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Why Rams’ Matthew Stafford still has more interceptions than touchdown passes

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Matthew Stafford is not going to go right into a “Monday Evening Soccer” matchup towards the San Francisco 49ers driving an apparent wave of manufacturing.

The Rams quarterback didn’t throw a landing cross in final Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the primary time for the reason that 2020 season — when Stafford performed for the Detroit Lions — that the 14th-year professional was shut out.

However Stafford and coach Sean McVay are hardly involved.

For the primary time in three video games, Stafford didn’t have a cross intercepted. And at the least one potential landing was botched by a receiver.

“My predominant aim is put up as many factors as we will and win the sport,” Stafford stated Thursday. “There have been some alternatives that I may have executed slightly bit higher job, so I’ll strive to verify I do this and get us ultimately zone extra typically.”

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Stafford has handed for 4 touchdowns, with 5 interceptions.

He’s finishing 72.6% of his passes, which ranks second within the NFL behind Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (77.4%). Stafford, New England’s Mac Jones and New Orleans’ Jameis Winston are tied for many interceptions.

Now Stafford is getting ready to face a 49ers staff that ranks second within the NFL in whole protection, first in cross protection, third in scoring protection and fourth in speeding protection.

The 49ers characteristic defensive finish Nick Bosa, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and security Jimmie Ward, amongst others.

“Rather well-rounded protection,” Stafford stated of a unit that has eight sacks and three interceptions, “tremendous bodily.”

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Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) congratulates Cam Akers after his landing run towards the Arizona Cardinals.

(Ross D. Franklin / Related Press)

Stafford, 34, was sacked seven instances in a season-opening loss to the Buffalo Payments. However with Stafford working behind an offensive line reconfigured due to accidents, the Atlanta Falcons and Cardinals sacked him solely as soon as.

Stafford continues to handle tendinitis in his proper elbow. He stated it felt “fairly good” because the Rams (2-1) put together for the 49ers, who fell to 1-2 after an 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.

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“Persevering with to get higher,” he stated.

In final Sunday’s 20-12 victory at Arizona, Stafford accomplished 18 of 25 passes for 249 yards. The Rams misplaced an virtually sure landing when receiver Allen Robinson let a brief cross sail between his arms.

In contrast to Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Kansas Metropolis’s Patrick Mahomes, Stafford just isn’t considered a quarterback who usually extends performs after contact. However towards the Cardinals, he made the play of the sport within the third quarter when he averted a sack by spinning after which throwing a sidearm cross to receiver Cooper Kupp. The play ignited a slumbering offense and led to a landing.

“There have been a pair performs that not many individuals on the planet could make,” McVay stated of Stafford this week, including, “What we’ve realized, particularly during the last couple weeks, is that the stats don’t even start to inform the overall story.

“It’s about successful the soccer recreation. In plenty of cases, I believed he led us offensively with an opportunity to have the ability to rating 35 factors, however we didn’t, we scored 20.”

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In three video games towards the 49ers final season, Stafford handed for six touchdowns, with 5 interceptions. And the Rams acquired a break within the NFC championship recreation when 49ers security Jaquiski Tartt dropped an virtually sure interception that may have enabled the 49ers to shut out a victory.

Final November, in a 31-10 Monday evening loss at Levi’s Stadium, Stafford accomplished 26 of 41 passes for 243 yards and a landing, with two interceptions, together with a decide six by Ward.

Within the season finale at SoFi Stadium, Stafford was 21 of 32 for 238 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions, together with one in extra time that sealed a 27-24 defeat.

Three weeks later, within the NFC championship recreation at SoFi Stadium, Stafford accomplished 31 of 45 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.

After Tartt dropped a protracted, fourth-quarter cross meant for receiver Van Jefferson, the Rams tied the rating with a area aim. Stafford then engineered a successful field-goal drive for a 20-17 victory that ended a six-game dropping streak towards the 49ers and despatched the Rams to the Tremendous Bowl.

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The sport Monday evening would be the fourth between the groups in lower than a 12 months.

“They know us,” Stafford stated, “we all know them.”

And so forth.

Rookie cornerback Derion Kendrick (concussion) was restricted however McVay stated he anticipated Kendrick can be accessible Monday towards the 49ers. Cornerbacks David Lengthy (groin) and Cobie Durant (hamstring) and security Jordan Fuller (hamstring) didn’t observe.

