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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Articles tagged: Matthew Stafford

Sean McVay defends Matthew Stafford over playoff record

Sean McVay on the sideline

Sean McVay put a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford to make the Los Angeles Rams a Super Bowl contender. McVay did it despite Stafford having no track record of playoff success, and the coach’s level of faith has not changed.

McVay on Thursday defended his quarterback’s lack of playoff success, offering a firm response when asked if he thinks Stafford needs to prove he can win a playoff game.

“No,” McVay said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “He has an established resume. That’s something that you want to be able to do, but he was instrumental in leading us to our first division title that we’ve had since 2018. That’s a big deal, but now it’s the next step. His body of work speaks for itself, and I don’t think you can just confine it into, ‘Oh, he hasn’t won a playoff game.'”

NFL quarterbacks are often judged by how they perform in the biggest games. That is why Tom Brady is as highly-regarded as he is. Stafford turns 34 in February without those types of signature moments, and when that’s the case, questions will inevitably follow. A late-season spike in interceptions, including eight in his final four games, has only added to the pressure.

Stafford is clearly respected around the league, and his 0-3 playoff record says more about how few chances to succeed he got with the Lions than anything else. If he can put together a strong performance against the Cardinals on Monday, the questions will start to fade.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford takes funny shot at Aaron Rodgers

Matthew Stafford

The Los Angeles Rams aren’t facing the Green Bay Packers this week, but quarterback Matthew Stafford is still ratcheting up a friendly rivalry with his Packers counterpart.

Stafford is dealing with a toe injury ahead of Monday’s Wild Card game against Arizona, and the issue limited his mobility somewhat in the team’s Week 18 game. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Stafford gave a quick update on his toe, and took a shot at Aaron Rodgers in the process.

Rodgers, of course, famously showed his own toe injury to reporters earlier in the season. That clearly did not go unnoticed by Stafford.

To be clear, there appears to be plenty of mutual respect between Rodgers and Stafford, so this is probably all in fun. It is theoretically possible that the Rams and Packers could see each other in the Divisional round, and the jokes would really be topical if that happened.

Matthew Stafford’s wife has request for Rams fans ahead of playoffs

Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly

The Los Angeles Rams felt like the road team at times during their home game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 18, and Matthew Stafford’s wife is asking Rams fans to make sure that does not happen again in the playoffs.

Stafford’s wife Kelly, who has a podcast called “The Morning After,” spoke this week about how Niners fans took over SoFi Stadium last Sunday. She pleaded with Rams fans to prevent it from happening when their team hosts the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs on Monday night. Kelly posted a clip from her podcast on Wednesday and wrote, “My plea. Please don’t sell you (sic) tickets to Arizona fans.”

“I have never seen so many of the opposing team’s fans at a game,” Kelly said. “We came from Detroit. There were a lot of good traveling teams there, but that was wild. … Matthew was on a silent count, Jimmy Garoppolo was not. It was crazy. It made it very hard for us, because I guess we weren’t expecting to be going silent count.”

The Rams lost 27-24 in overtime. Matthew spoke after the game about how difficult it was to communicate toward the end.

We highly doubt many Rams fans sold their tickets to 49ers fans. Niners fans probably just beat them to buying the tickets. The Rams are still fairly new to Los Angeles, so they don’t have a huge fan base.

It would be a surprise if Cardinals fans travel as well as San Francisco fans did, but it is obviously something the Rams are going to have to prepare for.

Kelly is a huge supporter of her husband and his team. She apologized earlier in the year for an incident she was involved in with a 49ers fan in San Francisco.

Photo: Nov 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with wife Kelly Stafford during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford had concerning remark about Rams’ home-field advantage

Matthew Stafford

The Los Angeles Rams will have at least one home game in the playoffs, but it is fair to wonder if that will do them any good. If the situation at SoFi Stadium next Monday night looks and sounds anything like it did on Sunday, the Rams may not benefit from much home-field advantage.

