Fortunes can change overnight in the NFL, and Matthew Stafford experienced that in Thursday’s loss to the Bills. After silencing doubters and winning a Super Bowl, Stafford is back under a microscope – and he’s hearing it from a big name.
Former all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted “Stafford being Stafford” on Thursday night in response to Dane Jackson’s interception of the Rams quarterback. It was one of three interceptions Stafford would throw in a 31-10 loss.
Unlike Josh Allen, it’s tough to pin any of Stafford’s turnovers solely on a receiver. On the interception by Jackson, Stafford threw behind Tyler Higbee. His second interception was deflected by Cooper Kupp, but he was a touch too high on the throw. Stafford’s final pick of the night was too low, bouncing right off of Boogie Basham.
Winning a Super Bowl cures everything, but only temporarily. Now that the honeymoon is over, it’s tough to ignore Stafford’s turnover issues dating back to 2021. Stafford tied for the league lead with 17 interceptions last season and has now thrown a whopping 16 picks in his last 10 regular season starts.
A terrific playoff run led many to overlook a rough finish to the regular season last year, when Stafford threw multiple interceptions in each of the last three games. If not for a brutal drop by 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt, a turnover might’ve also cost the Rams the NFC championship.
The Rams’ offensive line trouble leaves no room for Stafford to make as many mistakes as he did on Thursday night. Stafford was sacked seven times by the Bills, an early indication that he’ll be under more pressure than he was in 2021. The Rams are set to face the ferocious pass-rush units of the AFC West this season, plus Nick Bosa and the 49ers twice.
With two starters from last year’s offensive line gone, Stafford might have no choice but to change his style of play. That will require getting more weapons than just Cooper Kupp involved in the offense. Could we see some more touches for Cam Akers and Allen Robinson in Week 2?