
Stafford throws incomplete on third down. THere was also a penalty flag thrown on Rick Wagner for holding.
Sam Martin's punt is downed by Tracy Walker at the 8-yard-line.
Rams 13, Lions 3 (0:11 2nd)
Jared Goff takes a knee and the two teams will head to the locker room.
Rams 13, Lions 3 (End 2nd)
Rams add a field goal before half
Jared Goff drops back and effortlessly drops a pass over the shoulder of Robert Woods for a 26-yard completion that'll make it first-and-10 for the Rams at Detroit's 42.
Goff hits Brandin Cooks on the next play for a 13-yard gain.
Goff misses Gerald Everett on first down.
Injury update: Lions LB Devon Kennard is questionable to return with a hip injury.
Jarrad Davis gets pressure on Goff on second down and forces his throw to fall short of the target. It's third-and-10. Romeo Okwara gets in Goff's face immediately and Goff just has to throw it to the turf.
Greg Zuerlein's 47-yard field goal attempt is good.
Rams 13, Lions 3 (0:43 2nd)
Detroit offense goes backward late in second quarter
Detroit will start at the 25-yard-line after a touchback.
Theo Riddick rushes for 6 yards on first down.
Riddick is wrapped up by Aaron Donald on second down for a loss of 3.
Timeout #2 Los Angeles (1:55 2nd)
Matthew Stafford takes the third-down snap from the shotgun and is plowed to the turf by Cory Littleton before he can even find the laces. Detroit will punt.
Before the punt, officials blow things dead and announce they will review whether Littleton Stafford to fumble before hitting the ground. The ruling is then confirmed.
Sam Martin's punt is returned 8 yards by JoJo Natson to the 32.
Rams 10, Lions 3 (1:33 2nd)
Rams take 10-3 lead late in second quarter
Todd Gurley is the ballcarrier on first down, and he picks up 9 yards. Gurley moves the chains with a 3-yard run on second down.
Nevin Lawson is flagged for holding on a pass intended for Josh Reynolds on the next play. It'll be first-and-10 at the Los Angeles 46.
Jared Goff connects with Tyler Higbee on first down for a 3-yard completion. Robert Woods gets the carry on second down; he picks up 9 yards and a first down in Detroit territory at the 42.
Goff somehow escapes a sack on first down, and he turns and fires deep to Woods; Goff's throw is on the money, but Quandre Diggs plows through the Los Angeles receiver to jar the ball loose. The Rams receive a holding penalty on the next play, setting up second-and-20. Da'Shawn Hand is called for illegal hands to the face on second down, making it first-and-10 for the Rams from Detroit's 47-yard-line.
Gurley rushes for 5 yards on first down and 3 yards on second down. Goff throws a strike to Gerald Everett on third down, a 7-yard completion that'll move the sticks.
Gurley cuts to the outside after hitting a hole and reaches the Detroit 11 for a gain of 21 yards.
On the next play, Gurley gets it again and picks up 3. Goff's throw to Gurley on second down is wide of the target, bringing up third-and-7.
Timeout #1 Detroit (2:33 2nd)
Goff completes it to Woods in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Rams 10, Lions 3 (2:28 2nd)
Lions give ball right back after going three-and-out
LeGarrette Blount is dropped at the 25-yard-line for no gain on a first-down carry. Matthew Stafford takes it himself up the middle on second down for a gain of 2 before being taken to the turf by Ndamukong Suh. Stafford's throw to Levine Toilolo misses the mark on third down and the Lions will give it right back.
Sam Martin's punt is fair caught by JoJo Natson at the 29.
Lions 3, Rams 3 (8:37 2nd)
Diggs picks off Goff early in Rams' drive
Pharoh Cooper returns Sam Martin's kick to the 26 before getting knocked out-of-bounds by Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
Malcolm Brown spins out of two tackles and reaches the 33-yard-line with a 7-yard carry on first down. Brown is stopped after a gain of 1 on second down to set up third-and-2. Todd Gurley moves the chains with a 3-yard gain.
Jared Goff throws deep to Robert Woods on first down; he misses the target - pretty badly, I might add - and the pass is picked off by Quandre Diggs. Diggs returns it to the Detroit 25.
Lions 3, Rams 3 (10:07 2nd)
Lions pull even with field goal early in second quarter
Greg Zuerlein's kick goes through the back of the end zone. Detroit will get it at the 25.
Theo Riddick hits a weak-side hole, throws a couple jukes, and picks up 11 yards on first down.
Kenny Golladay gets open over the middle and Matthew Stafford throws a strike to complete a first-down pass of 24 yards that'll give the Lions a new set of downs at the Los Angeles 40.
Bruce Ellington catches a swing pass and shoots up the sideline for a gain of 10 yards that'll give the Lions another first down.
Stafford's pocket collapses on first down and Dante Fowler pulls down the Lions' quarterback to force a loss of 3. Stafford completes a throw over the middle to Luke Willson on second down that picks up 8 yards. That's the last play of the first quarter. Third-and-5 coming up after the break.
Rams 3, Lions 0 (End 1st)
Stafford throws it complete to Ellington on a route near the sideline, picking up 10 yards and keeping the drive alive. It's first-and-10 from the 15.
