With each week presenting a new challenge for the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Matthew Stafford took time in his comments to the media on Friday to reflect on what defenses are trying to slow down the team’s offense. Their looming matchup against the San Francisco 49ers will present him with the task of working against veteran pass rusher Nick Bosa and a host of other dominant blitzers, so Stafford is taking every lesson learned this season to heart ahead of the primetime tilt.
Asked specifically about the game plans that the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons brought against his unit, Stafford described their strategy as plainly as possible, noting how they found success with only a handful of pass rushers on a given play.
“That’s a defensive coordinator’s dream, right,” he said of the opponents’ schemes. “Just call zone defense behind a four-man rush and get home. That’s what you want to do. You dial up a defense, you go, ‘What’s my favorite defense, with the one where I rushed four and attack the quarterback and have seven guys covering four guys or five guys.’ So yes, no doubt that is, I think everybody’s favorite defense to call if it’s working.
“We’ve got to make sure that we do our job, make sure we distribute the field the correct way. If it is man when we hand the ball off versus those looks, we’ve got to be efficient and have chances to be explosive when we hand it off. It comes down to good offense versus good defense. Whether or not they’re going to pressure us a lot, I’m not sure. We’ll see how the game unfolds. Each game is kind of different, but it’ll be a fun matchup.”
This game against the 49ers could have huge implications in the NFC West standings, and the quarterback is wise to worry about what the opposition might do to slow him down. Few players have more experience playing at a high level against the blitz than Stafford, but even with a cast of solid talent around him to take the heat off, the matchup will be anything but a cakewalk.
It will take a full team effort to mitigate San Francisco’s pass rush, but with two practices under their belt and the veteran leadership of Stafford under center, the Rams should feel confident in their ability to sneak out of Levi’s Stadium with a win on Monday night.