LA Rams Matthew Stafford: How d’ya like me now?

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Stafford
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Stafford makes this offense hum

If we had a time machine and could drop Matthew Stafford into the Rams offense to face teams that gave the Rams fits in 2020, do you think that the outcome would be any different? I do. Stafford was under the same amount of pressure that Jared Goff was in 2020. He didn’t have much of a running game to help move the chains and take the pressure off. And the Chicago Bears were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Stafford to throw off his timing.

Stafford stood tall in the pocket, throwing 20 of 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns. Had Cooper Kupp been able to stretch 18 inches more before his knee touched the ground, it would have been 322 yards and four touchdowns. It’s a game of inches for many. It’s a game of yardage when Stafford lined up under center.

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The Rams only got six receivers involved in the passing game. From the first game, Cooper Kupp (108 yards, 1 touchdown), Van Jefferson (80 yards, 1 touchdown), and Tyler Higbee (68 yards) are on track for 1000 receiving yard seasons.  Stafford also connected with Robert Woods (27 yards, 1 touchdown), DeSean Jackson (21 yards), and Darrell Henderson (17 yards).

Most of the heavy lifting in this offense was Stafford, folks. He tossed a bomb 55 yards in the air for the first touchdown to Van Jefferson, who rolled at the 15-yard line untouched, got up, and scampered in for the score.  He hurled a 56-yard touchdown to a wide-open Cooper Kupp for another quick score to open the second half.

Perhaps the most impressive touchdown was the dart thrown to Robert Woods at the back of the end-zone from the two-yard line for the third touchdown pass. Why so impressive? It was a red zone touchdown pass and required Stafford to thread the eye of a needle and make a perfect ball placement.  He did. Woods made his patented circus catch, and the Rams were on the scoreboard again.