Los Angeles at Detroit

Todd Gurley-led Rams beat Lions 30-16, clinch NFC West title


DETROIT (AP) The Los Angeles Rams returned to their lockers in the Motor City, where NFC West championship shirts and hats were waiting to be worn.

The victors, though, refuse to be spoiled by this accomplishment.

Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns to help the Rams overcome a sputtering start to beat the Detroit Lions 30-16 Sunday and clinch the division title for a second straight season.

''We're not satisfied yet,'' said defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who had two sacks and forced a fumble. ''But we're headed in the right direction.''

The Rams (11-1) moved a step closer to earning home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, taking a one-game lead over New Orleans after it lost to Dallas on Thursday night. It is a cushion Los Angeles needs because its only loss was against the Saints last month.

''We're in a position right now that we feel good about,'' coach Sean McVay said. ''If we take care of our business, all the rest of that stuff takes care of itself.''

The Lions (4-8) have lost five of six since a surge of success gave them a winning record in late October.

''I'm extremely tired of losing,'' center Graham Glasgow said.

Detroit's defense held Los Angeles' high-powered offense in check for three quarters, giving the slumping team a shot to potentially pull off a stunning upset. The Lions, though, failed to make the most of the opportunity because their offense struggled to move the ball and score.

Donald helped seal the win by forcing Matthew Stafford to fumble midway through the fourth quarter. The star defensive tackle had two strip-sacks in his last game on Nov. 19, a 54-51 win over Kansas City.

''He held the ball and was loose with it,'' Donald said. ''I just took advantage.''

Donald has an NFL-high 16 1/2 sacks this season, and the Rams say he should be an MVP candidate.

''He's unlike anything I've ever seen,'' quarterback Jared Goff said of the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year.

Linebacker Samson Ebukam recovered Stafford's fumble at the Detroit 24 and Gurley scored on a 13-yard run three snaps later, giving the Rams a 23-13 lead.

Goff, perhaps rusty coming off a bye week, was off the mark on many passes and lost a fumble to help keep the game close. His lackluster performance led to Los Angeles settling for Greg Zuerlein kicking three field goals. Goff was 17 of 33 for 207 yards with a tiebreaking, 8-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods late in the second quarter. Goff also threw an interception on an overthrown pass in the second quarter and lost a fumble in the third quarter.

The Rams were able to lean on Gurley, who has a single-season franchise record with 15 rushing touchdowns. The star running back also caught three passes for 33 yards.

Stafford was 20 of 33 yards for 245 yards with an 11-yard touchdown pass to tackle Taylor Decker, who faked the Rams out by blocking for a moment before releasing into the flat where he was left wide open. Decker's touchdown pulled Detroit within three points late in the third quarter.

The Lions had a chance to cut its deficit to three again late in the game, but Kenny Golladay couldn't get both feet in the end zone on a pass from Stafford and they had settle for Matt Prater's third field goal.


Gurley converted a third down late in the game, and after breaking free, he chose not to score to run more time off the clock and force Detroit to take timeouts. It proved a good move because Gurley ran for a 2-yard score with 1:54 left and the Lions were left with no timeouts on their final drive. That ended with Troy Hill intercepting a pass in the end zone with 12 seconds left.

''I wanted to waste some time,'' Gurley said.


Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh played against Detroit for the first time and made six tackles.

''I got a warm welcome back,'' he said.

Detroit drafted Suh No. 2 overall eight years ago and he left for Miami as a free agent in 2015. After the Dolphins cut him earlier this year, he signed a one-year deal with the Rams.

When he played for the Lions, the fans would say his last name after he made a play. When his name was announced after his first tackle Sunday, the crowd seemed to jeer him.

''I don't believe it was a boo,'' Suh said.


Los Angeles receiver Brandin Cooks, who had four receptions for 62 yards, became the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards receiving in three straight years with three different franchises. He helped set up a field goal that gave the Rams a 13-3 halftime lead.

Cooks surpassed 1,000 last year with New England and in 2016 with New Orleans. Cooks also had a 1,000-yard season with the Saints in 2015.


Rams: RB Malcom Brown left the game with a shoulder injury. CB Aqib Talib played for the first time since going down with an ankle injury in Week 3.

Lions: LB Devon Kennard went out with a hip injury.


Rams: Play at Chicago on Sunday night.

Lions: Play at Arizona on Sunday.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.


Related Video

Sun. Dec. 2Final
Pass: J. Goff (17-33, 207) M. Stafford (20-33, 245)
Rush: T. Gurley (23-132) L. Blount (16-61)
Rec: R. Woods (5-67) L. Toilolo (4-90)
Scoring Summary
FGGreg Zuerlein makes 24 yard kick. Drive: 10 plays, 74 yards in 4:40.
FGMatt Prater makes 28 yard kick. Drive: 10 plays, 65 yards in 5:53.
TDRobert Woods catches a 8 yard pass from Jared Goff (Greg Zuerlein kick is good). Drive: 12 plays, 71 yards in 6:09.
FGGreg Zuerlein makes 47 yard kick. Drive: 6 plays, 39 yards in 00:50.
FGMatt Prater makes 29 yard kick. Drive: 9 plays, 36 yards in 5:25.
FGGreg Zuerlein makes 48 yard kick. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards in 2:44.
TDTaylor Decker catches a 11 yard pass from Matthew Stafford (Matt Prater kick is good). Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards in 2:44.
TDTodd Gurley runs for 13 yards (Greg Zuerlein kick is good). Drive: 3 plays, 24 yards in 1:20.
FGMatt Prater makes 35 yard kick. Drive: 8 plays, 58 yards in 3:59.
TDTodd Gurley runs for 2 yards (Greg Zuerlein kick is good). Drive: 5 plays, 45 yards in 1:00.

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike Heathered Royal Denver Broncos Historic Logo Tri-Blend T-Shirt

NFL Nike Gear
Get your favorite team today!
Shop Now

Players of the Game

T. Gurley
Rush 23
Yds 132
Avg 5.7
TD 2

M. Stafford
Att 33
Comp 20
Yds 245
TD 1
Los Angeles
J. Goff17/3320711
T. Gurley23132236
R. Woods21109
M. Brown2807
J. Goff2-20-1
R. Woods567123
B. Cooks462026
T. Gurley333019
J. Reynolds219014
T. Higbee219016
G. Everett1707
P. Cooper0000
M. Stafford20/3324511
B. Ellington0/1000
L. Blount1661024
T. Riddick832011
Z. Zenner1707
M. Stafford1202
L. Toilolo490039
K. Golladay350024
B. Ellington735010
T. Riddick326012
T. Jones125025
T. Decker111111
L. Willson1808
L. Blount0000
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
NO 10 Final
DAL 13
BAL 26 Final
ATL 16
DEN 24 Final
CIN 10
ARI 20 Final
GB 17
CLE 13 Final
HOU 29
IND 0 Final
BUF 17 Final
MIA 21
CHI 27 Final
NYG 30
LAC 33 Final
PIT 30
CAR 17 Final
TB 24
KC 40 Final
OAK 33
NYJ 22 Final
TEN 26
MIN 10 Final
NE 24
SF 16 Final
SEA 43
WAS 13 Final
PHI 28