ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Calvin Johnson realized he was almost shut out, and the star receiver for the Detroit Lions had little to say about his light production against a thin secondary.
"I mean, I dropped one of them earlier," Johnson said after a 21-14 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. "But, you have to take advantage of what you get."
Johnson finished with one catch for 16 yards, setting up Golden Tate's second touchdown reception of the game with 2:05 to go. He was targeted just five times.
"Every game is different," coach Jim Caldwell said. "It's not going to happen every game, it's not realistic."
Quarterback Matthew Stafford said the Rams (5-8) paid extra attention to Johnson, but he also was well-covered for most of the game by Trumaine Johnson.
"I've got to find a way to get him the ball, be more aggressive to him and get him some more shots," Stafford said. "It's just on me to make sure he gets a little more involved earlier on."
The Lions (4-9) were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
They had extra time to get over a stunning final-play loss to the Packers on Dec. 3 that ended a three-game winning streak, but everybody involved said a potential hangover was no factor against the Rams (5-8).
"We officially have a losing season now," safety Glover Quin said. "All we can finish is 7-9, but 7-9 is a whole lot better than 4-12."
Stafford was 30 of 46 for 245 yards and topped 25,000 yards passing in his 90th career game, fastest in NFL history. Hall of Famer Dan Marino did it in his 92nd game.
Stafford said Trumaine Johnson "guessed right" on the interception.
"I'm not upset with my decision," Stafford said. "I threw it where I wanted."
Todd Gurley ran for 140 yards and two second-half touchdowns, and the Rams ended a five-game losing streak.
Trumaine Johnson's 58-yard return was the only score in the first half. Aaron Donald had three sacks to further boost a defense that had sagged in recent weeks.
Turnout was light on "fan appreciation day" at the Edward Jones Dome for what could be the final Sunday home game for the franchise in St. Louis, with 51,202 tickets distributed but the 66,000-capacity stadium half-filled at best. Rams owner Stan Kroenke wants to move the team to Los Angeles after this season and there is one remaining home game, on Thursday against Tampa Bay.
After Tate's second touchdown, the Lions recovered an onside kick after Bradley Marquez bobbled it, but turned it over on downs at the St. Louis 46.
Gurley averaged just 42.7 yards for the previous four games behind an injury-riddled line largely populated by rookies and had just 13 yards on seven carries at the half. Besides scoring on runs on 15 and 5 yards, he had carries of 49 and 21 yards after the break.
The Rams offense clicked in the second half under new coordinator Rob Boras, who called plays for the first time since 2003 when he was at UNLV.
The Rams looked beatable in the secondary with top cornerback Janoris Jenkins out with a concussion and safety T.J. McDonald sidelined for the season due to a shoulder injury. Trumaine Johnson returned after missing the previous two games.
On the interception return, Johnson patiently waited for blocks the last 20 to 30 yards before ending St. Louis' seven-quarter touchdown drought. Stafford had gone more than three games between interceptions.
NOTES: Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee) did not return after getting hurt midway through the second quarter. Caldwell said he wasn't sure how seriously Pettigrew was hurt. "He didn't come back in, so you know it wasn't a Charlie horse or just a cramp," Caldwell said. "We will see."