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Rams-Chiefs Instant Reaction: Sean McVay should not shut down Matthew Stafford

There is no such thing as a game that doesn’t matter

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Sean McVay took over one of the worst teams in the NFL and turned them around at a historic rate. Can he do to himself what he once did to Jeff Fisher?

The Rams lost to the Chiefs by a 26-10 score on Sunday, dropping their record to 3-8 with six games left to go. With Cooper Kupp and now Allen Robinson out for the rest of the season, added to a pile that includes several key offensive linemen already, questions will mount of whether Matthew Stafford should return to the team while there’s so little left to play for.

My answer: He should absolutely return.

There’s never “nothing left to play for” in the NFL. Every week in the NFL should be the greatest opportunity of your life because for some of these players, it is. Like Bryce Perkins, making an NFL start on Sunday when so few people ever predicted that he’d make it this far. In many ways it doesn’t matter if you think Perkins played well or played poorly, the fact is that 99% of NFL scouts in his draft class thought he’d NEVER play in the league at all.

Perkins had a respectable second half showing against the Chiefs and can always say he went head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes at Arrowhead.

And every game matters to Cam Akers, a player who we all thought had played his last down for the L.A. Rams. But Akers was one of the few offensive bright spots on Sunday. Or Tutu Atwell, who continues to chip away at skeptics, step by step. Or Michael Hoecht, the former undrafted free agent who has worked his way into being a starting caliber outside linebacker as of right now. Or Riley Dixon, a free agent punter who had a very nice first down throw.

So I don’t buy any of that “These games don’t matter” bullshit. Every game matters and they all matter a lot. If Stafford is healthy enough to play then he gives the Rams the best chance to win and winning is always the right answer. He also gives the supporting cast and the defense better opportunities to do what they do best and I believe Sean McVay will fall back on Stafford next week against the Seattle Seahawks, should he keep trending in the right direction.

Never quit, not even when they say it’s over.

We talk about shutting down Matthew Stafford and a lot more (topics below) in this week’s Instant Reaction podcast. J.B. Scott is reporting live from the game in Kansas City!

Rams-Chiefs Week 12 topics:

Rams fans in Kansas City?

Thoughts on Bryce Perkins start

Should Rams shut down Matthew Stafford for rest of season?

What do Rams need to do to fix the passing offense?

How should McVay respond to taking accountability for a bad year?

Will Rams trade Jalen Ramsey?

Thoughts on seeing the game in person

Is it kind of exciting that the Rams are bad again? Can McVay prove it again by turning around a team in one offseason?

Which players should return?

Is it time to shake it up on defense again?

Will Aaron Donald be back in 2023?

Any moral victories today?