THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – As Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford prepares for the first Super Bowl of his NFL career, the even-keeled approach he has taken through the first three rounds is unsurprisingly following into preparation for Super Bowl LVI.
"I think you treat fit just like every other game when it gets to that day," Stafford said during a video conference with reporters Thursday. "You got a job, you got a job to go out there and execute and try and lead your team to help us win. Once the is ball snapped, I mean, it's going to be football. Settle into the game as quickly as you possibly can, trust your eyes, trust your teammates and go play. I think that part of it, once the ball is snapped, is hopefully going to be the part that's the easiest to just eliminate all distractions and go out and play."
Stafford and the Rams are seeking the franchise's first Super Bowl title in Los Angeles, and to also become the second team to win the Super Bowl in its home stadium, when they take on the Bengals on Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. pacific time at SoFi Stadium.
They've gotten to this point in part by Stafford completing 72 percent of his passes for 905 yards with six touchdowns and only one interception through their first three postseason games.
His preparation over the next two weeks reflects that attitude toward gameday itself: Diving into film to get to know the opponent as well as one possibly can, while also not making the moment bigger than it is.
"My biggest thing is don't look at the calendar," Stafford said. "Just go out there and whatever the day is, go out there and execute as best as you can."
It also helps Stafford that potential distractions surrounding the game – such as ticket requests – are out of sight and out of mind. He said the organization does a great job ensuring that's taken care of, and also credits his wife, Kelly, for her efforts in doing the same. Collectively, it will be handled "well before next week even starts."
While Stafford understands all the buzz surrounding the game, he said he tries to "shelter himself" from it. An example: The Rams held a jog-through on Thursday, and Stafford said that's all he cared about at the moment, so it's not difficult for him to lock in to the task at hand.
"I'm not immune to knowing there's a bunch of people excited about this game," Stafford said. "I'm excited about this game. We should be. We worked a lot of years and a lot of time to get to where we are. I'm enjoying that, but at the same time, I'm just focused on doing whatever we can to try and help beat the Bengals."
Rams head coach Sean McVay said he understands why it's a big game for Stafford with it being his first Super Bowl, but Stafford has also been a part of several big games throughout his NFL career. In that vein, he's not worried about Stafford's ability to separate the magnitude of the game from going out and playing the game.
"I think he's at his best when he's enjoying the moment, playing cool, calm and collected, being that great competitor and bringing people with him," McVay said Thursday. "And that's exactly what he'll do."