Oh, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how surefire the offensive play is drawn up on the whiteboard, head coach Sean McVay cannot execute the play himself. Unfortunately, when the plays translated from the chalkboard/whiteboard to the football field, there was a problem. The Rams offense was not-so-hot at ball security. In fact, the Rams turned over the football 25 times in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams
How bad is that? It was bad enough to be the seventh-most generous team in the NFL. And to make matters worse, only the Rams and the Washington Football Team made the NFL Playoffs and were among the 10-worst NFL teams to control the football. Washington ended the season at 7-9 in 2020, so that small select club is nothing to take pride in.
While it’s never wise to point the finger at one player, the facts are that Jared Goff was the source of an overwhelming share of the team’s turnovers. While some interceptions are to be expected, the sheer volume of 13 interceptions and seven fumbles was a tremendous handicap. Not only did it put the defense back onto the field with almost no rest, but it placed opposing offenses within scoring distance from the moment that they took the field. Over the past two seasons, Jared Goff has averaged a 2.5 percent interception average.
Now here comes Matthew Stafford, and without the benefit of a running game to worry about, as sustained an interception average below 2.0 percent over the past five seasons. Not only that but he has stiffened up his ability to hold onto the football over his time in the NFL, yielding just two fumbles in 2020.
Drive killer. Stupid play. Gift wrapping the football. Butterfinger ball. However you call it, the results are the same. Turning over the football takes points off the board for the offense, crushes drives, hurts the time of possession, changes the momentum, hurts the defense, and puts points on the board for the opposing team. While I may stress the point, this one factor alone could mean the difference between winning a Super Bowl, and not even earning a playoff berth. It’s that important.