The Los Angeles Rams pushed their chips all-in after acquiring former Pro Bowler Matthew Stafford. The star quarterback steps into a promising situation with the Rams eyeing a special 2021 campaign. Those lofty expectations elevated another level after the latest comments concerning his NFL future.
Rams acquire Matthew Stafford
Last January, the Rams pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade to acquire Stafford in exchange for Jared Goff.
Los Angeles acquired the former Pro Bowler by including 2022 and 2023 first-round picks while taking on the remaining two years on his contract worth $43 million. Stafford enters a situation where he immediately becomes the offensive centerpiece to a franchise striving for another Super Bowl berth.
Before he begins his first campaign in Los Angeles, the expectation levels rose to another level.
Matthew Stafford just received more pressure to succeed with the Rams before taking a single snap
Stafford’s arrival in Los Angeles has created a significant buzz and hype around the team’s aspirations in 2021.
The 33-year-old continues to receive praise regarding his talent and potential in the Rams’ high-octane offense this upcoming season. During a recent appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler stated the team is “counting on” Stafford to take a massive leap forward.
“He basically got a four-spot, Sean McVay bump — he went from 10 last year with the Lions to six this year without doing anything,” Fowler said on ESPN’s Get Up via 247 Sports. “Simply, he’s now with Sean McVay. … People around the league believe he’ll get a spike just from being in a better offense, a more-capable team. They say, ‘Look, this guy is crazy talented. He’s been disguised in Detroit.’ And maybe he’ll let everybody down. He hasn’t won a playoff game. Maybe he’ll be that same guy in LA. But they’re counting on him taking a major jump and getting a career reset in a big way.”
Throughout Stafford’s career, he’s earned the reputation of being a highly talented quarterback but stuck in a rough situation with the Lions. That narrative is out the door landing with the Rams as he will have plenty of talent around him on both sides of the ball.
Stafford will throw to one of the top wide receiver duos with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods and share the backfield with promising running back Cam Akers. The passing game will also include proven deep-ball threat DeSean Jackson and young wideouts Van Jefferson and rookie Tutu Atwell.
He will work with head coach Sean McVay, who’s earned a strong reputation as one of the NFL’s brightest offensive minds. All that sets up the former Pro Bowler to have every opportunity to live up to the massive hype and much more.
Los Angeles hope to make a strong Super Bowl push
Beyond the hype around Stafford, it’s shifted the dialogue toward the Rams becoming a serious Super Bowl threat.
Los Angeles won 10 games last season while reaching the divisional round of the playoffs with Goff under center. If Stafford can perform as expected, it’s hard not to imagine the Rams becoming a legitimate powerhouse in the NFC despite playing in the league’s toughest division.
The roster underwent notable changes this offseason, but the team is returning largely the same group of talent. Defensive coordinator Brandon Staley left for the Los Angeles Chargers head coach job, but the Rams should possess a top-tier defense.
Los Angeles finished last year ranked first in the fewest yards per game allowed (281.9), first against the pass (190.7), third against the run (80.6), and first in points allowed per contest (18.5). There will be somewhat of an expected drop-off, but it will remain among the top defensive units.
All these factors suggest the pieces are in place for the Rams to take a significant step forward in 2021.