Should the Rams Be Worried About Matthew Stafford Heading Into the Postseason?

For most of the 2021 NFL season, Matthew Stafford has been a source of significant success for Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. After all, the Rams sent a war chest of draft picks to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Stafford โ€” the pressure for this partnership to work out was extremely high.

Stafford began the year firmly in the mix for the MVP. However, as the weeks went by, his name slowly but surely slipped out of the conversation. Fast forward to Week 16, and we’re seeing Stafford at his absolute worst.

Matthew Stafford threw 3 interceptions against the Vikings

While the Rams walked away from the NFC showdown victorious, it was not a good day for Stafford. In fact, it was arguably his worst performance to date while wearing the Rams’ yellow and blue.

Stafford passed for a measly 197 yards on 21-for-37 passing and threw three interceptions. The Vikings’ defense seemingly had an answer for everything Stafford threw at them, driving home the idea that he could be an issue for LA when the postseason comes around.

It’s also worth mentioning this was Stafford’s third multi-interception game of the season. He threw two picks against the Tennessee Titans in Week 9 and two picks against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10 โ€” two playoff-caliber opponents.

Should the Rams be worried about Matthew Stafford’s struggles?

Rams QB Matthew Stafford.
Matthew Stafford | Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Rams are in win-now mode. They’re Super Bowl or bust. The whole point of trading for Stafford, trading for Von Miller, and signing Odell Beckham Jr. was to supplement Sean McVay with enough offensive power to win the big one. The Rams got close during Super Bowl 53. However, former QB Jared Goff wasn’t good enough against a well-coached New England defense.

The hope was that Stafford would come in and eliminate any concern with the quarterback position.

However, following his disaster of a performance against the Vikings, it’s worth questioning the logic behind all the confidence in Stafford. He’s never actually won a playoff game before, and he’s struggled against some of the Rams’ more formidable opponents this season.

It’s important to note that Stafford has been dealing with some nagging injuries as of late. However, that doesn’t really change the reality of the situation. A partially-injured Stafford doesn’t get the Rams any closer to a Super Bowl win. In fact, it arguably takes them further away than where they initially were.

The Rams still have time to get their offense right

The season is quickly coming to a close. There’s no denying that. However, there’s still time for the Rams to get their offense right, and they actually have a few positives to look at from their messy win over the Vikings.

Beckham Jr. continues to be a touchdown machine, and former starting running back Cam Akers is back in the lineup after suffering an Achilles injury a few months ago.

If Stafford can get himself right between now and the start of the playoffs, the Rams should be in a favorable position. The tricky part is getting him back in a rhythm. The Rams aren’t going to last very long if their quarterback throws three interceptions per game.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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