Matthew Stafford’s historically efficient night comes with far fewer passes than runs

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
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Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford finally has won a playoff game. Along the way, he generated the highest single-game postseason passer rating for any quarterback in franchise history.

Via NFL Research, Stafford’s 154.5 passer rating eclipsed single-game numbers from Norm Van Brocklin (149.3) and Kurt Warner (143.0).

Stafford threw only 17 times, completing 13 of his throws for 202 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams, in contrast, ran the ball 38 times, with Cam Akers (17 for 55) and Sony Michel (13 for 58) accounting for 30 carries.

That’s the kind of balance the Rams needed. They’d been relying too heavily on the pass. In the last four games, Stafford had eight touchdown passes — and eight interceptions.

They’ll need a similar showing on Sunday at Tampa. But it won’t be easy to run on the Tampa Bay defense. If Stafford plans to get the Rams back to the NFC Championship, he’ll likely need to throw it more than he did tonight, in a showdown with a quarterback who had way more than one postseason win before the first round of the 2021 playoffs.

3 responses to “Matthew Stafford’s historically efficient night comes with far fewer passes than runs

  1. This former Lions fan is very happy for Stafford, corresponding draft positioning be damned.

  2. Watch our Tampa, if Stafford can not turn the ball over they are gonna give the Bucs all they can handle. Personally I feel they have the better team and can get to the bowl with that two headed running game.

  3. One big difference between Stafford and Goff’s play last season is that Stafford ran for yardage when the field was open in front of him. Obviously Stafford isn’t a running QB, but when running for it was obviously his best (only) option, he did it. For whatever reason, during the playoffs last year Goff refused to run with the ball.

    Stafford also had some long throws last night. It’s only one win, but he showed why the Rams traded for him.

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