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Rams aim to clinch NFC West with win over Lions


Reuters
Updated: 01-12-2018 06:00 IST

Following one of the wildest and highest-scoring games in NFL history, the Los Angeles Rams got a chance to take a breather. They will be back in action this week and likely won't need to score anywhere near as many points to keep up with their opponent.

The Rams (10-1) will head to Michigan to face the last-place Detroit Lions (4-7) on Sunday. Los Angeles enjoyed a bye week after its 54-51 shootout victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, the highest-scoring game in "Monday Night Football" history and the third-most combined points in an NFL game.

"We're in good shape," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "I can't remember the last time that you were able to have off during Thanksgiving. Sometimes, you're kind of always rushed and then going into work on Friday, so it was a blessing to be able to have the bye fall on the time that it did for everybody."

It's also a blessing to be coaching a 10-1 team with aspirations of holding the Lombardi Trophy. The Rams would clinch the NFC West with a victory Sunday.

Quarterback Jared Goff torched the Chiefs' secondary for 413 passing yards and four touchdowns and also scored a rushing touchdown. He has 3,547 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns for the season.

Todd Gurley has already surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark with 1,043 and has scored 17 touchdowns, 13 on the ground.

The Lions are the latest team tasked with trying to slow down the Rams, who are averaging 35.4 yards per game, the third-best figure in the NFL.

"They use a lot of play-action based off the run game to kind of get those chunk yardages downfield -- but that run game is really good," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "(McVay) does a great job with it. It's all working together really well."

The Rams also possess the league's most dominant defender in defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who has accounted for half of the team's 29 sacks.

"He's making such an impact in so many different ways," McVay said. "He's able to split doubles. He's making plays in the run game. He's forcing fumbles. I just think the consistency at which he's playing is what's so impressive."

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't impress anyone with his fourth-quarter performance against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. He threw two crucial interceptions in Detroit's 23-16 loss, including a tiebreaking pick-six.

In his defense, Stafford has limited options around him. Top receiver Golden Tate was traded to Philadelphia in October, and Marvin Jones was just declared out for the season due to a knee injury. A knee injury will sideline dynamic rookie running back Kerryon Johnson for the second consecutive game.

Rams cornerback Aqib Talib was officially activated from injured reserve Friday and expected to play, though perhaps not a full complement of reps. He has been sidelined since undergoing ankle surgery in late September.

--Field Level Media

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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