The second of fact has arrived.
Tonight, Matthew Stafford will likely be bare. And NFL America will likely be watching.
Stafford, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback, can have nowhere to cover. Higher but, there will likely be nobody to go the blame onto, both.
This will likely be about Stafford. His current. His previous. And his future. The Rams host the Arizona Cardinals within the closing Wild Card recreation at SoFi Stadium in L.A.
And in contrast to Saturday and Sunday, there is only one recreation. There will likely be undivided consideration for this contest between division rivals.
For each groups, they should both win or go dwelling. Therefore, there’s huge strain on each side.
However nobody — and we imply nobody — has extra strain on them than Stafford.
He has to win. There’s no different manner round it.
If he doesn’t, individuals will acknowledge that his previous failures can’t solely be blamed on taking part in for the Detroit Lions.
Sadly for Rams followers, Stafford has appeared extra like that QB than the Messiah he was promised to be. In truth, he was unhealthy to finish the season. Stafford had extra turnovers than a bakery within the closing three video games — seven interceptions and a fumble
The actual fact stays that the Rams had been simply 6-5 in video games he threw an INT this season.
In his three postseason video games, Stafford is 0-3 with 4 TDs and three picks. Not a fairly image.
After all, Stafford downplayed the magnitude of the sport. “Each time I step on the sector I’m proving myself, whether or not it’s a preseason recreation or a regular-season recreation, follow, a playoff recreation” Stafford informed the media. “I wish to go on the market and play nicely. That is simply one other alternative to do this.”
The final time we noticed Stafford, he was throwing a game-losing interception to the San Francisco 49ers at dwelling. It helped the 49ers come again from a 17-0 deficit on the highway, an inconceivable feat to safe a playoff spot.
For Stafford, it was one other day on the workplace stuffed with errors and unhealthy choices.
That may’t occur tonight.
Stafford has to play nicely and the Rams should win.
The Rams had been constructed to get to the Tremendous Bowl, not bow out within the first playoff recreation.
If it had been to occur, there could be hell to pay.
Stafford has NEVER gained a playoff recreation. However the story was that it wasn’t Stafford’s fault. It was the group, the final managers, the coaches and most of all, the inferior rosters he performed with.
When he was acquired from the Detroit Lions for a king’s ransom – together with two future first spherical picks – the Rams dubbed him because the lacking piece, a QB who could make all of the throws.
And Stafford bought off to a fantastic begin. The Rams began 7-1. For the season, he threw for 4,886 yards (third-most in NFL) and had a career-high-tying 41 touchdowns (second within the league) over 17 video games.
However the Rams went a disappointing 5-4 within the closing 9 video games. Stafford was an enormous supply of their woes and completed the season with the league-lead in INTS with 17, tied with rookie Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence.
There’s no manner of getting round the truth that Stafford will likely be in comparison with Jared Goff, the QB L.A. dumped. In spite of everything, Goff bought the Rams to the Tremendous Bowl, however misplaced.
The expectation is for Stafford to not solely get the Rams there, however win the entire ball of wax.
And this isn’t an infinity course of. The Rams have a closing window. Time is ticking on this group presently assembled. Groups get previous and worse rapidly.
The proper instance is the Rams’ protection. Final season, the Rams had the No. 1 protection coming into the postseason. This yr, it was seventeenth, center of the pack.
That’s the place the quarterback comes into play.
Rams’ coach Sean McVay is all in on Stafford. The 2 are tied on the hip. If Stafford doesn’t ship the final word prize for the group, McVay can have stink on him, too.
And regardless of his quarterback unhealthy playoff resume and turnover- crammed end to the season, McVay is standing by Stafford, 33.
“I feel that he’s bought a longtime resume,” McVay informed the media. “I feel that’s one thing you need to have the ability to do (show he can win a playoff recreation).
“He was instrumental in main us to our first divisional title that we’ve had since ’18 and that’s an enormous deal, however now it’s the subsequent step.”
One Stafford higher not detect.