In the NFL, there is no position that is more important than quarterback. The right quarterback can take an average team to the playoffs and a good team to the Super Bowl. In 2021, no quarterback has more pressure on them than new Rams QB Matthew Stafford.
Now that may seem like a bold statement, as every quarterback has a lot of pressure on them in any given season. However, with Stafford, there are a few factors that put him under more pressure than everyone else. These include what the Rams gave up, how they performed in the last few years, and what he did in Detroit.
The Rams traded for Stafford back in January, giving up a 2021 third-round pick, first-rounders in 2022 and 2023, and former starter Jared Goff. That is a lot to give up for one player. A team doesn’t make a trade like that unless they feel what they are getting will take them to the next level.
For the Rams and Head Coach Sean McVay, that means a Super Bowl Championship. The Rams feel that Stafford is an upgrade over Goff and that he can get them that Super Bowl ring.
That is a lot to handle when you consider that Goff took the Rams to Super Bowl LIII. They ended up losing that game to the Patriots 13-3. Ever since then, Goff has had his ups and downs. He hasn’t put up the same numbers he did during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
In 2019, Goff threw only 22 touchdowns compared to 32 in 2018 despite having more attempts. His yards per attempt also went down by a full yard, and his interceptions went up from 13 to 16. Despite his struggles, the Rams made the playoffs in 2020 and won in the Wild Card round.
The Rams felt they had to make a change at quarterback was necessary for them to reach their goals. They had the best defense in the league last year led, by All-Pros Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. On offense, they added Desean Jackson to go along with Tyler Higbee, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods. Running back will be a question mark after losing Cam Akers to injury and trading for Sony Michel.
Despite the question at running back, the Rams give Stafford more help than he had during his time with the Lions. In his 11 years with Detriot, he passed for over 45,000 yards, made a pro-bowl, and made the playoffs three times. He did all of this while only having one 1,000 yard rusher (Reggie Bush) and having a defense ranked in the top ten just twice.
Because of what the Rams gave up and the talent on the team, it’s Super Bowl or bust for Stafford. If he can’t get the Rams any further than Goff could, then the trade will be seen as a disappointment.