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In what's arguably the most intriguing game of Super Wild Card Weekend, the Detroit Lions host the Los Angeles Rams. Matthew Stafford makes his return to the city of Detroit, while Jared Goff faces off against the team he led to a Super Bowl appearance five years ago. This will be the first matchup in postseason history between quarterbacks facing off against their former teams. 

It will surely be an emotional game for Stafford, who has more wins, passing yards and passing touchdowns at Ford Field than all other Lions quarterbacks combined since the stadium opened in 2002. Speaking of the Lions, they are on the longest playoff losing streak of all time at nine games. They haven't won a playoff game since 1991, but Detroit (12-5) is riding high after winning the NFC North for the first time in franchise history. 

Below, we will break down three reasons why the Lions will defeat their former quarterback and advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. First, here's how to watch this matchup.

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Jan. 14 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field (Detroit)
TV: NBC | Stream: fubo (try for free)  
Follow: CBS Sports App 
Odds: Lions -3, O/U 51.5 (Odds courtesy of SportsLine consensus)

Better offense

The Rams offense surprised the NFL world this year. Wide receiver Puka Nacua recorded the most receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486) by a rookie in NFL history, and running back Kyren Williams finished third in the NFL with 1,144 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He became the first player to finish top three in rushing yards despite missing four or more games since Bull Karcis did so in 1937 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Rams made the playoffs with Pro Bowl triplets for the first time since 2001, when they made the Super Bowl. 

Throw in Cooper Kupp, and there's no doubt the Rams have a great offense, but is the Lions offense better? After all, they just finished top five in both scoring offense and total offense in consecutive seasons for the first time in the Super Bowl Era.

TeamTotal offensePassing offenseRushing offensePoints


394.8 ypg (3rd)

258.9 ypg (2nd)

135.9 ypg (5th)

27.1 ppg (5th)


359.3 ypg (7th)

239 ypg (10th)

120.3 ypg (11th)

23.8 ppg (8th)

The Rams have weapons all across the board, but so do the Lions. Detroit became just the second team in NFL history to have four different players that scored double-digit touchdowns in a season. Three of those players are in their first year with the team. Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta also became the first rookie duo in NFL history to record double-digit touchdowns. 

The Lions have a great 1-2 punch with David Montgomery and Gibbs, a star wideout in Amon-Ra St. Brown, a speedster that can hit a home run every once in a while in Jameson Williams, a historically good rookie tight end in LaPorta and what I consider to be one of the best offensive lines in the league. Goff is an X factor that can either help or hurt the team greatly. He just needs to take care of the ball, and the Lions should have the better offense. 

The return of defensive pieces

While both the Rams and Lions tout explosive offenses, the same can't be said for their defenses. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in yards of total offense allowed per game, and both give up their fair share of explosive plays. However, the Lions defense is set to receive a boost.

Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson has been activated from injured reserve, defensive tackle Alim McNeill has been activated from injured reserve and pass rusher James Houston appears to be getting closer to returning to the field. CJGJ was considered to be one of the top free agents available last offseason, McNeill is an underrated defensive lineman and then Houston is an intriguing young player that could provide a spark. 

All three players have the potential to be difference-makers, which Detroit absolutely needs if it wants to win this game, and make a deep postseason run.

Home-field advantage

Home-field advantage isn't everything in the playoffs, but it's certainly something. Detroit went 6-2 at home this season, while Los Angeles went 5-4 on the road. Keep in mind that home teams are 9-3 in the wild-card round over the past two years.

Sunday at Ford Field will be a special environment for a few different reasons. One, the Lions are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Two, this is the first time Detroit has hosted a playoff game since 1994 and three, Stafford is back in the building. You have to wonder how Stafford will handle the environment. 

The Rams got to play three of four postseason games at home the last time they made the playoffs -- including Super Bowl LVI, which they won. Stafford's squad doesn't get that benefit this time around.