Los Angeles Rams beat Lions to secure second straight NFC West title
It was a good week for the 11-1 Los Angeles Rams, who watched the New Orleans Saints lose for the second time Thursday night and defeated the Detroit Lions 30-16 on Sunday to clinch their second consecutive NFC West title.
Todd Gurley scored two touchdowns, and Aaron Donald tallied four tackles for loss and two sacks, including a tide-turning strip-sack in the fourth quarter of a one-score game, to put away the Lions on a day when the Rams weren’t at their best.
Jared Goff completed only 17-of-33 passes for 207 yards, committed two turnovers and failed to throw multiple touchdowns for the first time since Week 6. But Gurley scored twice in the fourth quarter following Matt Stafford turnovers to seal another another win and division crown for Sean McVay’s crew.
The Rams welcomed starting CB Aqib Talib back for the first time since Week 3, and he and Marcus Peters helped limit Lions leading WR Kenny Golladay to 50 yards on three catches.
And Just as the Rams locked up the West early, Donald, for all intents and purposes, might have cemented his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award with another frighteningly dominant showing. He increased his NFL sack lead to 16 ½, putting him within striking distance of Michael Strahan’s NFL record 22 ½, alongside 20 tackles for loss.
The Rams visit the 8-4 Chicago Bears in primetime next Sunday night before hosting the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles and finishing with the 3-9 Arizona Cardinals on the road and the 2-9 San Francisco 49ers at home.
That’s an easier path than the Saints, who visit the surging Tampa Bay Bucs and slumping Carolina Panthers prior to hosting the 7-3-1 Pittsburgh Steelers and the Panthers in a rematch in the finale.