Looks like Matthew Stafford and the LA Rams can beat good teams

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Has Matthew Stafford finally arrived for the LA Rams? Well, you may draw that conclusion, because the Rams just won a game that they were not expected to win, and they did it severely short-handed.

Before the LA Rams played the Week 14 Monday Night Football contest against the 10-2 Arizona Cardinals, the whispers about the Rams’ inability to beat good teams had grown in volume. Before Week 14, the LA Rams were 1-2 against teams that were bound for the NFL Playoffs and were at or better than .500 when the Rams faced them. After the Week 14 Monday Night Football contest against the 10-3 Arizona Cardinals, the Rams are now 2-2 against the best teams in the NFL.

And the Rams played short-handed in the win.

The curious thing about the LA Rams win against the Arizona Cardinals is that it closely resembled the Cardinals win in LA. The game was decided by turnovers, getting a lead, and playing to the strength of the defense. In this game, the LA Rams defense played a direct hand in a 21 point difference in the outcome of the game. Not only did two interceptions lead to 14 points on the scoreboard for the LA Rams.

But at least one interception kept the Arizona Cardinals from scoring a touchdown.

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Stafford shows why he is the right QB for the job

But in the end, it was more than just a win for the LA Rams in 2021. It was a confirmation that the entire organization, from rookies through the entire personnel department are all on the same page. This was a game where the team worked because the team worked with all of the players currently available.

The LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford put three touchdowns on the scoreboard through the air on that Cardinals defense, something that not even the great Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could accomplish this season. In fact, Stafford has accounted for five of the 19 passing touchdowns scored against the Arizona Cardinals this season.

That’s pretty good for a guy who played almost his entire career for the Detroit Lions. In the past two games, he has thrown 49 of 68 passes for 582 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. His best game of the season was against one of the stiffest pass defenses in the NFL.

That’s all thanks to the LA Rams committing to run the ball. In the victory, the Rams threw the football 30 times and rushed 21 times. In each of the Rams’ losses, the team threw for at least 39 times and handed off to running backs no more than 19 times.  But in the past two games, the Rams have rushed 48 times and created four turnovers. As long as the Rams can continue that production, Matthew Stafford will do what he does best.

Beat good teams on the football field.

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