Rams set for season opener against Bears at SoFi Stadium; quarterback Matthew Stafford to make debut in LA
Fans in attendance will be required to wear a mask unless actively eating or drinking. In addition, the stadium is cashless and if you plan to bring a bag, make sure it’s clear.
Rams fans will get to see the L.A. debut of 33-year-old veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford is the Ram’s future, their hopes of playing in a home SuperBowl resting squarely on his shoulders.
Nearly six months after the Rams acquired Stafford from the Detroit Lions, he finally gets to work on realizing his career-long ambitions. After a dozen NFL seasons without a playoff victory, Stafford candidly admits he has never been in charge of a team as talented as these Rams – let alone backed by a defense as good as Los Angeles’ top-ranked unit.
After one postseason appearance in the past six years, Stafford chose to leave the Lions rather than sticking around for yet another rebuilding phase. He is done waiting for the rest of his career to start.
“I love doing this,” Stafford said. “A bunch of different changes for me this offseason, too. Battled through a bunch of things. Moved my family across the country. I want to go play some football and do it with a group of guys that I’ve, in a short period of time, grown to just absolutely love and respect. … I’m just excited to go out there with these guys as a team and see what we got.”
Stafford is a familiar face to the Bears, the team he has beaten more times than any other. Opponents know all about his strong arm, poise in the pocket and veteran guile while leading 31 fourth-quarter comebacks – more than any quarterback except Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger during Stafford’s first dozen NFL seasons.
Chicago has rookie coordinator Sean Desai in charge of its defense, which means Stafford’s experience against the Bears might not be quite as valuable. The Rams are still confident they’ll see why they made the bold move to trade Jared Goff – a good quarterback with a successful track record – for Stafford and his potential to be great.
“We’ve had a great rapport from the jump,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “He’s really easy to get along with, but he’s got really strong opinions. … He’s had a lot of repetitions playing the quarterback position at a high level in this league, and his ability to recall and remember those and use them to his advantage is really how you get better. It’s been pretty impressive.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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