Stafford continues on a 5000+-yard season pace
After five games, LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has 1,587 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just three interceptions. While those numbers seem rather lofty, they could be better. In fact, they could be much much better.
Stafford is still getting used to this team, this roster, the playbook, and the way defenses try to stop the offense. Although his familiarity with the Rams will improve throughout the season, he is already at a career-high pace. His success has been a combination of many factors so far this season.
Tops on the list is the synergy created by his working within Head Coach Sean McVay’s offense. While very complex, McVay’s offense allows the quarterback to attack defenses at multiple levels with multiple options. Stafford excels in that type of offense because he can read his progressions instantly and is incredibly decisive on where he needs to throw the ball.
Another solid contributor to Stafford’s production is the quality of the offensive line so far this season. In five games, Stafford has been sacked just four times. That is on pace for 14 sacks over the course of a 17-game season, the fewest sacks Stafford has ever faced (full seasons) in his soon-to-be 13-year NFL career. That comfort in the pocket is incredibly important as Stafford continues to pressure defenses with the long ball.
Will Stafford improve as the season moves on? I think so, yes. Stafford is already quite active in directing traffic if and when a play breaks down. So far, the first-year Rams quarterback has yet to synch up consistently with WR DeSean Jackson, with tight end Tyler Higbee, and he has only just started to throw to both Van Jefferson and Robert Woods consistently.
Once those weapons have all been established, then the Rams will have the chance to introduce Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Jacob Harris, and perhaps even Brycen Hopkins into the offense. After all, the key to success for the Rams this year is to have a dangerous and explosive offense. To do that, the Rams must be able to keep defenses on their heels.
So keep on spreading the ball around, Matthew Stafford. If you fall into a rut and throw to the same guy, we’ve already seen what will happen.