When the Los Angeles Rams swapped Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford and a king’s ransom of picks in the offseason, it seemed they had finally landed a QB that could take them all the way. After growing tired of Goff’s blunders, the Rams went all-in on Stafford’s, hoping he’d steer them straight to the promised land. But, unfortunately, while things started better than anyone in LA could have hoped, progress hasn’t come without some bumps along the way.
The Rams have lost three out of their last four, but last week picked up a much-needed win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This week, Stafford and the Rams head to the desert to take on the first-place Arizona Cardinals, where the NFL odds have them as 2.5-point underdogs. So let’s see what we can expect from Stafford and the Rams in Week 14.
Matthew Stafford Stats This Season
Stafford has put up stellar numbers so far this season. He has started all 12 games, averaging an eye-popping 300.9 yards passing per game. He’s also led the Rams to an 8-4 record while throwing 30 touchdowns to nine interceptions.
Stafford’s putting together an MVP-level performance this year and is currently listed at +1400 to take home the honor. According to ESPN, Stafford is third in the league in QBR (65.9), a total quarterback rating adjusted for the strength of opposing defenses faced.
Stafford Against the Cardinals
Stafford hasn’t fared that well against the Cardinals over his career, as he owns a 3-5-1 record, including a 37-20 loss earlier this year in Week 4. He threw 280 yards in that game with two touchdowns and one interception, but it wasn’t enough to get the Rams a victory.
The Cardinals are giving up just 205.1 yards per game (4th) through the air this season. So Stafford will have his hands full this Monday in primetime. The good news is that Stafford has been playing well since coming off of the bye in Week 11. In the last two games, he’s thrown for 597 yards to go with six TDs and one pick.
How Should Bettors Approach This Game?
Stafford has been sacked 17 times this season, and that number is likely to increase this week. The Cards’ defense is tied for fourth in the league in sacks with 32. Because of the Cardinals’ ability to pressure the QB and their pass defense, I think the Rams (5-7 against the spread) will have a hard time consistently moving the football in Arizona. If this happens, I believe that they’ll fail to cover the spread.
The total points for this game are currently set at 51.5, and I like the under here. The Cardinals have only been in a game that’s gone over 51.5 total points once since Week 4, and that was last week. Los Angeles only eclipsed that point total twice in the same amount of time, most recently in Week 12 against Green Bay.
Will the Rams Keep Things Interesting in the NFC West?
Matthew Stafford and the Rams desperately need a win on Monday night to keep things competitive in the NFC West.
While it’s certainly possible, I think they’ll fall to an Arizona team looking to position themselves for a #1 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
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