5 ways LA Rams failed to deliver for QB Matthew Stafford in 2021

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Matthew Stafford
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Offensive center continuity

Let’s face it. The last thing any NFL quarterback wants with a new team is an offensive center controversy. Why? Because hiking the football is presumed to be 100 percent automatic, but it only gets that way with plenty of practice.

Unfortunately for the LA Rams, a majority of the training camp exchanges between center and quarterback occurred with Austin Corbett handing the football to Matthew Stafford. It was not until the pads went on that the Rams determined that Brian Allen made the most sense as the starting offensive center.

So much for the Corbett/Stafford exchange.

That lack of working together would come into question in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs when a hike from Brian Allen would sail over Matthew Stafford’s head and be recovered by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Complicating the matter, even more, was the fact that Allen played three games while noticeable injured, and that may have led to a three-game losing streak. When backup center Coleman Shelton took over, the Rams’ offense returned to full throttle. RB Sony Michel had three of his best performances when Shelton played center.

But even Shelton was a complication for Stafford. You see, Corbett and Allen hike the football with their right hands. Shelton is a southpaw, meaning that the football hike created additional issues for Stafford. With a season under his belt, Stafford is fully prepared for these unexpected deviations from the norm. And with fewer items to manage at the hike of the football, the more time to read progressions and make a pinpoint toss to the open receiver.