The past two weeks have not been Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford’s finest as he cooled off from his efficient start to the 2021 season.
Stafford looked like he had taken complete control of the Rams offense, but in their recent loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the quarterback looked more off than normal. For the second consecutive week in a row, Stafford threw two interceptions in the first quarter and had the Rams looking at an early 14-0 hole.
Head coach Sean McVay took the time to try and explain Stafford’s recent struggles, via Skyler Carlin of USA Today:
“I think it’s a combination. I think Matthew can certainly play better, but I do think a lot of the things that occurred last night were a reflection of as simple as drops. He had a lot of drops. The one kind of careless play, but you could look at it and say it ends up being like a good, deep punt. He’s going to get knocked on his quarterback rating for a tipped pick for him when a guy drops a screen for him. That’s not Matthew’s fault. He put the ball in the right location,” McVay said.
“There was a lot of plays that I thought guys had a chance that they didn’t help him at all either. It is the greatest team sport. I expect that he can play a little bit better. I think there’s some decisions, but I didn’t think he got much help from a lot of really good teammates that I know can play a lot better. And then there’s definitely some things that we can do to put him in better spots. I think, rather than just looking at the rating or whatever, you’ve got to watch each play for its own entity and realize there was a lot more to it than maybe what a rating or just the stats simply say because you need some help as well.”
Watching the game, it was clear that Stafford made several questionable decisions but McVay is right in that not everything was on him as the receivers had a rough day catching the football. There were several dropped passes that could have extended drives, but the incompletions simply allowed San Francisco to run clock and control time of possession.
Coming out of the bye week, Los Angeles should look more like themselves though they do not get an easy test as they draw the Green Bay Packers.