Stafford needs help now
In the NFL, no single player can win alone. No player knows that more than the quarterback. NFL QBs depend entirely upon their offensive linemen to protect them from defenders, on receivers to catch the ball, and on running backs to carry the football, pick up defenders who break free, catch the football, and carry the football often enough to keep defenders guessing.
The Rams have learned that lesson the hard way this season. But the brunt of that oversight has impacted Rams QB Matthew Stafford. When the Rams offense stops running the football, defenses pin their ears back to defend the pass and bring down Stafford. Without the threat of a running game, Stafford is helpless to turn losses into wins.
Stafford still has enough potency to compete in the NFL.
Why Stafford will play through 2025
Rams fans, and fans of any NFL team, often get frustrated by the win loss record of the team. And the simplest answer for fans who are searching for a scapegoat to pin their frustrations on is often the quarterback.
Yes, Matthew Stafford may not be playing lights out this season. But who of us can decipher whether its Stafford himsel, Stafford trying to play through injury (throwing hand thumb), or just poor game planning?
To get a feel of Stafford's performance this season, I've queued up his profile on NFLsavant.com, and you can review his 2023 profile by clicking on this link here. If you want to get a quick perusal of Stafford's numbers, just check out the Tweet from LA Rams correspondent J.B. Long, below:
Let's go offer the terms of the data used by Long in the chart above:
- TD Passes - self-explanatory
- INT - interceptions
- Adj. Yds/Att - Weighted adjusted average yardage of a quarterback's passing attempts while accounting for touchdowns and interceptions.
- Sack % - The percentage of times a QB is sacked vs. the number of times he goes back to throw a pass
- QBR - Total QB rating
- PFF - undefined term
- EPA - Expected Points Added
- EPA / Play - Expected Points added per play
- 4QC - Fourth quarter comebacks
- GWD - Game-winning drives
- BTT - Big Time Throws
- BTT% - Big Time Throws percentage to the total number of throws
- TWP % - Turnover Worthy Play rate - Percentage of plays that should have resulted in a turnover (i.e. hit defensive back in hands with the pass, but he dropped it)
- aDOT - Average Depth of Target
- Drop % - Rate of receivers dropping 'catchable' balls
As you can see by the above quarterback metrics, there are many ways to assess the value and contribution of an NFL quarterback. Many of the factors that make Matthew Stafford so valued by the LA Rams coaching staff simply do not appear in the vanilla post-game box stats. Stafford's forte is changing the momentum and outcomes of games. That takes years for rookie quarterbacks to understand, let alone master.