Supercomputer under center
If you can do so, go back and check out video footage of exactly how Matthew Stafford plays quarterback. If you don’t have instant access, then head on over to this Kurt Warner video series where he breaks down both the plusses and minuses of what Stafford brings to any offense. We covered each video on a separate slide and offered a quick analysis of what to expect in each video.
The LA Rams are one of the most elaborate and prepared offenses to enter an NFL game. The problem in the past is that if the defense doesn’t follow the script, the game is all but lost early on. The plan was everything, and improvisation and innovation on the field were just not happening. That’s not a dig on anyone. It just wasn’t the Rams’ offense in the past because it was truly not needed.
Yet defenses learned, planned, strategized, and realized that if they oscillated their defensive strategy until they got it right, they could frustrate the Rams offense all day. Well, they could. Now? Not so much. The LA Rams have traded for one of the most improvisational quarterbacks in the NFL. Matthew Stafford can read his progressions through the first four or five options and hurl the ball even before the receiver makes his break to get open. And he can do that while launching the football from multiple platforms and off-schedule too.
Stafford is the old family cookbook after 12 years of playing in the NFL. It has it all in there. So far, it’s been sitting on the shelf collecting dust. But just as McVay can full usage of his playbook with Stafford, Stafford will likewise be able to open up his entire complement of innovative strategies. After all, he knows what defenses are trying to do as soon as the ball is snapped, and knows where to go with the football.
Stafford can process what he sees before the ball is snapped instantly. That allows him the option to audible out of the called play to a more effective alternative. That has not been exploited for this Rams offense. Nor has the rushing game, as Goff was more apt to ask permission. Stafford clearly owns a mindset where he is the field general and will ask for forgiveness rather than ask for permission.
Yes, this could all go horribly wrong. If Stafford and McVay clash, this offense will spiral down. If the Rams offense is suddenly devastated with crippling waves of injuries, the team will struggle. For now, as this offense stands, the balance of McVay’s playbook and Stafford’s creative talent seem like an ideal match. Who knows? By season’s end, we may be talking about the Matthew Stafford effect on this offense.