Matthew Stafford has the best opportunity of his career to win a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams, but he will always be connected to the Detroit Lions after spending his first 12 years with the team that drafted him with the No. 1 pick in 2009.
That is why Sunday's game against his former team surely came with plenty of emotions.
"Am I happy it's over with? Yeah," he told reporters after the 28-19 victory. "Got a lot of great friends, got a lot of people I care about that are on that team or from that city and just glad to have this one over with. Can put the storylines away and just go out and play football the rest of the year and just enjoy it."
Stafford was traded to the Rams this offseason in a deal that sent Jared Goff to the Lions.
The former earned bragging rights with a win Sunday, although Detroit was up double digits in the second quarter and held a lead in the fourth. A Lions win would have been shocking considering they entered the matchup 0-6 and Los Angeles is now 6-1, but Goff's 268 passing yards helped keep the game close until the Rams finally pulled away.
Stafford's touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp gave the home team the lead for good in the fourth quarter. Goff threw two interceptions from there, ending any comeback hopes for the Lions as they continued their losing streak to start the season.
Sunday was notable for Stafford for more than just the win.
He threw his 300th career touchdown pass and said he noticed how many of his old Lions No. 9 jerseys were in the crowd.
"It was humbling. It was really nice to see," Stafford said. "Thought to myself that was pretty cool, I really appreciate it. I've said it a bunch of times and I truly mean it: I loved my time there."
Attention now turns to parlaying this quick start into Super Bowl contention, which is something he was never able to do in Detroit. The Lions made the playoffs just three times when he was on the team and never won a single postseason game.
Los Angeles is talented enough to change that pattern for the veteran.