PFN generously ranks LA Rams backup QB at 28th place

Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams may have one of the best starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but if anything happens to the team’s starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, the wheels will fall off this offense rather quickly. Why is that? Well, behind Stafford are two relatively inexperienced and rather untested young quarterbacks in John Wolford and Bryce Perkins.

And that’s a problem, or at least the makings of one.

Stafford is a seasoned veteran, and he has been banged around over the span of his NFL career. But he gets dinged up and should probably be benched for a game or two to heal up, that option is really off the table.

Pro Football Network’s Mike Kaye (subscription required) has ranked the LA Rams’ backup quarterback situation at 28th place in the 32-team NFL. Here was the narrative:

"“An AAF success story, the Rams have been able to shield Wolford from playing time as their top backup over the past two years. While he did have a playoff spot start following the 2020 season, he was quickly replaced by an injured Jared Goff. Wolford is fine, but he’s clearly on the downside of NFL No. 2 QBs.”- PFN’s Mike Kaye as quoted by Sport Illustrated’s Zach Dimmitt"

That seems rather generously worded.

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Rams Roster: Two backup QBs, Two INTs, Zero TDs

So why be concerned about the Rams’ backup quarterback position? For good reason, as the LA Rams backup quarterbacks have never thrown a touchdown pass. Wolford is entering his third NFL season since showing up to lead the team to the 2020 season finale victory. He has been a dependable, courageous young dual-threat quarterback who is ideal for the LA Rams’ offseason needs, and for practices each week.

But stepping up on NFL Game Day is where the struggle begins. He plays his heart out, but he has only completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 236 yards, 5.6 yards per attempt, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Now, just put all of this into the context that he is playing in LA Rams head coach Sean McVay’s offense, and the matter of backup quarterback appears to be an unusual blind spot in the LA Rams’ typical 20/20 vision of their roster needs.

Perkins looked good in the LA Rams 2021 preseason games, and in my humble opinion, earned the team’s backup quarterback position. But we know that preseason games are vanilla-planning dress rehearsals for players on the bubble. That’s not quite the same as the regular season game speed.

Competent quarterbacks are vital in today’s NFL. We witnessed what happens when a quarterback loses the confidence of the wide receivers. While the LA Rams are certainly the type of team to circle the wagons in the face of adversity, the front office and coaching staff needn’t be so resistant to getting competent experience on the roster for a ‘just in case,’ scenario.

Gardner Minshew was available in 2021. Cam Newton is available for 2022. I could go on . . .

This is not some call to action that will never happen, just to have that “Aha! I told you so.” moment. The LA Rams have to see what I’m seeing too. If it’s just a matter of affordability or fit, I get that. But closing their eyes on the matter is one vulnerability on what otherwise appears to be a formidable roster.

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