What does ‘a level up’ mean for LA Rams with QB Stafford?
By Bret Stuter
LA Rams veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers has not yet seen quarterback Matthew Stafford take a snap, but he’s already a believer in the LA Rams decision to trade for him. That’s a hard and vital testimony from a seasoned veteran to share at nearly a point-blank range after a trade that has yet to be officially recognized by the NFL.
And yet, that’s exactly what Brockers did when he told TMZ sports that Stafford is ‘a level up’ over former quarterback Jared Goff. That wasn’t a shooting-from-the-hip response. Michael Brockers is a savvy NFL veteran who knows what to say, when to say it, and when not to. So what is he really saying?
Players are not blind to what happens on the football field. They see. But they also know that struggling players need the support of teammates. so it becomes a balancing act of encouragement on the outside, but smoldering disappointment on the inside. It takes a lot of forces to come together to get to the NFL playoffs. Veteran players have learned not to squander those chances.
While the Rams finished the season at 10-6 to be the sixth-seeded NFC team for the playoffs, didn’t it feel as though the Rams had left some winnable games on the table? At one point, the Rams were 4-1 after five games, and even a 14-2 or 13-3 season seemed very possible. But the Rams hit a few snags, many of which were the result of multiple turnovers in a single game.
Those are the gaffes that can derail the championship plans of even the best NFL football teams. It’s not just the best regular-season play that defines a champion, but rather the ability to play their best football in the biggest games. So what happens if we take Brockers’ cue and impose Stafford’s ball security and deep pass ability onto the 2020 season? Well, here is how that might have played out.