Stafford, Rams, Matthew Stafford discussed on Bet The Board
The only thing missing from his mantle coming into this year was a playoff victory. Now of course he has a chance for that elusive Super Bowl and can shed that tag that's unfairly been attached to him as an underachiever as the headman for the Detroit lines. When you dig into some of what Stafford has been best at, this postseason, it's pretty simple. When the game has mattered most, that's when staffords raised his level of play. He led the rams to 13 points late when they trailed 17 7 to race the ten point deficit, which contributed to the biggest comeback and championship game history. In that span he was 11 of 14 for a 121 yards and one touchdown. And for Matthew Stafford, he had struggled under pressure this season. He's eviscerated the blitz. He'd struggled against zone coverage throughout the regular season, but when you look at his passer rating in the postseason, one 13 and a half versus his own compared to 89 and a half during the regular season. Where do the rams in your opinion have an advantage when it comes to throwing the football against his Bengals defense? Specific to the rams passing against the Bengals secondary and defense in general. I think when you look in its simplest format its core, the thing Cincinnati's defense does is the way you want to defend Matthew Stafford theoretically. And you hit on that there at the top. You don't want to blitz Matthew Stafford in the Bengals, bottom 7 and blitz rate this season in the playoffs. You look at Louisiana room. He only sent blitz on 15% of opponent third downs. So they've kind of got that element of the defense down pat with how you want to defend Stafford on the season though if you look Cincinnati's played an above average rate of zone coverage. And all the rave like the last two weeks, it was about Lou and rumo's rush three and drop 8 and where he effectively had Sam Hubbard, his defensive end drop in to coverage after he reads pass since he played with three safeties on the field and Lou would basically have von bell crashed down into the middle of the field. In the chiefs game bell would crash down in the middle of the field kind of eliminate some of those crossers, those middles, eliminate Kelsey a little bit as that helped defender. He also acted as a spy on mahomes. Now, you can't spy Stafford with this with this kind of I wouldn't think you don't want to spy to Stafford obviously. Well, you can't spy. I'm not sure it'd be in their best interest to eliminate Matthew Stafford's legs is a huge component of what the rams want to do offensively. Right. And so I think when you look at the rush three drop 8, it could work. Lou does a pretty good job in that in terms of morphing from manda zone did use that more man in the second half against the chiefs knowing how they were calling the game that these refs weren't going to impact things. So he's like, hey, we're going to use a little bit more in. But typically, he is going to use a touch more zone. I think after two weeks of film, you would understand that using a little bit more zone against Stafford would be the right approach here. We talked about that in the forty-niners, rams game, two weeks ago. So first, you can't blitz Stafford. Is EPA jumps to a positive .53 EPA per pass to about an even mark when not blitzed. Yards per pass attempt increased 1.2 yards his success rate surges 14% versus the blitz. Bengals don't blitz, checkmark. You talked about Stafford in his zone, raiding dips 42 points on our numbers against zone compared to man. He makes far more mistakes. EPA drops, touchdowns drop interceptions increase versus zone. We know Stafford likes to show off his arm talent for time to time completely understandable, Fitz balls and spaces that probably shouldn't be attempted by most quarterbacks. So when you drop more guys in the coverage, staffords production dips a little bit. So if Anna rumo goes with his rush three drop 8 and it's more of his own concept, that's the best way to potentially hinder Stafford. 3.9 yards an attempt on 49 dropbacks against just three rushers this season for staffords. Small sample size, but certainly enough to incorporate in your game plan. Now, I do think if the bangles are showing heavier boxes on first down, that would be the time to pass. We know the Bengals are super sensitive to play action. Bottom 5 defending it, they're also 32nd defense of pass efficiency on first down. But at the end of the day, you can do all the quirky things you want with your scheme. But a lot of this comes down to the jimmies and Joe's. And if you're looking the rams right now 5 O against past defenses 20th or worst inefficiency this season, bangles are 24th. If an aroma with his rush three drop 8, do slow down Stafford a little bit, I think it does open some things up for the rams running game talk. And when you speak about the rams running game, it's largely been bottled up over each of the last couple of weeks, but clearly a step down in class when you go from playing the Tampa Bay bucks, defensive front, the forty-niners defensive front versus what they're going to encounter in the form of the Cincinnati Bengals. Cam Akers, he's averaged just 2.8 yards per carry this postseason, led the team in rushing each of the last two games. Sony Michelle has kind of been the forgotten man just 11 carries for 20 yards over the last two games, but he is the guy that was the bell cow throughout the regular season. It has a little bit more experience as far as having actually played and won a Super Bowl as a member of the New England Patriots. So if you're the rams and the bangles elect to go with this rush three drop a type approach, do you think we see a much more concerted effort from this rams offense to giving the ball the cam Akers running the ball and trying to pick up four or 5 yards setting up second and third and shorts? One thing we I think have to give mcvay a lot of credit for is mixing up the game plans the last four weeks. So it's really kind of tough to anticipate what he's going to do here. But if you look in two of the games, he's been super run heavy. The other two games he's come out and attack through the air with Stafford. If you look at some of the early down run rates the first three quarters over the last month, you're looking at like a 52 48 early down split of past to run. So he's been very balanced in that sense. I think this is interesting. There are some obvious avenues for Cooper cop and OBJ the way he's coming on now these acclimated into the offense and Stafford has been very good in certain instances, but when you look at opponent and you start to think about McVeigh at times, or you can get a little squirrely when the stakes are high, and then if we see this rush three drop 8, I think we could see a fair amount of running early. And it would make sense to test that when you hit it perfectly. You're dropping down in class against the Bengals run defense. You'll get the last four weeks. The rams have faced the forty-niners run defense twice. The Cardinals with JJ watt returning, and the Buccaneers with Barrett, JPP and Levante Davis, all back on the front 7. For the entire season, those three defenses are second, third, and 7th in EPA per Russia out in early downs the first three quarters, and that's including games where some of those horses were out that I just mentioned were turned into.