Sunday Night Football delivered in a big way for NFL fans with an as advertised presentation of one of the leagues most dynamic and intriguing teams playing in the most impressive sports venue in the world. The Los Angeles Rams could not have asked for a better start from the new center piece, quarterback Matthew Stafford. There were multiple standout players and a whole lot to digest as the season is just getting underway. Here are my top three takeaways from the season opener at SoFi Stadium.
Sean McVay appears right about Matthew Stafford
At some point in January, Sean McVay told Rams owner Stan Kroenke that Stafford was indeed the right fit for his offense and that he has the talent and skill worth the hefty trade package. On Sunday night, Stafford threw for 321 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He started it with a 67 yard strike to Van Jefferson on the second offensive play of the game which would end up as one of two touchdowns of over 50 yards as he hit Cooper Kupp for a 56 yard bomb in the third quarter.
Cooper Kupp had a big game
Kupp once again put on a display of route running savvy and run after catch ability. He is one of the best in the league at working coverages to get open and breaking tackles to get upfield. His big play came on the 56 yard touchdown off a seem route that he took up the middle of the field. No broken tackles were required on that play. But on a third and thirteen situation in the fourth quarter, Kupp got the ball on a bubble screen, made four defenders miss, and got past the sticks for a first down.
Jalen Ramsey looks good playing inside
Ramsey is already known as the best cover corner in the NFL. Against the Bears, we saw Ramsey lining up inside, in the nickel or star position for much of the game. This translated into the all pro showing up in the shorter interior passing lanes and against the run. He had nine tackles and a pass break up.
The Rams win 34-14 over the Bears and Sean McVay’s team starts 1-0 for the fifth consecutive season.
And now for today’s links:
Game Recap: Rams open 2021 season with 34-14 Sunday Night Football win over Bears at SoFi Stadium (Rams.com)
Rams players celebrate season-opening win on Twitter (RamsWire)
Matthew Stafford set two career-highs in his first game with the Rams (RamsWire)
Bears at Rams score, takeaways: Matthew Stafford soars in L.A. debut; Justin Fields scores first NFL TD (CBSsports)
2021 NFL season, Week 1: What we learned from Sunday’s games (NFL.com)
Aaron Rodgers, Packers look to regroup following ‘a good kick in the you-know-where’ in loss to Saints (NFL.com)
Mac Jones impresses in debut, but New England Patriots fall to Miami Dolphins (ESPN)
NFL Week 1 grades: Bengals get an ‘A-’ for wild OT win over Vikings, Packers get an ‘F’ for embarrassing loss (CBSsports)
San Francisco 49ers fear CB Jason Verrett has torn ACL; Raheem Mostert set for more tests on knee (ESPN)