I was always doubting the Los Angeles Rams. Don’t ask me why! At first I said, Matthew Stafford can’t be a championship contender’s quarterback. Then it was, the Rams 3-0 start is a fluke. Then it was, the Rams losing streak was going to happen eventually and their championship hopes are done. Odell’s done! Then it was they can’t beat Kyler Murray. Then it was Matthew Stafford against Tom Brady, who’s going to win?! Then it was they can’t get past the 49ers defense. Then it was, the underdogs will shine and Stafford can’t outplay Burrow. And every single time I made one of these doubts, I was wrong. And that is what championship teams do, prove people wrong. Below is the reasons why the Rams proved me wrong in the rout to a championship!
Matthew Stafford trade and success with the Rams:
When the Rams traded for Stafford over 1 year ago at this point, I was very skeptical. I said LA lost the trade since I thought Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff were very similar quarterbacks. Plus, the Rams had to give up a little bit more. Clearly Stafford proved me wrong there. I also thought this because I didn’t trust his ability to win in the playoffs. He had an 0-3 playoff record with Detroit. However, that was in only 3 games. I didn’t seem to realize that his lack of success was because of the talent Detroit put around him.
Stafford had great success with the Rams this season. He threw 41 passing touchdowns and over 4800 yards. However, he threw 17 interceptions. That’s 1 interception per game. That was the reason why I doubted what he would be able to do against other top tier quarterbacks. But in the playoffs, he was different. Despite his 3 interceptions (2 of them in the Big Game), he threw 9 touchdowns and close to 1200 yards. He also had a 70% completion percentage. It wasn’t just because of short throws and lack of throws either! He had more pass attempts than Tom Brady in his final championship in the 2020 season. Matthew Stafford also had a higher average yards per pass attempt. So, you can say Matthew Stafford’s playoff run this season was better than one of Tom Brady’s playoff runs. He had an incredible playoffs and I give him tremendous credit on how he built this Rams offense.
Cooper Kupp’s surprising season that will go down in the history books
Now, Matthew Stafford couldn’t have done it himself. Cooper Kupp was a huge part in his success. He had 92 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns and a huge 7 yard rush that kept Los Angeles’ game winning drive alive. The entire playoffs was all Cooper Kupp as well. He finished the playoffs with 45 receptions that got him 625 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Some NFL star receivers get around 7 touchdowns in a 17 game season, not a 4 game playoff. He had an unbelievable season. However, it seems odd to me that his breakout year was the first year of Matthew Stafford’s time with the Rams. Below shows that!
Bold = League Leader
Cooper Kupp stats in 2020 (his last season with Jared Goff at quarterback)
124 TRG, 92 REC, 974 YDS, 3 TD, 10.6 AVG
Cooper Kupp stats in 2021 (his first season with Matthew Stafford as quarterback
191 TRG, 145 REC, 1947 YDS, 16 TD, 13.4 AVG
Pretty insane upgrade. I understand someone could develop throughout an offseason but I do think it is odd that Cooper Kupp’s breakout season that put his 1947 yards at 2nd most all time in a season, 17 yards short of Calvin Johnson’s unbreakable record. However Cooper Kupp’s breakout season happened, it was sure fun to watch!
Odell Beckham Jr: Unwanted to a ring:
Odell Beckham Jr. has had several doubts in his career on whether he can win a championship or be good for a teams locker room and off the field issues. He proved us wrong. Beckham deserves a lot of credit for how he stepped up on a team that needed desperate help. Once Robert Woods went out for the season with an injury in Week 9, they needed a 2nd wide receiver. Beckham stepped in the very next week and was a big part in LA’s success. He recorded 305 yards and 5 touchdowns in his only 8 games with the Rams. This was also as a #2 receiver. Now, LA has to be careful. In Robert Woods’ 9 games, he had 556 yards and 4 touchdowns as also a #2. The Rams could afford Beckham since he signed a cheaper, 1 year, 1.25 million dollar contract but I’m not sure if they will be willing to pay him the amount he might deserve since Robert Woods will be coming back. No matter how much longer Beckham’s time with the Rams last, just know that he was a key piece on a championship team for 12 games!
Dear Aaron Donald, If you are ever going to hang up the cleats… now’s the time!
Aaron Donald is one of the greatest defensive players to ever play the game. Raise your hand if you’ve made the Pro Bowl for the first 8 years of your career (Donald’s full career), made the All Pro teams 7 out of those 8 seasons, won 3 defensive player of the year awards in the process and won a Super Bowl? I didn’t see a lot of hands! Donald is great! He has only 2 seasons of his career where he doesn’t have double digit sacks and he still averages 8.5 sacks in those 2 seasons! He had an incredible 20.5 sack season that will go down as one of the best seasons from a pass rusher in NFL history. The thing with Donald is, I never doubted him because he has been so good for so long. Literally since his rookie season! Aaron Donald, if you are somehow seeing this, I know there has been rumors about you retiring after a legendary 8 seasons but if you are going to at some point in the next couple of seasons, retire now. Not many players end their career with a Super Bowl and be that great of a player. Ray Lewis and John Elway did it but that’s pretty much it. And Donald also has the 2 game winning plays in that Super Bowl in his back pocket as well. If AD does retire, the NFL will miss his insane sacks and a career that has dominated the NFL and eventually won a Super Bowl!
The Los Angeles Rams had their ups and downs this season like every other NFL team. But they came back from them, proved the doubters wrong (like me) and won a Super Bowl. It takes a lot of talent to do that. And a lot of the key talent from this championship team is above!
Sorry for not posting yesterday, I had technology issues!
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