KRYK SLANTS: Yeah, that’s how excellent Matthew Stafford will also be


New Rams QB impressive in first recreation after 12-year run in Detroit

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Matthew Stafford at all times could have his haters. A portion of Detroit Lions enthusiasts will cross to their graves believing the 2009 No. 1 general draft decide was once overestimated, and under-achieved within the Motor Town.

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Superb. Arguments will also be made.

What I’ve heard and realized over 10 seasons of protecting the NFL, on the other hand, is that ability evaluators across the league normally don’t cling the similar vital evaluations of Stafford.

In 12 seasons as a Lion, Stafford threw for 4,000 yards 8 occasions. His critics stated that was once in large part as a result of Lions groups trailed such a lot of the time; Detroit misplaced 90 of Stafford’s 165 begins.

Ahead of he was the Las Vegas Raiders GM in 2019, Mike Mayock for a couple of years introduced his mid-season, league-wide checks for Postmedia readers.

As soon as all through an interview, unprompted, Mayock simply began gushing about Stafford — that even if his Lions groups would possibly lose a lot of the time, the local Texan however was once held in excessive regard across the league, and if he ever was to be had both thru unfastened company or the industry marketplace, you watch, there’d be a hurry to obtain him.

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Smartly, the Los Angeles Rams rushed to obtain him in January, as soon as phrase were given out that Stafford was once empowered by way of the Lions to hunt a industry vacation spot. The Rams gave up two first-round draft alternatives in addition to their very own No. 1 general draft-pick-QB, Jared Goff from 2016 to land Stafford.

Such hefty industry capital proved Mayock’s level, proper there.

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And on Sunday evening, in his first recreation as a Ram, Stafford straight away proved what he may just do when he performs on a soundly coached workforce that possesses a stellar defence, a excellent offensive line, a viable run-game danger and a couple of unhealthy large receivers (outside and inside, deep and quick).

The 33-year-old Stafford, in a phrase, was once impressive within the Rams’ authoritative 34-14 win.

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How does 20-of-26 (77%) for 321 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions or fumbles and a near-perfect, league-best-so-far 156.1 passer ranking seize ya?

“He handiest threw it 26 occasions however he unquestionably made probably the most of the ones performs,” Rams head trainer Sean McVay stated. “I assumed he did an ideal task. So that you can get all the ones guys concerned (six), the purpose is in reality to turn on all 5 eligible (receivers). He did a pleasant task of having the ability to cross the place the protection dictated. I feel that’s a very powerful factor.”

What inspired McVay maximum about Stafford?

“I feel it was once simply his stable demeanor all over the process the sport. Similar to you had was hoping you might see, that you simply had noticed in apply, and that you simply had noticed from afar.

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“There was once a glance in his eye. He had self belief in his teammates. He anticipated to play properly … I cherished the whole thing that he did this night.”

Stafford’s workforce is 1-Zero for handiest the 7th time in his occupation. Don’t be expecting him to get cocky; 5 of his 12 Lions groups ended September with a successful document, however handiest two made the playoffs, with either one of the ones exiting within the opening, wild-card around.

Stafford sounded ecstatic later on, and now not with reference to his personal play, however that of the ones round him.

“It was once superior,” he stated. “It was once an entire workforce win. Clearly, our defence did an ideal task getting the ball again for us, 3 or 4 occasions.

“(There was once) numerous anticipation for this recreation. For me it’s a brand new enjoy … a brand new position, new stadium, new enthusiasts. The entire deal. However this workforce has embraced me and I in reality admire that … It felt excellent to head our there and play with them this night.

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“I’m fortunate to be part of it.”

FIVE FAST FACTS

Baker Mayfield finished all 8 of his play-action passes for 151 yards at Ok.C., in step with Subsequent Gen Stats … Getting into Monday evening Philadelphia led the NFL in dashing with 173 yards … Patrick Mahomes finished a Sunday-league-high 78% of his third-down passes vs. Cleveland … Aaron Rodgers finished a Sunday-league-low of 29% of his third-down throws vs. New Orleans … Minnesota punted 8 occasions at Cincinnati.

