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Our House, Our Stories: Matthew Stafford's first year with the Rams
Looking back on quarterback Matthew Stafford's first season with the Los Angeles Rams. 
By Stu Jackson Apr 13, 2022
Photographs By Brevin Townsell/LA Rams

Quarterback Matthew Stafford's first season with the Los Angeles Rams culminated with winning Super Bowl LVI, and later a contract extension.

Here's a visual look back at Stafford's journey in Year 1, starting with his arrival and ending with hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and the subsequent extension.

ARRIVAL IN LOS ANGELES

Stafford is officially acquired in a trade with the Lions on March 18. Shortly thereafter, he arrives in Los Angeles for a tour of his new home stadium, SoFi Stadium, with a warm welcome on the infinity screen as he walks onto the field.

Matthew Stafford’s first visit to SoFi Stadium.
Matthew Stafford’s first visit to SoFi Stadium.
Matthew Stafford’s first visit to SoFi Stadium.


PUTTING ON NEW UNIFORM FOR FIRST TIME

Stafford also got to put on his Rams uniform for the first time upon arriving L.A. as part of a photoshoot documenting his arrival.

After 12 years wearing Honolulu blue and white, Stafford now dons royal and sol with the Rams.

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OFFSEASON PROGRAM

Mid-April marks the first chance for Stafford to interact with his new Rams teammates. In May and June, he gets his first chance to put in on-field work with them.

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TRAINING CAMP

Stafford and his new teammates reconvene in late July in Irvine, Calif., to continue building chemistry and preparing for the 2021 season. It is here that his connection with Kupp becomes visibly apparent.

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RAMS DEBUT

Stafford torches the Bears for 321 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 34-14 Rams victory at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. It didn't take long for Stafford to show why he was acquired, either, as he connected on his second pass attempt for a 67-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Van Jefferson.

Stafford was later named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 1 for his performance.

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FACING THE LIONS

Facing his former team for the first time, Stafford threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-19 Rams win. It was his seventh multi-touchdown performance through the Rams' first eight games of the season.

He also eclipsed 300 career passing touchdowns with his performance, passing former Broncos quarterback John Elway for 12th on the NFL's all-time career passing touchdowns list with 301.

The Los Angeles Rams took on the Detroit Lions in Week 7 of the 2021 season.
The Los Angeles Rams took on the Detroit Lions in Week 7 of the 2021 season.
The Los Angeles Rams took on the Detroit Lions in Week 7 of the 2021 season.


THE NO-LOOKS AND SIDE-ARMS

Staples of his time in Detroit, Stafford's signature passes showed up time and time again in Los Angeles. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp noticed the no-looks in training camp with how Stafford uses his eyes to manipulate defenders and create those windows, which Stafford would do multiple times throughout the 2021 season. And the side-arm throws were praised by Rams head coach Sean McVay, who liked the way Stafford could change his arm slots.

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Minnesota Vikings during Week 16 of the 2021 regular season.
The Los Angeles Rams took on the Detroit Lions in Week 7 of the 2021 season.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers during Week 18 of the 2021 regular season.


THE KUPP CONNECTION

A rapport built quickly in training camp carried over into the regular season, with Stafford helping Kupp author just the fourth receiving triple-crown-winning season since 1970. Including playoff games, the tandem would help Kupp produce an NFL-record 13 games with 100 or more receiving yards, breaking former Cowboys star Michael Irvin's record. Kupp also accounted for 16 of Stafford's 41 passing touchdowns.

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Rams took on the Detroit Lions in Week 7 of the 2021 season.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI of the 2021 NFL Playoffs.


SUPER BOWL CHAMPION

In a postseason performance to remember, Stafford led game-winning drives across three consecutive playoff games – the Divisional Round, NFC Championship and Super Bowl – to help deliver the Rams their first Super Bowl title in Los Angeles in franchise history with a 23-20 victory over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

Quarterback (9) Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to win Super Bowl LVI and become NFL champions, February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, CA. (Jeff Lewis/LA Rams)
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl of the 2021 NFL Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl of the 2021 NFL Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Rams celebrate the Super Bowl LVI Championship at the LA city parade.


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Stafford signs a four-year contract extension with the Rams on March 19, ensuring he stays in the horns through the 2026 season.

The work continues.

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