Matthew Stafford ice cold efficiency fits LA Rams high octane offense.

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

Stafford is stupendous, so far

How did the Rams do so far in that trade? Well, it’s a little bit like winning the grand prize in a prime-time game show. Let’s start small and work our way up.  After three games, Stafford has thrown one interception. That’s ball security, and one of two key areas that the Rams needed to address in the off-season. That was a step in the right direction.

The second minor but significant improvement is the change that has allowed the LA Rams offensive line to flourish.  The Rams are using less play-action and more shotgun formations. That has allowed the Rams’ offensive linemen to have better space and angles to maintain their blocks. Meanwhile, despite throwing further downfield than any time in recent history, gets rid of the ball very quickly.

Those small changes have allowed the offensive line to surrender just three quarterback sacks so far this season. That is tied for the fewest in the NFL so far. Contrast that with 15 sacks allowed in three games by the Chicago Bears and New York Jets.

Weekly Spiral did an excellent analytical video, which we will share here:

One of the third level-ups that the Rams have gotten so far is the ability for Stafford to make instantaneous progression reads. Now, we’re not saying that he’s perfect. But he is finding the open receiver when or even before he separates from the defender. That has been incredibly helpful to distribute the ball, as the Rams layered route trees will create an open receiver somewhere in the secondary.

The only problem is, that the open receiver will appear in different locations on the football field, depending upon how the secondary reacts. For Stafford, who can survey the entire field quickly, it’s not a problem to find and throw to an open man. He does that with great consistency.