Matthew Stafford is LA Rams Week 3 secret weapon

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Stafford LA Rams
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Beating Buccaneers means Stafford’s best

So the LA Rams, the team that defeated their Week 3 opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a year ago, face a healthier Bucs team in SoFi Stadium. They must now contend with Bucs defensive tackle Vita Vea, a fireplug in the middle who also has a surprisingly effective pass rush. The Buccaneers were a potpourri of NFL free agents in 2020, this year they are all synchronized into a very effective roster.

This is a Buccaneers team that had won their last eight games of the 2020 NFL season, including a victory in Super Bowl LV. That winning streak has carried over into 2021, giving the Buccaneers a share of the NFC South Division lead and a validation of their pre-season favored odds to repeat as the winner of Super Bowl LVI. But they are not the unanimously favored team to compete in this year’s Super Bowl. The LA Rams have been mentioned in that discussion.

They didn’t get there from seniority. The LA Rams organization observed how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers added an elite quarterback to a very good offensive roster and used that combination to win a Super Bowl in 2020. So the LA Rams added the best available quarterback available in the off-season and then remodeled the offense in the direction of Matthew Stafford’s strengths.

To date, the LA Rams have run 108 offensive snaps. For some contrast, the Detroit Lions have passed the ball 93 times in two games (versus the Rams 56 passes) and the Baltimore Ravens have rushed the ball 75 times in two games (versus the Rams 52 rushes). The Rams have basically done more with less so far.

We haven’t seen the no-holds-barred version of Matthew Stafford in this LA Rams offense just yet. But this contest of Week 3 certainly appears to be ripe for its arrival. The Buccaneers’ offense is very potent, and they are no doubt looking to the Rams just as the Rams are looking to the Buccaneers. How does this team rank against one of the best teams in the NFL right now?