Stafford’s back: Why Rams offense will turn from eccentric to electric

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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What did we learn from nine games out of LA Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford? Well, for starters, we know that his performance was historically one of his least impressive seasons. After a year of screaming to the NFL that he was a great player who had competed on the roster of a bad NFL team for 12 seasons, he arrived and proved what his detractors have sworn by, that he was part of the problem all along.

The LA Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford has a long, storied, and impressive statistical career. But he has ruts that he falls into as well. He is getting older, so he struggles after repeated quarterback sacks. He entered the 2022 NFL season with a sling on his throwing arm, a matter that both head coach Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford himself swore was not a factor in the 2022 NFL season struggles.

Matthew Stafford struggles

But to the eye, Stafford was off. He was not able to make the long throws to young wide receiver Tutu Atwell. He was unable to pull his eyes away from wide receiver Cooper Kupp or tight end Tyler Higbee.  And without help from any form of running offense, he was at the mercy of the defensive pass rush that all but ignored the efforts of the Rams’ patchwork offensive line.

It was the worst of all worlds for the LA Rams offense. The Rams had committed so much of the team’s resources to field the best possible complement of starting players that the team could field. But that limited the Rams’ roster in terms of absorbing so many injuries at too few positions. And when Stafford himself fell to injury, the Rams and the fanbase quickly learned the difference between a quarterback who could run a scouting team versus a quarterback who could run this LA Rams offense.

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The Rams lost Matthew Stafford to injuries after just nine games. But even by then, the damage was done. The LA Rams were at 3-6, and the number of injuries to so many players simply forced the Rams to face the harsh reality that had seldom been the case for a Sean McVay-coached Rams team, there’s always next year.