If you’ve been an LA Rams fan, or have read many of our articles in the past (thank you so much for the support, by the way!), you will undoubtedly be very familiar with the impact caused on defense by All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Coined the Aaron-Donald effect by many, it is the term used to describe how the focus upon Donald by the offense and specifically, the offensive line, allows other players to have huge boosts to their production thanks to getting a steady diet of one-on-one blocking.
It explains how outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. became a force to be reckoned with after arriving at the LA Rams, and also how he plunged to anonymity as soon as he signed on with the Atlanta Falcons for a lot of money. The same held true for his teammate Cory Littleton, who was one of the hottest inside linebacker properties in the 2020 NFL Free Agency market, but whose production plunged in the Aaron-Donaldless-defense of the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Rams pass defense gets quite the boost from All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey as well. In a video breakdown of the defense, HOFer Kurt Warner emphasizes repeatedly how the sheer ability of Jalen Ramsey to neutralize a receiver allows the Rams safeties to focus upon the other receivers. That talent level on the field converts the multiple-choice guesswork of which receiver the quarterback will throw to from three receivers to two receivers. With fewer bonafide options, the Rams’ defensive backs can play above and beyond their raw talent level. That is the Jalen Ramsey effect.
So here we go adding one of the more versatile and prolific passers from the current NFL by almost every standard in veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. He hasn’t made much noise for the Detroit Lions, and as is far too often the case, he has been judged as guilty by association.
While he is undeniably the reason for some of the Lions’ mild success, some attribute his presence as the reason why that same team has failed to win a single playoff game with him at the helm. He has been 0-3 in three attempts. And you may have a point. But let’s work this on the other side of the street for a moment. Here is why the Matthew Stafford effect will be part of the LA Rams vocabulary at the season’s end.