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Baker Mayfield headbutts teammate after leading Rams on go-ahead TD drive

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Baker Mayfield joined the Los Angeles Rams Tuesday after the Carolina Panthers waived him resulting from their very own logjam on the quarterback place and by Thursday night time he was main his new crew to a victory.

Mayfield guided the Rams on an eight-play, 98-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard landing go to Van Jefferson. With the additional level, Los Angeles went up with 10 seconds left and would win the sport 17-16.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield throws a go through the second half of an NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photograph/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The previous No. 1 general choose was then seen headbutting cornerback Robert Rochell after the drive.

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He did the identical factor with the Panthers earlier this yr.

Mayfield didn’t begin the sport. That was given to John Wolford, who was battling a neck damage coming into the sport. Wolford’s begin didn’t final lengthy.

RAIDERS’ DAVANTE ADAMS MAKES RIDICULOUS ONE-HANDED CATCH OVER RAMS’ JALEN RAMSEY

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield throws a go through the first half of an NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photograph/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Mayfield would go 22-for-35 with 230 passing yards and the game-winning landing go to Jefferson.

The Panthers acquired Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns earlier this yr after the crew traded for Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. Mayfield was the Week 1 starter for the Panthers however poor play and accidents value him the function towards the tip of his run there.

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Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield warms up for the team's NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield warms up for the crew’s NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

He was let go earlier this week and picked up by the Rams, who put Matthew Stafford on injured reserve with a again damage. Los Angeles is coming off a Tremendous Bowl win however accidents have hindered their efficiency this season.

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‘Just like we drew it up’: Baker Mayfield a quick learner in thrilling Rams debut

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Sean McVay didn’t waste any time.

Verify that: The Rams coach allowed greater than 12 minutes to run out earlier than he couldn’t management himself any longer.

The analysis of recent quarterback Baker Mayfield wanted to start.

Overlook that Mayfield arrived solely 48 hours earlier.

Mayfield got here on instead of starter John Wolford for the second collection of Thursday evening’s sport towards the Las Vegas Raiders. And on his first snap, he accomplished a 21-yard move.

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But it surely was the end that followers will keep in mind.

Mayfield engineered two fourth-quarter scoring drives, capping his debut with a landing move to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left for a 17-16 victory earlier than a Raiders-heavy crowd of 74,738 at SoFi Stadium, which for one evening anyway was Baker’s Discipline.

“I don’t know in the event you may write it any higher than that,” Mayfield mentioned.

The Rams couldn’t have felt higher. They ended a six-game shedding streak and improved their document to 4-9.

“You neglect what profitable’s like,” McVay mentioned, “and it positive is enjoyable.”

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The evening was all about Mayfield, and whether or not the No. 1 decide within the 2018 NFL draft generally is a viable choice as Matthew Stafford’s backup subsequent season — and maybe past.

The preliminary learn: Completely.

“No matter occurs from right here on out, I received nothing however respect for Baker Mayfield,” receiver Ben Skowronek mentioned. “To have a man are available like that, work his tail off for 48 hours, be taught the sport plan, be taught our names…. He’s the kind of competitor you wish to play with.”

Mayfield was large within the clutch and confirmed the kind of arm energy and launch that McVay adores. He accomplished 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards, together with the landing to Jefferson.

Not a nasty Rams debut for a much-maligned participant who was traded by the Cleveland Browns in July and waived this week by the Carolina Panthers.

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“Hats off to Baker,” heart Brian Allen mentioned. “We have been educating him cadences in the course of performs. Time to get on the market and see what occurs. And it occurred.”

Quipped McVay: “Identical to we drew it up.”

The Rams’ Van Jefferson (12) catches the sport profitable 23-yard landing move towards the Raiders.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Instances)

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McVay mentioned he was impressed by Mayfield’s management, resilience and composure.

“And what a fast examine,” McVay mentioned. “He simply received right here 5 minutes in the past.”

Mayfield, who has performed for quite a few coordinators, mentioned McVay and Rams assistants and gamers helped him with a “crash course” in greedy the offense.

“I used to not essentially complain about the truth that I had that many various offensive programs and having to be taught that, nevertheless it got here in useful when having to be taught a crash course and with the ability to relate sure issues,” he mentioned.

