30 November 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

Stats show Stafford shoulders blame for Rams’ woes

The Los Angeles Rams hardly looked like the defending Super Bowl champions in their Week 1 31-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills or in Monday’s 24-9 defeat at the hands of the rival San Francisco 49ers that dropped the Rams to 2-2 on the season. 

Some understandably may be quick to say the Rams are merely experiencing a standard “Super Bowl hangover” coming off their title-clinching victory last winter. However, Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith noted on Tuesday morning that quarterback Matthew Stafford is, simply put, playing worse than he did during the 2021 campaign. 

“He’s averaging just 6.8 yards per pass after averaging 8.1 last year, he’s throwing interceptions on four percent of his passes compared to 2.8 percent last year, his touchdowns have declined to 2.7 percent of his passes this year after 6.8 percent last year, and he’s getting sacked twice as often, at 9.6 percent of his dropbacks after 4.8 percent last year,” Smith wrote of Stafford. 

The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue pointed out last month that Stafford underwent a nonsurgical procedure on the elbow of his throwing arm in March due to an issue said to be “something akin to tendinitis.” According to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times, Stafford insisted last week the elbow felt “pretty good” heading into Monday’s clash with San Francisco. 

As Smith added, ESPN stats show that the Rams began Tuesday ranked 30th in rushing yards per game (68.5) and 29th in yards per carry (3.3). Head coach Sean McVay and company won’t receive any midweek break following Monday’s result, as they’ll have to immediately begin preparing to host the 3-1 Dallas Cowboys this coming Sunday.

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