2022 Tremendous Bowl: Why Rams’ Matthew Stafford simply rewrote his legacy, reshaped NFL QB market transferring ahead


That is what Matthew Stafford was drafted to do. It simply took 13 years, a bunch of shedding seasons and a blockbuster relocation to make it occur. The Rams‘ Sunday night time Tremendous Bowl victory, the franchise’s first title since 1999, wasn’t nearly Stafford. In reality, for chunk of Los Angeles’ showdown with the Bengals, protection — not the QB — led the way in which. However with out No. 9 beneath middle, the Rams most likely would not have been on the NFL‘s largest stage within the first place. In hoisting the Lombardi Trophy to cap his star-studded L.A. debut, Stafford did not simply rewrite his whole legacy, but additionally laid extra groundwork for future QB and group marriages across the league.

When the Rams paid a steep value for Stafford to kick off the 2021 offseason, packaging former No. 1 total decide Jared Goff and a pair of future first-round picks for the Lions‘ gunslinger, most individuals had no bother declaring that L.A. had upgraded at QB. The query was at all times, is he sufficient? The Buccaneers proved you could possibly, in truth, purchase your self a championship run after they lured Tom Brady to Tampa Bay the 12 months earlier than. However Tom Brady can also be Tom Brady. Stafford went from Motown to glitzy Los Angeles with actually six fewer Tremendous Bowl wins than TB12 had upon his arrival in Florida. Suffice to say, even Rams Nation had some skepticism about whether or not Stafford alone would get them over the hump.

However therein lies the rub. It was by no means gonna be simply Stafford alone, identical to it was by no means gonna be simply Brady alone. Once you go all in on a brand new QB, you go all in on his environment. The Bucs introduced Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown. The Rams introduced Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller and Sony Michel. On the similar time, none of these items would’ve purchased in if not for the star energy at QB. You may signal and commerce for assist all you need, but when Sam Darnold is touching the ball each play, effectively, that is a special story.

This brings us again to sq. one with Stafford: from the start, he was speculated to be the man. He, like Goff earlier than him, went No. 1 total. He, like Goff earlier than him, struggled on dangerous groups out of the gate. And but, not like Goff and numerous different first-round busts and flame-outs of his time, Stafford refused to cease teasing MVP potential, whilst his Lions days turned all of the extra suffering from losses. At 23, he topped 5,000 passing yards and threw 41 touchdowns. At 27, he accomplished over 67 p.c of his passes whereas throwing 32 TDs. At 29, he threw 29 TDs to 10 picks. What the numbers by no means revealed was the innate toughness that accompanied the cannon arm — the resiliency to overlook not a single begin in 9 of his last 10 years in Detroit, even with out a single playoff victory to point out for it.

Lastly freed of the Lions narrative and buoyed by an equally proficient lineup and workers, Stafford performed comfortable all through his Rams debut, and MVP manufacturing adopted: 41 TDs, a career-best completion proportion, a career-best 12-5 document. Nothing, nevertheless, justified his steep commerce value fairly just like the playoffs, by which he 1.) cruised previous the rival Cardinals with effectivity; 2.) staved off Brady and the defending champion Bucs together with his rocket arm; 3.) survived the nagging 49ers with a Tremendous Bowl journey on the road; and, now, 4.) completed robust within the largest sport of his soccer life. He was by no means good in 2021, typically forcing throws whereas juggling iffy play calls from coach Sean McVay. However he was championship-caliber, ending the playoffs 4-0 to grow to be the primary QB since John Elway to play 14+ NFL seasons earlier than profitable all of it.

Now, out of the blue, Stafford’s whole resume takes on a brand new mild. All these gaudy numbers in Detroit? They’re not empty stats. They’re formally precursors to a Tremendous Bowl-winning run. Something from right here on out is only a bonus for L.A. and Stafford’s future case for a Corridor of Fame nod. And do not assume for a second it will not get different groups and QBs considering: perhaps we will be subsequent. It is one factor to see a franchise flip its keys over to Tom Brady and be rewarded with glory. It is one other to see a franchise do the identical factor for Matthew Stafford and get the identical outcome. Buckle your seat belts, as a result of a man lengthy referred to as little greater than a big-armed loser in Detroit simply hoisted the trophy within the NFL’s most glamorous metropolis, and he would possibly dictate the NFL’s subsequent QB market because of this.

Rams Tremendous Bowl championship gear launched

The Rams have gained their first Tremendous Bowl in twenty years. Now you can purchase Rams Tremendous Bowl championship shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies, and way more to have a good time the historic win. Get gear right here now.

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