The Detroit Lions beat the Los Angeles Rams to remain undefeated in Thanksgiving day football games. The last time a team went into week 12 with an 0-12 record was 1924, when the Dayton Triangles squared off against the Columbus Panhandles for their final game ever before canceling operations.
The “matt stafford rams” is a story about the Rams quarterback, Matthew Stafford. He was not able to play in the last game of the season and it led to him having fewer leftovers for Thanksgiving.
6 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry
- For the Los Angeles Times, I covered the Rams for two years.
- Previously, I wrote about the Falcons.
- Has written about the NBA, as well as college football and basketball.
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA – On Thanksgiving, Matthew Stafford enjoys sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, turkey, and pecan pie.
For the last 12 years, the Pro Bowl quarterback has had what seems to be the ideal Christmas routine.
He’d suit up for a mid-day kickoff when the Detroit Lions hosted an annual Thanksgiving Day game, then return home about 5 p.m. for a full lunch and the last NFL game of the day.
Stafford remembered earlier this week, “Almost felt like a fan there or a little bit, having a lot of relatives in town.” “We’d come back to the home, have supper, and do other things, and it was a lot of joy to have the following few days free. You might eat leftovers and perform other enjoyable activities.”
Stafford wasn’t sure what to expect from his family’s first Thanksgiving in Southern California without an NFL game, but he did know one thing: Leftovers were most likely off the menu due to the Rams’ need to prepare for Sunday’s game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (8-3) at Lambeau Field (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).
Stafford chuckled as he remarked, “Definitely going to have to take it easy, which is difficult to do.” “But, you know, you have to make minor sacrifices.”
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Small price to pay for what the Rams believe would be a major turnaround against a Packers club that eliminated them from the playoffs in the divisional round last season.
Stafford, who arrived in Los Angeles through a blockbuster deal in the summer, wasn’t involved in last season’s disastrous 32-18 loss, but he has a tumultuous past with his former division rival. Stafford is 7-13 versus the Packers, 4-12 against Rodgers in head-to-head matchups, and 3-7 at Lambeau Field, yet he still considers it one of his favorite venues to play in the NFL.
Stafford stated, “I adore playing in the snow there.” “That’s what you fantasize of as a youngster, playing the Packers in the snow at Lambeau Field.”
The current forecast in Green Bay for Sunday is partly cloudy and 36 degrees, which isn’t Stafford’s ideal weather, but it’s certainly a welcome one for a 7-3 Rams team coming off a bye and looking to snap a two-game losing streak in which Stafford has thrown four interceptions, matching his total from the first eight games of the season.
All four of the Rams’ recent interceptions were thrown in the first half, and each was returned for a score by the other team, putting the Rams in serious trouble.
“What I think really sticks out to me when you look at it is he’s played fantastic football over the course of these 10 games,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Stafford. “There have been a few of things recently that haven’t been in line with how he’s been playing.”
The turnover margin, according to Stafford, is an easy method to turn things around. When the Rams win the turnover fight, they are 7-0; when they lose it, they are 0-3.
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Cooper Kupp, who is tied with Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans for the NFL lead with 1,141 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns, is the league’s best receiver. Van Jefferson, a second-year pro, has established himself as a reliable target for Stafford, and Odell Beckham Jr., who was acquired by the Rams earlier this month, is fast picking up the scheme. On Sunday, McVay said he expects to see a lot of him.
“What he’s been able to understand so far has really pleased me,” Stafford said of Beckham, who caught two receptions for 18 yards against the 49ers before the bye.
McVay, an early favorite for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award, expressed optimism that Stafford would regain form as the Rams prepare for the last seven regular-season games and the playoffs.
McVay described him as a “fantastic player.” “I believe he’ll play pretty well for us down the stretch.”
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