INGLEWOOD (News4usonline) – Solid defense. Explosive plays from the offense. Special teams that didn’t hurt them. Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay got what he wanted out of his ballclub in the team’s 34-14 win against the Chicago Bears during a Sunday Night Football contest.
“The expectations were for us to win the football game as a team. I’m always interested in putting together all three phases,” McVay said.
The most spectacular part of those three phases was on the offensive side of the football. That means that newly installed starting quarterback Matthew Stafford must have had a pretty good day at the office. In fact, he did. Stafford connected on 20 of his 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns in his Rams’ debut.
And what better way to start off the season than to do it in front of the team’s fan base. Stafford didn’t waste time giving fans a preview of what he can do, dropping back to pass and launching a 67-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver on the Rams’ first offensive series.
How did he feel making that connection so quickly?
“I was feeling good,” said Stafford. “You know, that’s a pretty good start. So, I was happy for our team, happy for Van (Jefferson). He’s had a great offseason, a great lead up to the season. And to catch it, fall down, get back up and get in the end zone, that’s a huge play, a huge momentum thing. And especially right after our defense got us a turnover and got us the ball back. A big play after big play is a lot of fun to be a part of. I don’t know, man, I was jacked up and having fun out there.”
McVay and the Rams also got a little help from the team’s 12th man: the fans. For the first time since SoFi Stadium has been opened fans had the opportunity to see football played during a regular season in person.
“It was electric,” McVay said. “I think everybody wants to talk about this stadium. It is an iconic venue that Mr. Kroenke built. But I thought the players did a great job of giving the fans something to get excited about. And they came out. You know, you almost get goosebumps when you walk out for the pregame and you’re kind of just looking at it and you realize how much the fans make the atmosphere and the environment.”
As great as Stafford and the offense played, the Rams defense, under the team’s new defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris, did some things right. David Long Jr. came up with an interception to stop one Chicago drive.
The most impressive thing was holding Chicago to only two scores. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey said there’s still plenty of work for the defensive unit to do to get better.
“We’re hard on ourselves. We’re self-critical,” Ramsey said. “We celebrate, obviously when we have wins and victories, of course. But then we’re back to the drawing board. We see where we can get better and one up ourselves. That’s what we’re going to do.”
Featured Image Caption: Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald waves on the crowd at SoFi Stadium. Photo credit: Los Angeles Rams