The Rams now have some further time to organize for his or her Dec. 19 sport at Inexperienced Bay, the primary of 4 remaining video games towards the Packers, Denver Broncos, Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.

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And 4 extra probabilities for Mayfield to make his case.

“It’s been a troublesome 12 months, to be trustworthy,” Mayfield mentioned. “A great way to kick-start this journey.”

McVay had mentioned on Wednesday that it could be “unprecedented” for a quarterback to play with so little preparation with a brand new crew.

Properly, these are unprecedented instances for McVay and the defending Tremendous Bowl-champion Rams, who’ve nose-dived with a Tremendous Bowl hangover.

Stafford, 34, is on injured reserve due to spinal wire contusion and is anticipated to be out for the remainder of the season.

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Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield is congratulated by Raiders linebacker Curtis Bolton.

Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield is congratulated by Raiders linebacker Curtis Bolton after main the Rams to a 17-16 comeback victory.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Instances)

Wolford was questionable for Thursday’s sport due to a neck harm.

So, the Rams claimed Mayfield, who had not performed since Nov. 20. However McVay was clearly intent on discovering out if he may repair him.

When gamers got here out for early warmups about 90 minutes earlier than kickoff, Wolford was not on the sphere. Mayfield, in shorts, a blue Rams sweatshirt and black headband, took all of the snaps as third-string Bryce Perkins seemed on.

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Mayfield briefly met on the sphere with tv announcers Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit in one thing akin to a last-minute manufacturing assembly to make up for the one he may need completed the day earlier than.

However when the Rams got here out in uniform for normal warmups, Wolford took snaps with the starters.

The Raiders scored on the primary possession for a 7-0 lead, and when the Rams received the ball and went three and out, Wolford’s evening was over.

Mayfield, sporting No. 17, got here on the following collection and fired a 21-yard completion to Jefferson on his first play. The drive ended with a 55-yard subject objective by Matt Homosexual.

Mayfield had the Rams on the transfer within the subsequent collection, finishing 22-yard passes to Tutu Atwell and Skowronek earlier than working again Cam Akers killed the drive by shedding a fumble.

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Josh Jacobs rushed for a landing and Daniel Carlson’s two subject objectives gave the Raiders a 13-3 halftime lead.

A lot of the second half didn’t go nicely for Mayfield and the Rams. He was sacked a number of instances and penalties stifled a drive that compelled Homosexual to aim a 61-yard field-goal that went large left.

Late within the third quarter, nevertheless, Mayfield directed a 17-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with Akers’ brief landing run that pulled the Rams to inside 16-10 with simply greater than three minutes left.

The Rams received the ball again at their two-yard line with 1:45 left, and Mayfield’s 32-yard move to Skowronek keyed a drive that ended with Mayfield’s 23-yard scoring move to Jefferson.

“Simply exhibits the kind of man that he’s,” Jefferson mentioned of Mayfield, including, “He’s a troublesome man. I’m glad he’s right here.”

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The Rams protection saved giving Mayfield probabilities by limiting the Raiders to subject objectives or creating turnovers. Linebacker Ernest Jones intercepted a move in the long run zone close to the tip of the second quarter. And Taylor Rapp clinched the victory with an interception.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner had a game-high 14 tackles — and marveled at Mayfield.

“The protection gave [the offense] us an opportunity to come back on the sphere and make these performs,” Wagner mentioned. “He got here on and did a tremendous job.

“It was nice to observe.”

McVay thought in order nicely.

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“To say that I anticipated this,” he mentioned, “I imply it actually exceeded our expectations.”

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Baker Mayfield’s game-winning drive shocks Raiders in miracle comeback win

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The chances had been in opposition to Baker Mayfield from the beginning of this recreation between the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders. 

He was scooped off waivers by the Rams after being launched by the Carolina Panthers earlier this week. Mayfield received the playbook on Tuesday night time whereas flying to Los Angeles to fulfill together with his new coaches and teammates, giving him between 36-48 hours to be taught the performs if he was going to step underneath middle. 

However Mayfield, the previous first total number of the 2018 NFL Draft, didn’t simply grind out his first recreation within the hardest of circumstances. He led a miracle comeback to defeat the Raiders, 17-16, at SoFi Stadium in his first begin as a Ram. 