The Rams lost in overtime to the San Francisco 49ers in their regular-season finale. After the game, Matthew Stafford admitted to reporters that it was difficult for the Rams to communicate with one another late in the game. Why? Because of crowd noise at their home stadium.

“We had a chance there at the end of the game. I thought our guys did a good job communicating. It was a tough environment for us to communicate in, really, the whole second half,” Stafford said, via Cameron DaSilva of Rams Wire. “Our guys did a nice job and we got that lead back. Just didn’t finish it the way we can on offense and could’ve — had we gotten a first down there, the game probably would’ve been over.”

Niners fans tend to travel well, and that was certainly the case on Sunday. The Rams are also still fairly new to Los Angeles, so they’ve had a lot of visiting fans at games this season. The question is whether that will continue in the playoffs.

The Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals next Monday night. Cardinals fans don’t usually travel as well as Niners fans, so crowd noise shouldn’t be a huge issue for Stafford and company … they hope.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky goes off over Matthew Stafford Pro Bowl snub

Dan Orlovsky makes an argument

Matthew Stafford was arguably the biggest Pro Bowl snub at the quarterback position this year, and one NFL analyst is outraged that the Los Angeles Rams star was not given the nod over Kyler Murray.

During Thursday’s edition of “First Take,” ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky said he is downright baffled that Murray was voted to the Pro Bowl over Stafford. He cited the fact that Stafford is ahead of Murray in most major statistical categories. Orlovsky also said he feels Stafford is more valuable to his team, as the Arizona Cardinals went 2-1 while Murray missed time with an injury.

“Matthew Stafford’s second in the NFL in touchdowns with 35 behind Tom Brady. Kyler’s like 17th in touchdowns. Matthew’s thrown for 300 yards per game, Kyler’s thrown for 275. The numbers (for Stafford) are just so much better,” Orlovsky said. “I can’t understand for the life of me how Stafford’s not in the Pro Bowl. We’re talking about a guy that, right now, is top five in basically everything at that position.

Orlovsky certainly is not alone. Plenty of people feel Stafford should have made it. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were easy choices, but an argument can easily be made for Stafford over Murray.

Snubs are a given with the Pro Bowl. We already saw one player’s wife rip the voting system, and it would not be a surprise if Stafford feels he was overlooked as well. His teammates almost certainly feel that way.

Matthew Stafford cracks joke about Rams’ offensive line issues

Matthew Stafford

The Los Angeles Rams may have to overcome some significant offensive line challenges for their game against the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, but Matthew Stafford doesn’t seem all that concerned.

The Rams have several players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Right tackle Joseph Noteboom was added to it on Saturday. Noteboom is typically a backup, but he started in place of Rob Havenstein in Week 14, as Havenstein has also been on the COVID list. That means the Rams may be down to a third-string right tackle on Tuesday. Stafford joked with reporters that he doesn’t care who has to play right tackle, as long as it’s not him.

That’s a good way of looking at it. Offensive line depth is obviously a major issue for L.A. at the moment, especially since Stafford has battled numerous injuries this season. He has looked plenty healthy over the past two games, however, as he threw for 582 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions combined in wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals.

Several teams are dealing with COVID issues this week, which is why the NFL postponed three games. Hopefully that allows the Rams enough time to get some of their starters back.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford not listed on injury report despite numerous ailments

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford has struggled in his last two games with the Los Angeles Rams after lighting up the stat sheet through the first half of the season. His health may have a lot to do with that, but the team has made no mention of any injuries.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on Sunday that Stafford has multiple injuries and has been in a “a lot of pain” in recent weeks. He is said to be dealing with an elbow injury in addition to “chronic” back pain.

Russini later added that Stafford also has a sore ankle.

If that information is accurate, the Rams should probably expect a call from the NFL. As Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes, Stafford was not listed on the injury report this week. He was listed as limited in Week 9 due to a back issue, but he has not appeared on the injury report since.

