Statistically, Matthew Stafford’s season compares closely to Jared Goff’s in 2018

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Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff will forever be linked as quarterbacks after the blockbuster trade made by the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions last year. It was a shocking move made by the Rams, who were seeking an upgrade at quarterback after Goff’s performance tapered off in 2019 and 2020.

But coincidentally, what the Rams got out of Stafford this season was similar to what Goff produced for them in 2018 – which isn’t a bad thing, especially considering the Rams went to the Super Bowl that season.

An analytics site developed by Tucker Boynton compares performances by quarterbacks based on several statistics such as EPA (expected points added per play), CPOE (completion percentage over expected), DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) and PFF grade, among many others.

When plugging in Stafford’s 2021 season, the closest comparison is Goff’s 2018 campaign. It has a similarity score of 90.9%, making it a close match to Stafford’s current numbers in 2021. The comparisons go all the way back to 2006, too, so it’s not as if the sample size is small.

When looking at their numbers on a simpler basis using passing touchdowns, interceptions, yards, sacks, yards per attempt and passer rating, their numbers are fairly similar – especially considering Stafford played one more game than Goff did in 2018.

Stafford threw for more yards, touchdowns and had a higher passer rating, but Goff threw fewer interceptions and averaged more yards per pass attempt.

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Jared Goff

2018

16

13-3-0

364

561

64.9

4688

32

101.1

70

12

33

223

8.4

7.52

Matthew Stafford

2021

17

12-5-0

404

601

67.2

4886

41

102.9

79

17

30

243

8.1

7.36

Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used

Fans might be disappointed that statistically, there wasn’t a huge improvement from Stafford to Goff. But this is a good thing because in 2018, Goff was a Pro Bowler and an MVP candidate for most of the season. Yes, his play fell off late in the year and continued to slide in 2019 and 2020, but the Rams nearly won a Super Bowl with the 2018 version of Goff.

There’s no reason to believe they can’t win a title with this version of Stafford, who put up huge numbers and played well in his first season with the Rams, except for the league-high 17 interceptions.