For first time since Matthew Stafford trade, Detroit Lions actually need Rams to win this weekend

Lions need Rams to beat Seahawks to have chance to make playoffs

Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams (9) reacts after a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Associated Press)

DETROIT – For the first time since the Matthew Stafford trade two years ago, Detroit Lions fans should actually be rooting for the Los Angeles Rams this coming weekend.

When the Lions sent Stafford -- the face of the franchise for 12 seasons -- to the Rams in January 2021, they received two first-round picks and a third-round pick in return. That means it was directly beneficial for the Lions if the Rams lost football games.

Even so, many fans rooted for Stafford to succeed in Los Angeles for sentimental reasons. In reality, the team’s 2022 first-round pick would have been much more valuable if the Rams didn’t win the Super Bowl.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates during the Super Bowl LVI Victory Parade on February 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (2022 Getty Images)

But now that Stafford has won a ring, it’s been much easier for fans in Detroit to root against the Rams in favor of their team’s draft pick (currently No. 6 overall).

This weekend, that rooting interest will change once again.

The Lions are currently in a three-way tie for the final NFC wildcard spot, and if they beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, they have a chance to make the postseason for the first time since 2016.

There’s one last hurdle: The Seattle Seahawks also have to lose next week in order for the Lions to make the playoffs. And the Seahawks are hosting -- you guessed it -- those same Los Angeles Rams.

READ: Here’s what the Detroit Lions need to happen this weekend in order to make the playoffs

Stafford hasn’t played since Week 11 due to injury, and in his absence, the Rams have struggled mightily. Since starting the year 3-3, the only two wins on their resume came against fellow bottom feeders Las Vegas and Denver.

As of right now, kickoff times for next week’s games have not been announced. If the Lions and Packers get flexed to Sunday night, then a Rams win is necessary for the Lions to even kick off with playoff hopes.

If both games start at the same time, thousands of fans who have rooted against Los Angeles all season will be scoreboard watching and dusting off their trusty “Detroit Rams” shirts from a year ago.

The Lions have done an excellent job getting back into the playoff hunt after a 1-6 start, but it’s never wise to place playoff hopes in the hands of a 5-11 team. Dan Campbell and company are hoping for just a little more magic to cap off an exciting second half.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.