Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
And he didn’t even need a running game to do it.
The pairing of Matthew Stafford and Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay looks like it’s going to be a good one.
The former Lions quarterback managed to set several career highs in his first game with the Rams in Los Angeles’ 34-14 win over Stafford’s former rival Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
Stafford’s final statistical line was an incredibly efficient output. He completed 20-of-26 passes for 321 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. That’s an average of 12.3 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 156.1. Both of those stats are career highs, surpassing the 11.1 Y/A and 148.6 passer rating mark he had previously set with the Lions.
Stafford got off to a quick start against the Bears. On the second pass of the game—a designed rollout—Stafford found Rams receiver Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown. He also had a 56-yard strike to Cooper Kupp for another score, and he capped it off with a tight-window throw to Robert Woods to seal the game for the Rams.
Perhaps most impressive of Stafford’s debut was the fact that he was able to put up career numbers without the help of a running game. Los Angeles rushed for just 74 yards on 23 carries, and 49 of those yards came on one drive late in the fourth quarter.
For Lions fans rooting for Stafford, Sunday night proved to be the moment they’ve been waiting for: proof that outside of Detroit, the former Lions franchise quarterback will shine. For those hoping the Rams would flop to help out Detroit’s draft picks in 2022… well, there are still 16 games left.