Zach Zenner picks up 7 yards on his first carry of the game, reaching the Los Angeles 8-yard-line before getting pushed out-of-bounds. Blount gets a yard up the middle on second down. Stafford pitches it to Ellington on third down, and Ellington is absolutely smoked by Fowler after pulling in the reception. He loses 3 yards, and Matt Prater will be out to try a field goal.
Prater's try from 28 is good.
Lions 3, Rams 3 (12:24 2nd)
Lions fall behind on Rams field-goal drive
Todd Gurley rushes for a gain of 1 yard on first down. Robert Woods pulls in a throw near the right sideline with Darius Slay in tight coverage, picking up 19 yards and giving the Rams a first down at the 40-yard-line.
Jared Goff throws complete to Josh Reynolds on the next play for a gain of 14 that'll move the Rams into Detroit territory with another first down.
Gurley overshoots Woods down the left sideline on first down. Gurley reaches the edge and picks up 15 yards before getting pushed out-of-bounds by Mike Ford.
Gurley catches a perfectly designed screen pass that leaves the left side of the field wide open and allows Gurley to pick up 19 yards. It'll be first-and-10 at the Detroit 12.
Timeout #1 Los Angeles (4:53 1st)
A'Shawn Robinson wraps up Gurley by the legs and pulls him down after a gain of 1 on first down. Goff has all day to throw on third down; he kicks it to Reynolds in the flat, and Ford hits him twice before eventually driving him out-of-bounds at the 6. It'll be third-and-4. Goff's throw to the end zone on third down is just out of the reach of Reynolds.
Greg Zuerlein's field goal try from 24 yards out is good.
Rams 3, Lions 0 (3:17 1st)
Suh draws boos on Lions' opening drive
LeGarrette Blount finds a hole on first down and gets to the 13-yard-line on first down for a gain of 9. Blount's able to bounce it to the outside and pickup 2 yards to move the chains on second down.
Three Rams defenders get in Matthew Stafford's face on a first-down screen pass, forcing his throw just out of the reach of Blount. Stafford fakes the handoff and hits Levine Toilolo on the next play for a gain of 10. Ndamukong Suh made the tackle, which brings out the boo birds at Ford Field.
Blount is stuffed by Suh for no gain on second down. Aaron Donald blows up Blount on second down to force a loss of 1 yard. Bruce Ellington pulls in a 9-yard completion on third down. Detroit is called for holding, but the Rams decline the penalty and will force the Lions to punt.
JoJo Natson returns Sam Martin's punt past midfield, but a block in the back penalty will move the Rams back to the 20-yard-line.
Lions 0, Rams 0 (7:57 1st)
Lions force Rams to punt on opening drive
The Lions have won the toss and will defer to the second half.
Sam Martin's kick is fielded by Pharoh Cooper in the end zone and taken for a touchback. Los Angeles will start at the 25.
Todd Gurley takes the handoff from Jared Goff and first down and is wrapped up by Jarrad Davis after a gain of 2. Goff fakes the handoff and fires to Brandin Cooks on second down for a pickup of 15 yards.
Goff throws it on first down with Devon Kennard closing in and misses Cooks down the right sideline. Darius Slay breaks up Goff's pass to Robert Woods on second down, but he's called for pass interference. That'll give the Rams a first down at their 46-yard-line.
Gurley is stuffed by Damon Harrison up the middle on first down for a loss of 1. Goff completes it to Cooks on a crossing route on second down; Quandre Diggs drags down the receiver after a gain of 8 to set up third-and-3. Goff overthrows Gerald Everett on third down and the Rams will punt.
Los Angeles corner Sam Shields makes a diving effort to keep the ball out of the end zone, and the punt is downed at the 4.
Lions 0, Rams 0 (11:56 1st)
Lions: Running back Kerryon Johnson, wide receiver Brandon Powell, cornerback Teez Tabor, fullback Nick Bellore, linebacker Trevor Bates, defensive end Kerry Hyder and tight end Michael Roberts are inactive for Detroit.
Rams: Defensive back Darious Williams, running backs Justin Davis and John Kelly, linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, tight end Johnny Mundt and defensive ends Sebastian Joseph-Day and Tanzel Smart are inactive for Los Angeles. The Rams also announced earlier in the week that All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib has been activated from the injured reserve list.
The Detroit Lions have a stiff challenge on Sunday as the high-powered Los Angeles Rams visit for a 1 p.m. kickoff. You can follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.
The Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams have both proven their ability to stay on the field this season. The Rams gone three-and-out just 11 times in 125 drives, good enough for first in the NFL - by a wide margin - with the Lions' three-and-out percentage sitting at 14.2 percent through week 12, tying them with the Kansas City Chiefs for the fourth-best percentage in the league.
Running it back to 2014
In last week's Thanksgiving Day loss to the Chicago Bears, Theo Riddick surpassed Le'Veon Bell as the NFL's leading pass-catcher at the running back position in the last five seasons with 268 receptions.
LeGarrette Blount's two-touchdown performance against the Bears gave him 43 rushing touchdowns since 2014, moving him ahead of Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley to become the league's leader in rushing touchdowns during that span.
LIONS VS. RAMS
Kickoff: Sunday, 1 p.m., Ford Field, Detroit
TV/radio: Fox/760 AM
Records: Lions 4-7, Rams 10-1
Line: Rams by 10