“0-3 all-time in the playoffs”
What do those media members high on their Haterade have to say about Matthew Stafford now after the Los Angeles Rams’ dramatic 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? LA’s QB1 put on yet another show, going 28-of-38 for 366 yards with two passing touchdowns and a score on the ground. As we all know, the biggest completion of the afternoon came on this 44-yard bomb to Kupp which sent the Rams back to the NFC Championship:
9️⃣ TO 1️⃣0️⃣ TO SET UP THE WIN! pic.twitter.com/1hrjkOa4lQ— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 23, 2022
I don’t think I’ll get tired of the highlights anytime soon as it’ll dominate social media leading up to Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. While that play will always be remembered for sparing the Rams from becoming the next “28-3” meme, it’s a perfect example of why Los Angeles’ front office mortgaged their future to get Stafford.
Some of those in the media were skeptical of a Super Bowl-caliber team trading away two first-round draft picks for the quarterback of a perennial losing franchise. For 12 seasons in Detroit, he had three playoff trips without a victory to his name.
“This was really the guy who was going to become the Rams’ savior?”
“Stat Padford was really the best you could do Los Angeles?”
For a stretch of the regular season, some of this criticism was justified. During a midseason three-game losing streak, Stafford had thrown three pick-sixes and upped his total to four in a win over the Baltimore Ravens. LA’s first season of the Matthew Stafford experience had all the ups and downs of a rollercoaster at Disneyland. Stafford tied a franchise mark with 41 touchdown passes along with setting team marks in single season passing yardage and pass completions. However, Matthew also led the NFL with 17 interceptions, a category he shared with abysmal rookie Trevor Lawrence.
Going into the playoffs, I was cautiously optimistic about Stafford’s ability to perform in a win-or-go-home matchup. At the time, I didn’t foresee a deep run in 2021 but I believed greatness could happen with him under center eventually. My reasoning wasn’t meant as a slight to Stafford but it was fair to question whether he could handle the high pressures of a postseason run after success had alluded him so often in the Motor City.
Success has found him in the City of Angels sooner rather than later and has shown everyone in the league that to achieve excellence of any variety, get the flying (beep) outta Detroit:
Matthew Stafford showing he can get it done in the playoffs after all pic.twitter.com/PEegs1K0Ml— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 23, 2022
Stafford wasn’t going to let the same organization that led Barry Sanders and former teammate Calvin Johnson drive him to darkness and leave the game on the bleakest of terms. Instead, he’s risen to the occasion and made the Buccaneers his personal punching bag in the meantime:
Matthew Stafford against the Bucs this season:— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) January 24, 2022
55/76 (72.4%), 709 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs, 127.6 passer rating
But, I thought I was told Stafford couldn’t win the big games or deliver in the clutch. Wait, no...that’s what the media wanted us to believe all these years. Prior to Sunday’s game against Tampa, Matthew long held the reputation of being a comeback artist. Given must of his career was spent with a team where nearly all of their games where comebacks or in garbage time with literally nothing in-between, no one cared about his mastery. It was forgotten in the muck of the Lions’ suck. Now against the defending champs, the ice in his veins was on full display for all the nation to see.
Matthew Stafford was 7th in NFL history (since 1960) with 42 game-winning drives. He now moves into 6th with Brett Favre with 43.https://t.co/5j2rG5nPP8— Bill Shea (@Bill_Shea19) January 23, 2022
Can we also acknowledge that against the Cardinals and Bucs, Stafford has been wicked awesome this postseason?
Matthew Stafford so far this postseason:— Rams Brothers (@RamsBrothers) January 24, 2022
570 yards, 6 total touchdowns, 0 INT, average QB rating of 137.8. pic.twitter.com/yVYTB4UlEM
Not bad for a loser that’s all I have to say. It would be the ultimate mic drop for Stafford to win a Super Bowl in his first season with the Rams, finally putting a leaky narrative to bed once and for all. Either way, regardless of what happens against the 49ers next week, this trade will be deemed a success in my book as long as LA continues to capitalize on it for the remainder of his time in Hollywood.
Sean McVay FINALLY has his signal caller and Los Angeles is the most aggressive team in the sport. If there’s anyone who can maximize his talent and not waste it like the Packers waste Hall of Fame QB play, it’ll be the Rams as they’ll be in the title mix for quite some time. Before I work off some of this victory high, I want to direct you to Stafford’s postgame comments. If they don’t make you wanna shed Dick Vermeil tears or steamroll a solid concrete barricade, you should probably check your pulse.
Matthew Stafford with one of the most revealing answers he’s provided all season that provides great insight into the competitor that he is. On his emotional spike that setup the game-winning field goal: pic.twitter.com/aD2S016mjh— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) January 24, 2022
Let this be a warning shot to all the haters and doubters: PUT SOME LONG OVERDUE RESPECT ON THIS MAN’S NAME GOSH DANGIT!