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 /
4 of 7
Matthew Stafford Cooper Kupp
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Stafford’s ceiling keeps climbing

Matthew Stafford is better than the brochure so far. When he first arrived, there was a hope that he could be better. But I don’t think that anyone anticipated the type of resonating synergy that Stafford has already infused into the LA Rams offense. He has given the LA Rams an on-field afterburner that Sean McVay has not had before.

When the plays break down, historically bad things have happened. But that is not the case in 2021 so far. Stafford continues to work his progressions, continues to scrap, and can turn busted plays into huge gains. That on-field night-at-the-improv allows McVay to take a higher view of what the defense is doing, adjust the personnel packages, and give Stafford better tools to work with.  So how is that going so far?

This is Matthew Stafford’s 13th NFL season. This year his completion percentage of 69.6 percent dwarfs his career average of 62.6 percent. His touchdown per attempt rate of 8.9 percent dwarfs his career average of 4.5 percent.  His interception per attempt rate of 1.8 percent is significantly less than his historic 2.3 percent. In fact, his yards-per-attempt, yards-per-completion, quarterback rating, net yards per pass attempt, and QBR are all at career highs.

This is all after just two games. This should be the awkward phase of Matthew Stafford acclimating to the offense. Seems as though he’s got quite the handle on it already, eh? Well, part of the answer is not just that Stafford fits this offense, but that he’s throwing to a pretty elite set of receivers. The LA Rams receivers generate a lot of yards after they catch the ball. But what about pressuring the quarterback? So far, the LA Rams have allowed just two sacks. That is tied for second behind the San Francisco 49ers, who have allowed just one sack.

Stafford is playing at the peak of his career, and that’s a very tall mountain.