This was supposed to be a season of unconditional health and upside for LA Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. And, for the start of the 2023 NFL season, it mostly has been. But the life of an NFL quarterback is always at risk of a quarterback sack, pressure, or hit that can bring an ever increasing risk of injury.
The LA Rams offensive line has not done a bad job this season. The group did not allow a quarterback sack in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. And the same group allowed just one sack the following week against the San Francisco 49ers. But in Week 3, against a poor run defense of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Rams opted to pass 33 times while rushing 13 times, and the Bengals pass defense tossed Stafford about like a kite on a windy day.
Somehow, Stafford walked away from that game.
The following week, Stafford was sacked twice. In Week 4, he was dropped four more times. And finally, in Week 6, Stafford was sacked three times. All totaled, Stafford has been dropped 16 times in just six games. And that is taking a toll on the LA Rams quarterback:
A quarterback who is dealing with 'pain management' heading into Week 7 of an 18 week NFL season is alarming, to say the least.
Can Stafford face the onslaught of Steelers T.J. Watt?
The concern for the Rams and the offensive line is the fact that they just find a way to deal with Pittsburgh Steelers daunting pass rusher T.J. Watt, who leads the NFL with 8.0 quarterback sacks in just five games. If you recall, when the LA Rams faced the Cincinnati Bengals and their pass rusher Trey Hendrickson, he exploded for two quarterback sacks and a lot of pressure on Stafford.
This week, Watt is coming off a BYE week.
For now, Stafford is set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7. But he is nursing a sore hip, and the Steelers have no problem stepping right in where the Bengals left off. The Rams must find some way to slow down Watt and that Steelers pass rush.
The remainder of Matthew Stafford's season may depend on it