The Los Angeles Rams are in the postseason and if you’re in the dance, you have a chance. That’s especially the case when you have good quarterback play and have a player that can be relied on at that position. Despite being the six seed in the playoffs, it can be argued that Matthew Stafford is the best quarterback in the NFC.
Derrik Klassen of The 33rd Team who also does quarterback charting for Reception Perception ranked the 14 quarterbacks in the playoffs. Coming in at number four and as the highest ranked quarterback in the NFC was Stafford. Here’s what Klassen had to say,
“The Los Angeles Rams are the scariest wild-card team in either conference. Matthew Stafford, though not alone in his efforts, is the driving force for that. Stafford and the Rams’ offense have been awesome down the stretch. The run game has come alive, giving the passing offense more favorable down-and-distances and easing the load off their shoulders. Stafford and the receivers have taken full advantage of that. They churn out some of the most explosive passing performances every week, a style of play led by Stafford’s aggression and arm talent. Turn on the film, and you will see Stafford make three or four throws per game that are only accessible to the elite of the elite. In playoff football, those are the plays that can be the difference.”
The only three quarterbacks coming ahead of Stafford were Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen. Dak Prescott was the second ranked NFC quarterback at number five right behind Stafford.
During the 2021 playoff run that ended in a Super Bowl championship, the Rams learned that elite plays from elite quarterbacks can make the difference. It’s a big reason why they traded for Stafford following the 2020 season. Very few quarterbacks make the throws that Stafford made in the divisional round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Super Bowl on the game-winning drive against the Cincinnati Bengals.
I mean...what is this throw from Stafford?!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) December 20, 2023
Fading away from pressure. Changes his arm angle and delivers a dot to the sideline.
Higbeedoe or Higbeetoe because that is one hell of a toe tap from Tyler Higbee! pic.twitter.com/ECfFoOlTBg
When Stafford is feeling it, there are few quarterbacks in the NFL who are capable of making the same throws that he can. Prior to the Giants game on New Year’s Eve, that was the version of Stafford that the Rams were getting consistently. Unfortunately, the last time we saw Stafford, he threw two interceptions and seemed off.
Stafford has always been a streaky quarterback who can get hot or cold for periods of time. The Rams will need the version that they saw for most of December when he was a quarterback that they were winning because of as they finished the season 7-1. If that’s the quarterback that the Rams get over the next month, they will be a serious threat to make a playoff run