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Where does Matthew Stafford rank on the NFL QB betrayal index?

Stafford has been one of the most let down quarterbacks in the NFL this season

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Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images

In Week 12, the Los Angeles Rams saw a vintage Matthew Stafford performance against the Arizona Cardinals. Not only was it easily Stafford’s best game of 2023, it was also his best performance since the run to Super Bowl LVI.

Despite Stafford’s stellar outing in the desert, he has been significantly let down in the eyes of the analytics community. Per Mike Sando of The Athletic, Matt has been the fourth-most betrayed QB in the NFL this season, according to the outlet’s “Quarterback Betrayal Index.”

“The Stafford-led offense has outperformed the DST in seven of his 10 starts. The Cincinnati game was the only Stafford start the Rams truly lost on offense, but we shouldn’t blame the defense too much. The Rams’ special teams (32nd in EPA) are betraying their defense (17th) in this equation,” Sando wrote in an article published on November 30.

Stafford is slotted behind Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins. His Rams offense ranks eighth in median offensive EPA per game, compared to 27th on the defense/special side for a betrayal index rating of -19.

For those unfamiliar or confused by the nerdy terminology (as I was and probably still am), let me explain it to the best of my abilities. Per the 33rd Team, EPA or expected points added, measures how well a team performs relative to expectation. Field positioning, sacks taken and even individual plays can directly impact the EPA on a given drive.

Sando acknowledges the average of EPA production per game for each quarterback’s starts wasn’t taken into account here. Instead, The Athletic uses a small sample size where extreme outlier games couldn’t “influence the results disproportionately.”

Meaning, an outlier game like the Cowboys wouldn’t have any bearing in these rankings. Same with the Brett Rypien disasterclass as he epically failed his Matthew Stafford imitation in Green Bay. (Praise the freaking Lord he’s gone!) The defense hasn’t been the issue for LA this season as they’ve held up their end for the most part.

Special teams has been a much different story, which makes sense as to why they hold a league-worst EPA ranking.

Does anyone remember Brett Maher? You know, the guy who the Rams thought was going to replace Matt Gay with no issues? If you blocked Maher from your mind I totally get it. So let me retraumatize everyone just so they have a refresher. Maher made 17-of-23 field goal attempts in seven games with LA. The veteran kicker had a meltdown against the Steelers where he missed two of his three field goal attempts along with an extra point. That seven-point difference (and the refs) screwed the Rams out of a much-needed win.

Special teams, more in the kicking department, have been the biggest detriment to Stafford and the Rams in ‘23. Although I wouldn’t tell that to punter Ethan Evans. He lifts bruh.

For anyone who routinely throws Matthew Stafford under the bus for everything he does, be sure to show them these rankings. Stats don’t always tell the full story, yet numbers do not lie.