DT Donald disrupted Lions in Rams win

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) causes a fumble for a turnover against Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field.Photo: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams weren't as crisp as usual on offense in their 30-16 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and two scores, but Jared Goff completed just 17 of 33 passes for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Still the Rams improved to 11-1 with the win over the Detroit Lion as the other units picked up the offense.

"Yeah, I thought the special teams and defense played really well. I thought offensively, made enough plays, but there were too many things that weren't characteristic of the expectations that we have," Rams coach Sean McVay said in a Monday conference call.

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald led the defense and continued to make a case for becoming the third defensive player to win the NFL's MVP Award.

Donald make a pair of game-changing plays in the fourth quarter of a close game.

Early in the fourth quarter the Lions were driving when Donald sacked quarterback Matt Stafford and ultimately force a punt.

The Lions quickly got the ball back, but Donald soon struck again. He eluded two blockers and leaped towards Stafford, batting the ball loose. The Rams recovered the fumble and soon extended their lead to 23-13 on Gurley's 13-yard touchdown run.

"I thought the turnover that Aaron forced in the sack fumble that (OLB) Samson (Ebukam) recovered was instrumental and kind of a turning point in that game where Todd was able to punch it in three plays later," McVay said.

"Those are the kind of things that good teams do. I thought the (Detroit) Lions did a nice job yesterday, but our guys made enough plays to be able to win."

The Rams have a one-game lead for home field throughout the NFC playoffs with four weeks remaining. This week they've got a possible playoff preview this week against the Chicago Bears and can lock up at least the No 2 seed.

"It's a big deal," McVay said. "To be able to earn the opportunity in your 13th game of the season to be able to, at the worst, clinch a No. 2 seed. It means that you'll be able to watch that first week of the Wild Card round is a huge deal to us.

"So, it's certainly going to be a great challenge. The Bears have been an excellent team throughout the course of this year and present some challenges in all three phases, but that's definitely -- that's the next step. That's something that we're working towards and if we take care of our business this week, then we have a chance to do that."

--DT Aaron Donald had two sacks and a forced fumble against the Lions. He has 16 1/2 sacks on the season. The single-season NFL record for a defensive tackle is 18, set by Keith Millard of the Vikings in 1989.

--RB Todd Gurley carried 23 times for 132 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's win against the Lions.

--WR Robert Woods had five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown against the Lions.

--K Greg Zuerlein was perfect against the Lions on Sunday, hitting three field goals and three extra points. His longest field goal was a 48-yarder.

--QB Jared Goff completed 17 of 33 passes for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception in Sunday's win over the Lions.

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