DEAL WITH IT

The west is the most productive. Jim Morrison stated so greater than 50 years in the past, and also you didn’t consider him, huh?

All seven groups that play in both the AFC West or NFC West gained their openers on Sunday: Kansas Town, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos within the AFC; Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona and the Rams within the NFC.

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Las Vegas, the one different west-based NFL workforce, opened Monday evening vs. Baltimore with a possibility to make it 8-for-8.

Conversely, the east is the least. Most effective two groups around the AFC East and NFC East gained in Week 1, and there needed to were a minimum of one until Miami (the victor) and New England performed to a tie, as that was once an all-AFC-East matchup.

The opposite jap exception? The Philadelphia Eagles, who destroyed the Falcons in Atlanta.

TAKING A KNEE

If there’s one certain from the Buffalo Expenses’ dismal 23-16 home-field loss to Pittsburgh, it’s that they misplaced by way of handiest seven issues.

The Steelers utterly ruled play in the second one 1/2 in all 3 levels, but gained by way of only a landing. Another way, the one conceivable certain for the Expenses after halftime was once that they undoubtedly stunk.

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Aspiring Tremendous Bowl individuals don’t play like this. In all probability at no time ultimate season did the Expenses play so poorly, for goodbye a stretch inside any recreation.

The primary offender? Buffalo’s offensive line.

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Quarterback Josh Allen was once below intense force from Pittsburgh’s relentless move rush all afternoon, particularly as implemented by way of newly paid T.J. Watt, who would possibly properly be the league’s maximum impactful defender now — sorry, Aaron Donald.

Maximum disturbingly should you’re a Expenses fan is that the Steelers implemented all that force nearly totally with out blitzing. Consistent with the NFL’s Subsequent Gen Stats, Pittsburgh despatched greater than 4 move rushers on handiest two of Allen’s 54 dropbacks (3.7%) — the second one lowest single-game blitz frequency by way of a Steelers defence in a minimum of 5 years.

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That implies the Steelers may just have enough money to drop seven avid gamers into move protection, as a substitute of six, or 5. And Pittsburgh is a workforce that blitzed 40% of the time ultimate season, 1/3 easiest share within the league, in the back of handiest Baltimore and Miami.

Within the first 1/2, Allen nonetheless once in a while seemed like the QB of ultimate yr, when his accuracy on tricky passes was once otherworldly — maximum particularly on his crisp three-yard TD zinger to well-covered wideout Gabriel Davis, which gave Buffalo a 10-Zero halftime lead.

After that, what we noticed was once far more second-year Josh Allen than third-year. Little of it most likely was once his fault. Subsequent Gen Stats says Allen finished simply 1-of-Eight throws for 5 yards when careworn in the second one 1/2. Ouch.

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Allen finished fewer than 60% at the day (58.8) together with simply 56% in the second one 1/2. He was once sacked thrice, two times after halftime. And whilst he focused his all-pro large receiver Stefon Diggs 14 occasions and hooked up with him 9 occasions, the longest was once for simply 13 yards, 69 overall.

Pittsburgh’s consistent, quick force all however burnt up Allen’s talent to throw deep.

It was once harking back to Buffalo’s nail-biting win over Pittsburgh ultimate December, and particularly of its AFC championship-game loss at Kansas Town in January, through which Allen was once sacked 4 occasions, blitzed 18 occasions and careworn on 23% of his 50-plus drop-backs.

Perhaps that’s change into the e book on protecting Allen. He’s so dang excellent now that should you don’t force the snot out of him, he’ll decide you aside.

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That Buffalo returned its complete beginning offensive line — LT Dion Dawkins, LG Jon Feliciano, C Mitch Morse, RG Cody Ford or Ike Boettger and RT Daryl Williams — was once noticed as a good.

Now the query should be requested: Is it?

