The New Rams QB Finished Near Perfect in One Category

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford looks for an open target during the Los Angeles Rams' season opener on Sunday, September 12, versus the Chicago Bears at SoFI Stadium.

Matthew Stafford nearly played to perfection in his Los Angeles Rams debut on Sunday, September 12.

Well, in one important quarterback category.

The new Rams’ QB1 put together the following stat line after the Rams’ 34-14 dismantling of the visiting Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood:

  • 20 Completions, only six incomplete throws.
  • 321 passing yards with six different receivers catching a pass.
  • Three touchdowns, no interceptions.
  • A QB rating of 156.1.

But out of all the stats, it’s the latter that’s considered the most impressive…and the near perfect one.

Shy by 2.2

Rams team reporter Stu Jackson was among the many keeping track of Stafford’s impressive opening Rams debut. But he pointed out that Stafford was inches away from perfection here:

That’s right. Stafford nearly had the perfect passer rating.

The 33-year-old and longtime Detroit Lion was just 2.2 points away from having the flawless night as a quarterback.

In his 12 years in the Motor City, Stafford only had one season of surpassing the century mark for the QB rating category (106.0 in 2019).

Sunday night’s showing, though, marks Stafford’s highest rated game in his career. His previous best came on December 21, 2015 against the New Orleans Saints in a 35-27 victory, when Stafford’s QBR topped off at 148.6. Stafford finished 22-of-25 passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns that day in the Superdome.

Dropping Dimes in No. 9

When your QB puts up those kind of numbers, it means there was nothing simple or boring about how he nearly got the complete QB rating.

It means No. 9 dropped dimes.

And it all began on the second passing attempt from QB1, which left him with open space, no pass rusher near him and no one laying a finger on his intended target Van Jefferson, who finished the play by crossing the goal line.

That wasn’t the only dime from the right arm of his.

Operating out of the shotgun and with an empty set (no running backs in the backfield), Stafford faced a four-man pressure from the Bears’ front line. Stafford first appeared to have his eyes locked on Darrell Henderson, who lined up as a WR on this play. However, Stafford found Cooper Kupp who furtively slipped by three Bears defensive backs and had a wide gap between himself and the trio – all leading to an easy touchdown for Stafford and the Rams.

The Kupp touchdown covered 56 yards. One reason why Stafford was added via trade was to resurrect the deep game. And ESPN stats and Info tweeted out that the Rams have already matched their deep ball total from a year ago.

This play was a non-touchdown. However, it belongs in the Stafford dime category as the QB finds his tight end Tyler Higbee for this large 37-yard gain. And Higbee was the lone TE option on this play as L.A. operated out of their famed 11 Personnel.

Lastly, with a short field to work with but a reliable vet on the field, Stafford found Robert Woods in the back of the end zone for his third TD pass, which was accompanied by a toe tap.

Stafford was so impressive, his defensive teammate Jalen Ramsey stated that his debut evening in Inglewood “should probably go down in history.”

LIVE: Rams vs. Bears Post-Game Press Conferences After WinLos Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay & players address the media following tonight's game against the Chicago Bears. Subscribe to the LA Rams Channel: For More Exclusive Content follow the Rams: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Website: Get the latest on the LA Rams news, photos, and more by downloading the…2021-09-12T19:24:45Z

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