The Los Angeles Rams season has gone as expected for some while others feel as though this team should have a better record than 3-4. Rewinding back to Week 4, the Rams had just overcome an incredibly rough implosion against the Colts in Indianapolis to win in overtime. Matthew Stafford won the game, however, he didn’t leave unscathed.
The Rams have since gone 1-2 and Stafford has started to look more each week like he’s in some noticeable pain. He’s not himself right now and that does stem from a hit he sustained against the Colts that led to him battling a hip injury.
Ironically, Stafford’s last three games he has a better touchdown to interception rate but his completion percentage has dropped by at least seven points since the Colts game. So, what gives? Well, Stafford has been more careful with the ball for sure but he definitely have missed throws all over the field he almost always is. There appears to be a slight hitch in his throwing motion which makes sense considering he has a hip issue stemming from week four but the hitch has become more noticeable as of late.
Dianna Russini reported last week the Rams were aware of the situation and didn’t believe it to be serious. However, I do think it’s starting to get worse and it’s a big reason why Stafford played his least efficient game of the NFL season last week against the Steelers. When do you ever see Stafford below 50 percent completion? You simply don’t. It hasn’t happened since the Tampa loss last year in Week 9 of the season.
Matthew Stafford’s toughness continues to shine. The QB has been dealing with an aggravated hip, according to sources. It’s not considered “serious,” but the training staff is closely monitoring and helping with pain management. https://t.co/AKmYi1yM3w— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) October 22, 2023
So, the even bigger question is this. Why are the Rams content on Brett Rypien being the backup behind Matthew Stafford? Rypien surprisingly has a 2-1 record but he’s thrown four touchdowns and eight interceptions with a passer rating of 62.9. That’s the Rams starter if Stafford goes down. You are essentially one hit away from seeing Brett Rypien quarterback the Rams for the rest of the season.
Some may hear this and think it doesn’t matter because this team isn’t trying to win but I disagree with that notion. I think the team has just been irresponsible at the quarterback position. Brett Rypien did not make the team initially, it wasn’t until Stetson Bennett who was bothered by a shoulder and then an undisclosed personal issue went on the Non-Football Injury list. As previously stated, it has been irresponsible for the Rams to trot Stafford out there with Rypien as his backup.
This isn’t just to pile onto Rypien, if there was no one with NFL experience available I would say there’s nothing else they can really do. However, here’s who is available for the Rams right now to pick up:
Out of that group I believe Wentz makes the most sense. His pocket mobility would give Sean McVay a Baker Mayfield-esque quarterback to get out of trouble should the Rams run into any pass protection issues. Wentz just two years ago threw 27 touchdowns to seven interceptions with the Colts in what was his best season since early on in his career.
Matt Ryan wasn’t nearly as great but he has more experience than Rypien and still had an 83.9 passer rating last year. Colt McCoy might not have great numbers but he knows the system or at least most of the system and could be a good game manager for the Rams. The last three seasons for Joe Flacco with the Jets he’s thrown for 14 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 12 games. Truthfully, I would draw the line at Nick Foles who struggled mightily in relief last season throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns.
The point right now is that the Rams have options and the moment the rookie Bennett was placed on the NFI list the Rams should have brought in someone to learn the system in case they needed them. The fact the Rams did not bring in anyone after and rolled with Rypien was irresponsible and it’s why currently the third-string quarterback also known as the emergency quarterback for the Rams is currently Cooper Kupp or Tutu Atwell.
That’s just not conducive to winning football. It’s not even to say Rypien should be replaced but at the very least, are you prepared to go into a game with Rypien as the starter and Kupp or Atwell as the backup? We all saw the 49ers lose their NFC title game to the Eagles. They lost it because the Eagles dominated them in all three phases but we have no idea what game it could have been had they had a healthy quarterback. All of their quarterbacks got knocked out. We know the NFL is a next-man-up league. Why wouldn’t the Rams at least bring in someone to compete with Rypien? It’s puzzling to me.
If I was the one making the decisions for the Rams I would have brought Carson Wentz in immediately after Bennett went on NFI, I would have had him learning the system, helping to give my team different looks as a scout team quarterback simulating the mobility the Rams would face on the schedule. Furthermore, he would currently be up to speed enough to be my backup this weekend against the Cowboys. I think Wentz could find something similar to Mayfield with McVay. However, the Rams worked him out in the off-season and didn’t sign him and to be fair we have no idea what his asking price is.
It’s all further proof that the Rams are simply willing to go down with the ship and that ship is Matthew Stafford.