5 ways LA Rams failed to deliver for QB Matthew Stafford in 2021
As soon as the LA Rams traded for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford over one year ago, everyone knew that changes were afoot with the future of the offense. And by trading away their previous and only starting quarterback (with the exception of injury) Jared Goff, who had a pretty good track record in the NFL Playoffs, the team raised the bar to a point where it was almost Super Bowl or Bust before the season even started.
Taking such drastic action was only possible by the Rams’ front office after analyzing a myriad of data points, trends, characteristics, and projections of their future quarterback. Likewise, and perhaps with far less formality, Matthew Stafford (before the trade) needed to assess the LA Rams’ offense, their track record, their likelihood of success, and how willing the team would be to assemble a winning roster around him.
So, now that the season is done, and the LA Rams are the defending NFL Champions, which side made good on their potential and promise? Would you believe that Matthew Stafford delivered more?
Matthew Stafford’s maiden Rams voyage
Of course, you can say that we are splitting hairs here, and for that matter, we won’t deny it. But there is a method to this madness. Matthew Stafford was by no means ‘perfect’ in his maiden season in the Rams offense. He had two other seasons in his career with more attempted passes. He had two other seasons with more passing yardage (and one less game in those seasons). He had thrown for 41 touchdowns before in his career. And his 17 interceptions for the season were the third-highest number of interceptions in his career.
Perhaps more concerning is the fact that he tied his career-high mark for throwing pick-sixes at four, a number he had set in 2012.
All of that has opened the door to unfair criticism for the veteran quarterback. So unfair that it has prompted me to put some additional facts about the LA Rams offense that no other veteran quarterbacks faced in the same year as winning a Super Bowl. So what deviations from the master plan did the Rams have a hand in?
There are plenty of reasons, hard factual reasons, to believe that the best is yet to come for veteran Matthew Stafford in the LA Rams offense. Let’s look over some facts: