Monday, September 27, 2021

Sikandar: The new man makes an instant impression on Rama

INGLEWOOD – The full, official unveiling of Sophie Stadium, along with its long-awaited first full home, coincided with the debut of Matthew Stafford as the Rams. Both Sunday nights were fantastic.

The NFL’s Inglewood castle is indeed a spectacular venue, as intended by Stan Kroenke — and commissioner Roger Goodell, and Jerry Jones, the matchmaker between the league and Los Angeles. The effect was particularly dramatic for NBC’s cameras, and it should be noted that of those who distributed 70,425 tickets, most were in their seats by kickoff, which indicates that they heard cautionary tales from Preseason. and left their homes long ago. Deal with expected traffic and parking issues.

As for the new quarterback of the Rams? This can be a lot of fun.

The first indication on the home team’s third offensive game of the evening was that things would be different here. Stafford threw a handoff, rolled to his left and threw a 46-yard strike to Van Jefferson, who caught the ball on 21, fell untouched on 15, got back on his feet, before the Bears in the vicinity. be able to reach there. To touch him, and sprinkled in the end zone.

The Rams’ first right in the second half provides more early evidence for General Manager Les Snead’s campaign executive of the year: another play-action pass by Stafford and a 56-yard connection with Cooper Kupp, who caught the ball a full 10 yards back. . The defenders of the three helpless bears would have gone to the end zone as well.

And then there was a rapid reaction to a Bears touchdown at the start of the third quarter. After Chicago reduced the Rams’ lead to 20–14, Stafford directed a drive featuring a 37-yard pass to Tyler Higby – a flawlessly executed back-shoulder toss – and 17 to Kupp in the middle. -Yard pass that was not a touchdown simply because a review showed that Kupp’s knee was down before the ball was spread over the goal line. No worries. Darrell Henderson scored on the next play.

Stafford’s first night assignment as a Los Angeles athlete: 26 for 20, 321 yards, three touchdown passes, no picks, and a 156.1 quarterback rating. His high school friend from Dallas, Clayton Kershaw, is faced with a difficult task when he returns to the mounds of Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

Was Sean McVay’s favorite Stafford moment? It’s hard to tell.

“The first drive of the second half was what I thought was the most impressive,” he said later. “But now I’m thinking about what an incredible job he did (through his receivers) finding Robert Woods on the last touchdown (with 3:17). So there were many things.

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“But I think the overall game management, and I think there is hope. You know, you can just see that he had a look in his eye. He had confidence in his teammates. He’s expected to play well. And “You know, he did a great job. It’s hard to say that was one thing. I loved everything he did tonight.”

The most impressive thing might have been his ability to involve everyone. Five receivers caught at least two passes, and Darrell Henderson also had a catch for 17 yards. McVay noted his ability to “go where the coverage dictates,” and when you have a quarterback who can use all of his weapons, the possibilities can be enormous.

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“We are going to do our best when everyone is involved in the game,” Stafford said. “I’m not sure how many different people took the catch, but it felt great. And those guys are talented playwrights, and they all do it differently. Hopefully we can make sure they People should be able to showcase their abilities and then go out there and play.”

Notably, stability was also attached to the new quarterback. No fluctuating emotions, no panic or despondency under pressure (though the offensive line kept Stafford a sack).

Sikandar: The new man makes an instant impression on Rama
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