It took an explosive punt return by the unheralded Brandon Powell to steal away the momentum after Stafford had just thrown his third interception. It took Jalen Ramsey locking down one of the league’s best young receivers in Justin Jefferson. It took Aaron Donald being his dominant self, and rattling Kirk Cousins all game long. It took Sony Michel’s consistent presence and ever-churning legs to keep the offense on schedule despite not much help from the passing attack.
But the end result was a career-first for Stafford - coming away with a 30-23 victory in the face of a losing performance.
Sunday’s win over Minnesota marked the first time that Stafford won a game with a passer rating of 50.0 or lower, which is a luxury that he was never afforded in his time with the Detroit Lions. The Rams’ signal caller finished the game 21 of 37 (56.8%) for 197 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, and a traditional passer rating of 46.8 (season-low). Two of Stafford’s interceptions came deep in LA territory and effectively spotted the Vikings 10 points.
This is a kind of sneaky important stat. Not only was this an issue for Stafford in Detroit, it was starting to be an issue for the Rams this year. Winning with Stafford tossing three picks is big for them https://t.co/GNzYEQShXa— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) December 27, 2021
The Rams acquired Stafford because their former quarterback had a significant turnover problem, and this outing was the fourth time that the quarterback has turned the ball over multiple times this season. LA’s record is now 1-3 in such games.
The Rams with Stafford at his best are extremely tough to beat, but the offense has lacked any real consistency outside of the first several weeks of the season. Los Angeles will need Stafford to take care of the football in the playoffs if the team wants to make due on its Super Bowl expectations. Can LA strike a balance between creating explosive plays and minimizing turnovers?