The Los Angeles Rams are usually considered the winners of the 2021 swap with the Detroit Lions of then-franchise QB Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford—mostly because Stafford got them over the hump and helped lead the way to victory in Super Bowl LVI.
But things aren’t all bad for Detroit, and a once oft-maligned franchise is on a significant upswing. Goff thrived last season with over 4,400 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. He’s now surrounded by one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, a running back room that includes a relatively big free agent signing (David Montgomery) and a first round draft choice (Jahmyr Gibbs), and a developing but talented WR corps.
While the Lions are ascending, the Rams are still on a downward trajectory in hopes of returning to contention in 2024 or 2025. The position ratings for the Madden 24 video game reflect changing supporting casts and the outlook of each quarterback: Jared Goff was ranked in the upper half of the league while Matthew Stafford found himself in the bottom 10.
The difference of Goff’s 80 rating versus Stafford’s 75 is significant, and at least in the video game world the Rams seemed to downgrade at the quarterback position after their 2021 trade:
Jared Goff is QB13 in Madden ratings with an 80 overall. https://t.co/53h2L2j7nW— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) July 21, 2023
Matthew Stafford a 75 and QB22 in Madden24?— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) July 21, 2023
Stafford had a down year with injury, but QB22?!
Also ahead of Stafford are the likes of Kyler Murray, who Stafford beat en route to a victory in the 2021 Super Bowl, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Russell Wilson.
There’s no telling how Stafford will perform this year, though it’s fair to expect a bounce back season after the franchise QB suffered multiple concussions and a season-ending spinal cord contusion. The biggest determinant in his individual performance might be how the rest of the Rams’ roster performs, and Stafford could find himself on the wrong side of a franchise that is embracing the volatility that comes by undergoing a youth movement.
While the swap of Goff for Stafford did net Los Angeles a world championship, they may be at the end of their run with Stafford—and we’ve covered the recent stories hinting at a potential separation with the team here at Turf Show Times.
Will we see rookie Stetson Bennett this season, or will Stafford return to his star level of production and never look back? There seem to be more questions than answers surrounding this team—but training camp starts next week and we will soon know more about the state of the Los Angeles Rams.