Van Jefferson #12 of the Los Angeles Rams catches the sport profitable landing in opposition to Sam Webb #27 of the Las Vegas Raiders throughout the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 08, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Pictures)

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The Rams’ beginning quarterback wasn’t introduced till Los Angeles ran out on the sector for the primary time, and it was John Wolford underneath middle. He was coping with a neck harm heading into the sport and the Rams weren’t certain if he’d be able to go. 

Seems, he won’t have been as a result of Mayfield jogged onto the sector proper after the Rams went three-and-out. 

Mayfield’s first cross off play-action was full for 21 yards to Van Jefferson, however he wanted a bit extra time to settle into the sport. Bear in mind, he had round 36-48 hours to be taught his new playbook, to not point out chemistry with receivers, checks pre-snap and way more. 

Mayfield’s first drive would result in three factors for Los Angeles, however he wouldn’t get extra till late within the fourth quarter when a 17-play, 75-yard drive resulted in Cam Akers simply moving into the top zone on a run play one yard out. 

That made it 16-10 and Los Angeles would power a Raiders punt on the following drive to at the very least give themselves an opportunity. But it surely needed to be a 97-yard miracle. 

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BAKER MAYFIELD ENTERS GAME FOR RAMS JUST DAYS AFTER BEING PICKED UP OFF WAIVERS

Given the state of affairs Mayfield discovered himself in, it was a troublesome hill to climb. However what did Mayfield must lose at this level within the recreation? 

Due to an unsportsmanlike conduct name after getting sacked, Mayfield and the Rams had been out of their very own finish zone and started working. Ben Skowronek made a unbelievable, contested seize for 32 yards on the following play, getting LA into Raiders’ territory. Mayfield continued to run the no-huddle offense and spiked it with 16 seconds left on the clock on the Vegas 23-yard line. 

Then, he dialed it as much as the defacto high huge receiver, Jefferson, who fought via contact and beat his man down the left sideline, hauling within the game-winning landing. 

Baker Mayfield #17 of the Los Angeles Rams passes the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 08, 2022 in Inglewood, California.

Baker Mayfield #17 of the Los Angeles Rams passes the ball in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders throughout the first quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 08, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Pictures)

Matt Homosexual nailed the additional level for the lead, and on the following possession, Derek Carr’s first cross was intercepted by security Taylor Rapp to ice the gorgeous comeback win, as LA snaps a six-game dropping streak to maneuver to 4-9 on the season.

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Regardless of the percentages set in opposition to him, Mayfield was 22 of 35 for 230 yards and one landing to gather simply his second win as a starter this season. He went 1-5 with the Panthers earlier than they launched him. 

BAKER MAYFIELD’S WIFE SOUNDS OFF ON THE ‘WEIRDEST’ YEAR FOLLOWING PANTHERS RELEASE

For the Raiders, it was one more head-scratching loss, particularly with how they set the tone on their first drive of the sport. Carr and the offense went 12 performs and 75 yards with Josh Jacobs busting it into the top zone to make it 7-0 early on. 

Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders makes a reception against Jalen Ramsey #5 of the Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 08, 2022 in Inglewood, California.

Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders makes a reception in opposition to Jalen Ramsey #5 of the Los Angeles Rams throughout the first quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 08, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Pictures)

The Raiders’ protection was doing their job, too, recognizing Mayfield was studying the offense on the fly and feeding off that. Nonetheless, Carr couldn’t maintain drives for Las Vegas, particularly within the second half after they had been solely capable of safe one subject aim. He additionally threw an interception in the long run zone throughout the first half, which trying again now, was a game-changing play. 

Carr would end the sport 11 of 20 via the air with 137 yards and two interceptions, whereas Jacobs had 99 yards on 27 carries. 

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PANTHERS TO RELEASE BAKER MAYFIELD AFTER ACQUIRING HIM IN OFFSEASON: REPORT

Davante Adams had a sick one-handed seize off Jalen Ramsey on the third play of the sport for the Raiders, however he’d end with simply three receptions on seven targets for 71 yards. 

The Raiders got here into this recreation nonetheless within the AFC playoff hunt and a win to maneuver to 6-7 would’ve helped their probabilities to safe a wild card spot down the stretch. 

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield throws a cross throughout the first half of an NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Picture/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

As an alternative, Mayfield reminded everybody why he was the primary total choose to play spoiler on Thursday night time.   

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