Expenses offensive coordinator Brian Daboll would possibly wish to draw up extra max-protect performs, and extra quick-pass throws for Allen, over Buffalo’s ultimate 16 video games. Particularly towards blitz-mad Miami this coming Sunday afternoon, within the South Florida sauna. Certainly, the Dolphins blitzed rookie Mac Jones on Sunday a whopping 46% of the time in New England.

Buffalo’s O-line wishes lend a hand. Large-time. As a result of everybody’s gonna come after Josh Allen now. Arduous.

FITZPATRICK GOING ON THE IR WITH HIP INJURY

Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation Sunday towards the Los Angeles Chargers, shall be put on injured reserve and pass over a minimum of 3 weeks, the Washington Soccer Workforce showed Monday.

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The 38-year-old quarterback may just go back no previous than Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, by way of IR rule.

Taylor Heinicke will get started in Fitzpatrick’s position, head trainer Ron Rivera stated, beginning with Thursday evening’s recreation towards the New York Giants.

“I feel our guys will rally round him,” Rivera stated of Heinicke all through his Monday information convention. “He performs just a little bit like his hair’s on fireplace and performs just a little bit like a gunslinger. However I feel…he’s matured just a little bit. He understands what he has to do and the way he has to do it. I’m excited to look what’s going to occur.”

PACKERS ‘FOCUSED ON NOW,’ COACH MAINTAINS
Matt LaFleur’s Inexperienced Bay Packers weren’t distracted by way of the entire low season hypothesis about whether or not quarterback Aaron Rodgers would retire, cling out or be traded, the top trainer stated Monday.

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“No, I feel this workforce’s fascinated with now,” LaFleur stated, when requested a couple of ProFootballTalk.com put up that speculated on that very concept, within the wake of Inexperienced Bay’s 38-Three loss Sunday to New Orleans.

“And sadly, every now and then on this league you get humbled. And unquestionably we were given humbled. Like I stated, it’s about how we reply to that. How we come again to paintings. How we keep in combination. And get able to play towards a workforce I do know is gonna be in reality hungry coming in right here.”

The Packers play host to the Detroit Lions subsequent Monday evening in a matchup of winless NFC East groups, all 4 of which can be 0-1.

Backup QB Jordan Love is being groomed to prevail the 37-year-old Rodgers as early as subsequent season.

REPORTS: COWBOYS TO SIGN LIRIM HAJRULLAHU TO PRACTICE SQUAD

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Former CFL placekicker Lirim Hajrullahu — raised partly in St. Catharines, Ont. — is anticipated to signal with the Dallas Cowboys apply squad, stories stated Monday evening. 

The Cowboys’ beginning placekicker Greg Zuerlein neglected 3 kicks in Dallas’ loss at Tampa Bay ultimate Thursday. He slightly kicked all low season as he recovered from again surgical operation. 

Hajrullahu, 31, kicked and punted from 2014-19 within the CFL with Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton. The Western College grad attempted out with the Los Angeles Rams ultimate yr sooner than shedding a three-man pageant, and he kicked this previous coaching camp with the Cowboys. 

Seems like the Cowboys need some insurance coverage in case Zuerlein can not regain his outdated shape. 

JoKryk@postmedia.com

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@JohnKryk

QUARTERBACK RANKINGS

All 32 beginning QBs, after Sunday video games:

