Takeaway V: Matthew Stafford is better than the brochure
When the LA Rams traded for Matthew Stafford, there was a lot said about his potential with his arm and the potential to have a rather positive impact on his new team. But after two games, I’m beginning to think that there wasn’t enough said about him.
From my own rough estimate, the LA Rams’ current record of 2-0 would be 1-1 if the team did not make the move at quarterback. That is not meant to slight anyone, it’s simply a matter-of-fact that the Rams were just not that good in 2020 in come-from-behind wins. They may be pretty good at that in 2021.
Even as we shakedown this team and point to the areas that need to be cleaned up, there is a sense from this offense that the team can and will come back. A sense of a simmering smugness, a cool confidence, that the Rams will find a way to get the necessary points on the scoreboard to win the game. And it emanates from the veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, a quarterback who has the most experience as engineering comeback victories because he found himself behind so very often in football games.
Of course, there is a temptation to put Stafford on a pedestal after just two games and hold him up as some sort of NFL superhero. But let’s not go there just yet. The Rams have determined the outcome of two games, and will likely need at least nine more victories this season to have a legitimate shot at a playoff berth. Despite what some may say, the first two games were against very good teams. Unfortunately, the second-place schedule for these LA Rams means that the 2021 schedule has no shortage of very good teams.
After just two games, the picture of the LA Rams is beginning to develop. And after two games, it’s quite normal for the Rams to be a work in progress in some areas. In 2020, the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 3-2 after five games and were 7-5 after 12 games. The LA Rams have players who will develop into larger roles over time. For now, the goal is to get a little better each week and continue to win in the process.