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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron DaSilva

How the Rams can help send Jared Goff back to the playoffs

The Detroit Lions have been passively rooting against the Los Angeles Rams all season, knowing they have their first-round pick in the 2023 draft from the Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford trade. However, in the season finale this weekend, the Lions will be pulling hard for the Rams – even if it hurts their draft position.

That’s because Goff and the Lions actually need the Rams to win in Week 18 in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. The only way the Lions can make the postseason is if they beat the Packers and the Rams beat the Seahawks.

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The Rams showed they still have a lot of love for Goff when he returned to SoFi Stadium last season, and now they can help him out by potentially sending him back to the playoffs by beating Seattle. The Lions, of course, will need to hold up their end of the bargain, too.

Goff and the Lions helped the Rams out in a big way last season when they beat the NFC West-leading Cardinals in Week 15, which eventually propelled the Rams to a division title after Arizona fell apart down the stretch. So now, they can return the favor.

Goff made the playoffs three times in four seasons with Sean McVay as his head coach, leading the Rams to the postseason in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In that 2018 season, the Rams made it all the way to the Super Bowl, but they came up short against the Patriots.

This season, Goff is enjoying one of his best seasons as a pro. He has 29 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions, with a passer rating of 100.1 – which is approaching his career-best 101.1 from 2018. He’s also just three touchdown passes shy of his career-high of 32, which was also during that Pro Bowl season in 2018.

He and the Lions have caught fire since the start of November, going 7-2 in their last nine games after starting the season 1-6. The defense isn’t carrying its weight, allowing the most yards in the NFL, but Goff and the offense are fifth in points and fourth in total yards.

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