  1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas Town. Improbable vs. the Browns.
  2. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay. Convenience in Arians’ machine presentations.
  3. Russell Wilson, Seattle. Off to some other scintillating get started.
  4. Aaron Rodgers, Inexperienced Bay. Epic Week 1 clunker. Development?
  5. Josh Allen, Buffalo. Slightly had time to seem downfield.
  6. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland. Elite 1st 1/2. However nonetheless no TDs.
  7. Matthew Stafford, L.A. Rams. Terrific Tinseltown debut.
  8. Dak Prescott, Dallas. Ankle shmankle. What a go back!
  9. Kyler Murray, Arizona. 5 TDs already. Delusion heaven.
  10. Justin Herbert, L.A. Chargers. The child is the actual deal.
  11. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh. 2nd-half precision.
  12. Derek Carr, Las Vegas. Performed Monday evening.
  13. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore. Performed Monday evening.
  14. Teddy Bridgewater, Denver. Give him credit score. Made performs.
  15. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee. With that D, gonna move so much.
  16. Jameis Winston, New Orleans. Five TDs on simply 20 passes.
  17. Carson Wentz, Indianapolis. OK. Foot gave the impression to cling up.
  18. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Fran. 314 yards, no alternatives at Lions.
  19. Jared Goff, Detroit. Great comeback take a look at. Now do it previous.
  20. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati. Sharp 10 months after ACL tear.
  21. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota. Maximum. Enigmatic. QB. Ever.
  22. Matt Ryan, Atlanta. This score is charitable. Jeesh.
  23. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville. 51 passes in NFL debut.
  24. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia. Can he do this vs. non-Falcons?
  25. Mac Jones, New England. Crisp, poised and promising.
  26. Sam Darnold, Carolina. Appeared lovely excellent in new locale.
  27. Andy Dalton, Chicago. Position-holder for Justin Fields.
  28. Tyrod Taylor, Houston. It was once the Jags, however he was once excellent.
  29. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami. One thing’s now not there. Fortunate W.
  30. Tayler Heinicke, Washington. His task with Fitz (hip) out.
  31. Zach Wilson, N.Y. Jets. 14/21 in 2nd 1/2. Can construct on that.
  32. Daniel Jones, N.Y. Giants. Simply doesn’t make giant performs.

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THIS WEEK

Fast ideas on Week 2 video games (all on Sunday until famous):

  • Giants at WashingtonFT, Thursday, 8:20 ET: With Fitz out, Taylor Heinicke’s flip to outplay Daniel Jones.
  • Saints at Panthers, 1 ET: Jameis Winston inspired as Saints’ new QB. What if he has to move so much?
  • Bengals at Bears, 1 ET: Hi there, Cincinnati may just cross 2-Zero vs. the NFC North to start out the season.
  • Texans at Browns, 1 ET: The Browns aren’t the Jags. Don’t be expecting Houston to stay it shut.
  • Rams at Colts, 1 ET: Matthew Stafford certain inspired together with his new workforce. Carson Wentz together with his? No longer dangerous.
  • Broncos at Jaguars, 1 ET: Teddy Bridgewater rewarded Broncos coaches’ religion: 78% completions, 115.7 ranking.
  • Expenses at Dolphins, 1 ET: Two regular-season video games in the past the Expenses squished the fish 56-26. And so they’re mad this time.
  • Patriots at Jets, 1 ET: Loser drops to 0-2 to take a seat in AFC East basement. Do you in reality consider it’ll be New England?
  • 49ers at Eagles, 1 ET: We should get a greater concept of simply how excellent Philly QB Jalen Hurts is in contrast defence.
  • Raiders at Steelers, 1 ET: Quick week for Vegas. Pittsburgh’s defence is mighty enforcing.
  • Vikings at Cardinals, 4:05 ET: What a disappointing Week 1 loss for Minnesota. An 0-2 get started turns out most likely.
  • Falcons at Buccaneers, 4:05 ET: Boy, Arthur Smith’s debut as Falcons head trainer certain was once a stinker. Hi, 0-2.
  • Cowboys at Chargers, 4:25 ET: Zak’s again. So is Justin Herbert. Two of the most productive QBs within the league right here.
  • Titans at Seahawks, 4:25 ET: Force’s on Titans, however their dangerous defence of ’20 could be even worse in ’21.
  • Chiefs at Ravens, 8:20 ET: Ok.C. rush defence chewed up by way of Cleveland (5.Nine yards in step with elevate). Glance out.
  • Lions at Packers, Monday, 8:15 ET: If the game-show-host-in-waiting in reality is all in, now’s the time to turn it.

BYES: None.

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