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Revisiting Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff swap as Rams take on Lions in Wild Card

The QBs will forever be tied to one another after the trade before the 2021 season. We revisit the details and how things are going for each franchise.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams and Dresser Winn #12 of the Los Angeles Rams look on during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions will match up in the Wild Card round for the NFC. This is a marquee matchup not only because of the playoff implications but also because of a trade that happened between these franchises in the 2021 offseason that saw them switch quarterbacks. Those two QBs will now match up nearly three years later, with the winner defeating their former team and sending their new team to the divisional round.

Let’s take a look at how the trade has worked out for these teams over the last two years.

Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade

Rams received: QB Matthew Stafford

Lions received: QB Jared Goff, 2021 third-round pick, 2022 first-round pick, 2023-first round pick. Since those drafts are over, Detroit converted those picks, through other moves, into CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, WR Jameson Williams, DE John Paschal, RB Jahymr Gibbs, TE Sam LaPorta, and DT Brodic Martin.

How have Rams done since trade?

The trade paid instant dividends for Los Angeles as they went on to win the Super Bowl with Stafford at the helm. The Rams finished 12-5 that season and won the NFC West for the first time in three years. Los Angeles had a down year in 2022, largely due to injuries, and ended the year 5-12. The Rams looked like they were in for more of the same in 2023, starting 3-6 at their Week 10 bye. Los Angeles figured something out in the week off, though, and finished 7-1 and earned the No. 6 seed for the NFC this year.

How have Lions done since trade?

It was assumed that Goff would be nothing but a bridge quarterback for the Lions. The team went 3-13-1 his first season, but the team stuck with him and head coach Dan Campbell, and they improved to 9-8 last season. Detroit invested in young talent in the draft with Gibbs and LaPorta, who paid early dividends and helped the team to a 12-5 record and their first divisional title in 30 years. They may not make the Super Bowl this season, but the rapid improvement over three years has the future looking bright for the Lions.