Rams “learn different ways to win football matches”
With the way the NFL has become focused on passing, wins and losses are often determined by how a team’s quarterback plays. This has been the case for Matthew Stafford and the Rams throughout this season, but that started to change in December.
The Rams showed in Week 16 against the Vikings that they are now capable of winning games even if Stafford struggles. That wasn’t necessarily the case last month when they lost three straight games in November – in which he returned it six times – but against Minnesota the Rams won 30-23 despite Stafford having launched three choices.
Sean McVay doesn’t want his quarterback to turn him around as often as Stafford did on Sunday, but he’s happy to see the Rams were able to secure a win thanks to contributions from the defense and special teams.
McVay likes his team finding different ways to win games, not just straddling Stafford’s arm and passing play.
“We talked about playing complementary football. I think it’s been illustrated and reflected in a lot of ways, but what really appealed to me is that I think we are learning different ways of winning football matches and I think that’s what the good teams, ”he said on The Coach McVay Show this week. “Yesterday obviously we want to try not to turn football like that offensively, but when you could feel the momentum starting to turn a bit in their favor, for the special teams to make a play at the most important moment in the game. that game to send us back 10 when they reduce it to a three point game, they send us back, that was a huge game. I thought the defense did a great job dealing with some sudden changes and then despite a lot of adversity which we faced offensively, I thought Matthew made some of his most important plays in a downturn in big conversions on third down. I love this team, I love the resilience of this group.
The emergence of Sony Michel was a big factor in the Rams’ four-game winning streak, leading the NFL in rushing yards this month. But the defense also stepped up their efforts against the Vikings, keeping them at 23 points after Stafford put them inside the 15-yard line twice.
And on special teams, Brandon Powell’s 61-yard punt return came at a pivotal moment after the Vikings battled in the game after Stafford’s two interceptions in the third quarter.
Going into the playoffs, the Rams will need to play complementary football like they did on Sunday – however, turnovers could be dispensed with. Stafford isn’t going to go out on a weekly basis, so it’s critical that the defense and special teams step up when needed.