Inglewood, CA — Matthew Stafford said he wanted these moments.
After spending 12 seasons in the Detroit quarterback, his biggest platform was the annual Thanksgiving afternoon match, and his performance played the second fiddle of a television viewer’s turkey supper. .. He wanted to compete in quality competition in important games.
Stafford had the opportunity to deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Claimed as a future preview of the NFC Championship Game and contested in front of celebrities such as Mike Tyson and Jason Sudeikis, Stafford fueled Bucks’ Super Bowl victory and Tom Brady last season. Faced with. ..
Stafford surpassed all of them. Rams defeated the Buccaneers 34-24, thanks to his strong arms, wise decisions, and strong performance in the defense of Los Angeles. Indeed, Stafford’s show — a 343-yard pass, four touchdowns, and a zero turnover — countered the secondary obstacles caused by the injury.
But in front of more than 73,000 fans, Stafford has shown that he can achieve the throws needed to play the Super Bowl at home at SoFi Stadium this season. After that, he downplayed the importance of victory.
“Every time we go there, it’s a big deal,” Stafford said at a post-match press conference. “It was a big challenge for us, but it was good for us to get out and play games.”
His flatline reaction was in stark contrast to ballast from both teams, which led to game players called barometers to determine their position in the league. Both were undefeated and were considered one of the best players in the conference and the NFL. When met last November, Brady and former Rams quarterback Jared Goff tried a total of 99 passes, scoring 592 yards in the air as the Rams barely won the shootout. 27-24.
Their 2020 season has diverged. Tampa Bay won eight of the last nine games on its way to the Super Bowl. Bitten by irresponsible play from Goff, Rams wasted the league’s top-ranked defense efforts towards the end of the season, ending in a split round of playoffs.
But Rams didn’t have Stafford last season. His play gave a glimpse of Sean McVay’s attack being achievable in a quarterback where the ball could be placed anywhere on the field.
Stafford completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to veteran receiver DeSean Jackson in the third quarter, connecting to receiver Cool Park and one tight-end Tyler Higbee with two touchdown passes. McBay was so excited after Stafford’s scoring throw to Jackson, who missed two connections early in the game, so he sprinted along the sideline to greet Jackson in the stadium tunnel.
But perhaps Stafford’s most important throw didn’t explain the point directly.
In the middle of the third quarter, Brady adjusted a 75-yard touchdown drive to cut the Los Angeles lead to 21-14. Faced with 3rd and 10th positions from Rams’ 25-yard line, Stafford gave receiver Robert Woods a 20-yard pass, giving him the opportunity to score and turning the ball into an important play instead of returning it to Brady. bottom.
After three plays, Stafford connected with Jackson to make a 40-yard catch and ran to set up Kup’s second touchdown, the 10-yard catch.
Rams often failed in long-distance situations last season. This was due to the lack of explosive deep threats at the receiver and the struggle of Goff when the defense did not have to respect runs and play actions. Now under the command of Stafford, McBay can unleash a variety of playcalls that weren’t possible in 2020.
“As a crime, you don’t always want to stagnate,” Kup said of designing the unit with Stafford. “Our job as a crime is not to stick to repeating the same thing over and over, but to give an answer and make it look the same but different.”
Still, the Buccaneers played competitively, given how short they were. The receiver Antonio Brown was unavailable after being tested positive for coronavirus this week. Pass rusher Jason Pierre Paul also did not play due to hand and shoulder injuries.
Secondary lost cornerback Jamel Dean in the first quarter due to a knee injury. This hit a position group that starter Sean Murphy Banting had already exhausted on the injured list. McBay and Stafford took advantage of these absences early because the receiver slipped through the coverage and was easily delayed behind the defender.
Brady from California, who has never played an NFL match in Los Angeles, finished with 432 yards and a single touchdown pass. He also hurried the score. Rams’ defense attacked Brady five times and fired him three times. This includes Aaron Donald’s tackle, which forced the Buccaneers to recover the fumble. Sometimes it gave up chunk play, but Los Angeles defenses generally gathered in the ball carrier for tackles, eventually limiting Tampa Bay to just 35 rush yards. Brady led the team at 14.
“They played the kind of games they wanted to play,” Brady said. “If we are going to be such a team, we have to play well at every stage.”
Stafford and Rams will be an important part of the schedule in the fourth and fifth weeks against two NFC West rivals, Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks. These matches are important for the playoff seeds of the new 17 regular season. Stafford then guarantees that he and Rams have a bigger game to play.