Stafford was playing at an MVP level prior to Week 10. However, he has just two touchdowns compared to four interceptions in L.A.’s last two games, which were both losses. His health has likely been a factor.

Stafford is known for being one of the tougher players in the NFL. He played through a finger ailment earlier this season. He also played through a serious back injury with the Detroit Lions, and it’s unclear if the latest is related to that.

Not surprisingly, Stafford is expected to play in Sunday’s big game against the Green Bay Packers.

Packers DB takes shot at Lions while praising Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Green Bay Packers safety Adrian Amos dropped a comment Wednesday that will probably leave a sour taste in the mouths of Detroit Lions fans.

The Packers are prepping for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams and a quarterback they know well. Matthew Stafford has played the Packers 20 times in his career during his time with the Detroit Lions, so longtime Green Bay players know him well.

Amos is one of them, and he has plenty of respect for Stafford. In his words, it was the Lions that held back Stafford and not vice versa.

“Matt Stafford was always good,” Amos said Wednesday, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “He just played for the Lions.”

Painful but true. After all, Stafford and Bobby Layne are the only two quarterbacks in Lions franchise history to make the postseason in three separate seasons with the team. Now that he’s playing with a strong contender, Stafford is having one of the best years of his career, with 24 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

It’s clear the Packers won’t be taking Stafford lightly. After all, Aaron Rodgers was even more effusive in his praise for his former division rival.

Matthew Stafford’s wife Kelly apologizes for throwing pretzel at 49ers fan

Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly

Matthew Stafford’s wife Kelly has always been enthusiastic about defending her husband, but it would appear she took things a bit too far during Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

A witness who attended the game at Levi’s Stadium told TMZ that Mrs. Stafford got into a verbal altercation with a fan who was seated behind her. Kelly got so angry that she turned around and threw a pretzel at the man. Security stepped in and escorted Kelly and her family to other seats.

Another fan who witnessed the incident called Stafford out on Instagram. The fan said Kelly should “show some class and support your husband and his new team with grace.” Stafford responded to the comment and called it a “weak moment” for her.

“Girl I knowwwww I’m an idiot,” she wrote. “He was saying a bunch of things that were aggressive towards our crew but zero excuse. I tried to apologize, but in the end I knew I was wrong. Will always stand up for my guy and everyone I love, but obviously needed to do it completely different! I’m embarrassed too! Sorry you had to witness me in my weak moment!”

Apparently this was not another case of mistaken identity. We saw one TV network accidentally misidentify Kelly earlier this year, but she has confirmed she was the pretzel thrower.

Kelly has been outspoken on social media many times about Matthew’s playing career. As far as we know, this is the first time she hurled a concession item at a heckler.

Aaron Rodgers defends former rival QB against critics

Aaron Rodgers gets ready to throw

Following a 31-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has taken some heat. He’s tossed four interceptions over the past two games, and the sharks are circling. But Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want to hear it.

Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers heaped praise upon his former rival. He even called Stafford “one of the most gifted” throwers of the generation.

“Those are trash comments. I’m a huge Stafford fan and have been for a long time,” Rodgers said. “We played against him for so many years. He’s one of the most gifted throwers in football, definitely of my generation. I put him up there with some of the most gifted guys to ever throw the football. You know, I’m a fan. He’s a tough dude and has played through some crazy injuries.

“I’m a big fan and he’s having a really nice season. . . He’s played really well, first year in the system. I’m not here for any Matthew Stafford trash (or slander).”

The Rams have dropped their previous two games but are still 7-3 on the season. They are among the Super Bowl favorites and Stafford remains an MVP candidate.

In 10 games this season, Stafford has completed 67.7% of his passes for 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Prior to his recent rough stretch, Stafford had a 22:4 TD:INT ratio, among the best in football.

Stafford and the Rams will enjoy a much-needed bye this week before returning in Week 12 to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field.