Skip to main content

Rams News | Los Angeles Rams -

'He's played like Matthew': Stafford returning to form at right time for Rams

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In the thick of a playoff push, the Rams are getting their starting quarterback's best.

Matthew Stafford has thrown 11 touchdowns to 2 interceptions across the last four games, two of which were against the top two defenses in the NFL, and helped the Rams go 3-1 during that stretch as they head into Sunday's Week 15 home game against the Commanders (1:05 p.m. PT, CBS).

"Yeah, he's played like Matthew," Rams head coach Sean McVay said this week. "He's a great player and you can see he's feeling healthy. I think he's doing a great job of distributing the football. Guys are competing hard around him and for him and he has got great command of what he's seeing. These have definitely been two of the upper echelon defenses. I think he's played really well when you look at the fourth quarter in Seattle and then the last 12 quarters when you combine Arizona, Cleveland, and yesterday against Baltimore. He's given us a chance to play really well on the offensive side of the football and when he's doing that good things happen."

In addition to that touchdown to interception ratio, Stafford has completed 61.3 percent of his pass attempts for 992 yards since the bye week. Reduce that stretch to the last three games, and he leads the NFL in passing touchdowns (10) and is sixth in passing yards (802).

Health is part of that, but so too is the play of the 10 offensive teammates around him on the field.

Of note, the offensive line has allowed just three sacks in the last four games: Two against the Ravens and one against the Seahawks. Stafford was not sacked once against the Cardinals or Browns.

"I'm always trying to improve, trying to get better week-to-week, and like I said earlier, each game is unique, right?" Stafford said. "What's asked of me? What is my job for that week? It's always to go out there and play at a high level, but sometimes that looks different. So just proud of the guys. If I'm playing well, that means the guys in front of me are blocking. The guys on the outside are getting open and catching it. We're running the ball efficiently. It's an unbelievable team sport. It takes everybody to do all of it. I'm just trying to make sure that when everything is right around me and my number is called to go out there and do my job as best I possibly can and knowing that the guys around me are all fighting to do the exact same thing just working towards one mission and that's trying to win the game."

While Stafford minimizes his role in that success and defers credit to his teammates, those teammates still recognize the work he's putting in to put himself in a position to succeed.

"Oh, man, (he's playing) tremendously," wide receiver Demarcus Robinson said. "He's playing outstanding right now. He's his own guy. He comes in, he studies, works hard, never gives up on us, never takes days off. He's another guy just like us in the locker room trying to win the day every day. And he's a great communicator, a great leader. He's top-tier in my book, for sure."

One highlight that has been present during this four-game stretch that was also there before it: The jaw-dropping throws Stafford continues to make. It's something Kupp pointed out, in addition to the aforementioned command that has the Rams' offense clicking. 

That leadership, above all else, is perhaps the biggest key to the way the last four weeks have gone for Stafford and the Rams. 

"What he'll do is he'll stand in the pocket and manipulate his arm angles and make some throws in there that's just like, 'Gosh dang, I can't believe that you made this throw,'" Kupp said. "You might not see it on ESPN next night, but we see it. Aside from even that stuff, I think the way he's managing games, being in the huddle, the leadership that he's shown, the ownership of the offense, the understanding of being able to just communicate clearly to the rest of us so we can play free and not have to worry about what we're doing and things like that. He takes a lot on himself to take the load off a lot of people, and it's a pretty special thing for a quarterback the way that he handles that. No one else is going to know that, but he does a big part of that for everyone."

Related Content