The NFL has made it easier to pile up the passing yards. From protecting defenseless receivers to protecting the quarterback, professional football has installed a number of new regulations that have de-emphasized the running game and incentivized the passing game. What was once an eye-opening 3000+ passing yards type of league is not a ho-hum 4500+ passing yards type of league. And with a 17 game season for 2021, the lid may be taken off 5000 yards or even 6000 passing yards.
It may be wrong to look at two games and make projections for a 17 game season. But let’s do it anyway. LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is still learning this offense, still getting cozy in the pocket, and still familiarizing himself with the LA Rams playbook, But at 599 yards and five touchdowns to just one interception, some lofty numbers are beginning to seem within reach for Stafford in his first season with the Rams.
Matthew Stafford is on track for the LA Rams single-season passing record
While this is indeed a 17 game season, Stafford is on track to pass for over 5100 yards and 43 touchdowns. Should he continue at this pace, he will break quarterback Kurt Warner’s single-season passing record of 4,830 yards set in 2001, and 41 touchdowns set in 1999.
Why am I putting this out there this early in the season? Well, for starters, of the Top-10 ranked NFL quarterbacks, only Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has made fewer passing attempts. So this is not a volume-driven statistic yet. In fact, if you take out the incredible two-game performance of wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the LA Rams offense has been rather pedestrian. Don’t expect that to continue in Week 4.
LA Rams head coach Sean McVay loves the element of surprise. He knows that if defensive coordinators see the same offensive pattern, defenses will find a way to neutralize the offense. So he gives them a moving target. This week, the options for changing up the Rams offense are wide open.