Do you know who is the Rams Quarterback? There was optimism that Matthew Stafford’s move from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams would provide him with a more advantageous environment and better supporting players. Outside of Calvin Johnson, Stafford’s offensive weapons were limited, his offensive line was inconsistent at best, his defense was shaky at best, and the Lions’ rushing game was nonexistent during Stafford’s time with the team.
Who is the Rams Quarterback?
Who is the Rams Quarterback? Matthew Stafford’s first year in Los Angeles featured a wide receiver corps that included Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. The offensive line for the Rams was excellent as well, ranking among the league’s best in 2017. The Rams have a top-tier defense led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Stafford had one of his best seasons as a pro and the Rams went on to win the championship.
That certainly hasn’t been the case thus far in 2022. In the first 12 games of the season, the Rams started 12 different offensive line combinations. Kupp was hurt as well, while Allen Robinson fell short of the hype. The Cam Akers-led rushing attack likewise had a historically terrible first half of the season.
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Former PFF analyst Kevin Cole created a new stat he calls “Adjusted Quarterback Efficiency.” Recent years have seen an uptick in the use of normal anticipated points added (EPA) as the main statistic for evaluating quarterback performance.
According to Cole-
EPA measures the value added by the entire offense on a play, yet in doing so assigns all the value to the quarterback…The quarterback, in and of himself, isn’t fully responsible for passing yards or touchdowns. Even plays seemingly in their control, like interceptions, are influenced by the performance of teammates and players on the other side of the field.
Matthew Stafford goes form -20 EPA this season to +27 with the adjustments. Poor INT luck, fumble luck, a porous OL and difficult SOS and combined to make his 2022 look much worse than it was pic.twitter.com/A8Q5wLSNxD
— Kevin Cole (@KevinCole___) December 16, 2022
While some statistics may seem more reliable than others, EPA is not without its shortcomings. With Cole’s modified EPA for quarterbacks, we can account for things like interceptions, fumbles, drops, the strength of schedule, blocking quality, and more. It’s safe to say that Stafford is one of the quarterbacks who has suffered the most in 2022.
The Rams’ quarterback moved from a -20 EPA to a +27 EPA a difference of 47 points when controlling for factors outside of Stafford’s control. This was the most significant change for any quarterback this year.
The fact that Stafford is only the 19th-best quarterback in adjusted EPA demonstrates the necessity for the Rams to make adjustments to their supporting cast this offseason. Stafford can still lead the Rams to victory at quarterback. But he also requires assistance from those around him. Few quarterbacks would have fared as well as Stafford did this season under similar circumstances.
#Rams QB Matthew Stafford has his playoff moment. And LA goes home… which is good! Back in the NFC Title game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 23, 2022
Extreme unpredictability stemmed from the offensive line and skill player injuries. This offseason, the Rams should select or sign offensive line assistance and depth. It is likely that the option of replacing Robinson as a wide receiver will also be addressed.
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Stafford left Detroit in part because the team was unable to assemble a strong supporting cast for him. The Rams won the Super Bowl with help from their supporting cast last year. Les Snead and the company will need to strengthen the areas around Stafford if they hope to contend at a high level again in 2023.
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