INGLEWOOD, Calif. — After the Los Angeles Rams‘ offense struggled for the second game in a row and the team lost their second straight to fall to 2-3 on the season, head coach Sean McVay said his quarterback needs help.
“I love Matthew Stafford,” McVay said after a 22-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “He is competing and doing everything in his power for this team. He needs some help. We’ve got to be able to help him.”
The Rams have scored just one touchdown in their last nine quarters, a 75-yard catch and run from Stafford to wide receiver Cooper Kupp in the second quarter of Sunday’s game.
Stafford is playing behind an offensive line that has dealt with injury after injury this season. Center Jeremiah Kolone, who started in place of an injured Coleman Shelton, who was starting in place of an injured Brian Allen, was the Rams’ ninth different offensive lineman to start a game this season. Only left tackle Joe Noteboom and right tackle Rob Havenstein have started all five games for the Rams.
It has shown this season, as Los Angeles has struggled to keep Stafford upright. Stafford was sacked five times Sunday and has now been sacked 21 times this season, which is tied for the most by a Rams quarterback through five games since the merger in 1970. He was pressured 20 times by the Cowboys defense, which is tied for the second-most in a game in his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
After the game, the quarterback was asked how he feels physically after taking so many hits this season.
“I feel OK,” Stafford said. “It’s part of the game.”
Stafford went 6-of-15 for 59 yards and an interception when pressured Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He was 22-of-27 for 249 yards and a touchdown when he wasn’t facing pressure.
When asked how the Rams can fix the offensive line until they get several starters back from injury, McVay said, “I don’t know if I have that answer right now.”
“But we’ve got to be able to figure it out, whether it’s guys that are playing right now or whether we need to figure out some other options,” McVay said. “But it’s not good enough and it’s not exclusive to one player, to one position. But there are some things that consistently are glaring issues for us that are preventing us a chance to be able to operate at a level that you guys have seen from us.”
Los Angeles has also struggled on the ground, rushing for 38 yards on 15 carries in the loss to the Cowboys. McVay said the Rams need to “be able to run the football efficiently.”
When they’re not running the ball efficiently, McVay said, the Rams are having trouble protecting, which means “you can’t give yourself a chance to let things develop.”
Stafford said when the offense struggles the way it has, he looks inwards to say, “what can I do more of?”
“We’ve got to find a way to get the ball in the end zone,” Stafford said. “Got to do a better job sustaining some drives, giving ourselves some more manageable situations and find a way to get more points.”
Stafford completed 28 of 42 passes for 308 yards with a touchdown and an interception on Sunday. And for the second time in his postgame news conference, McVay reiterated that he doesn’t think there’s much more Stafford can do.
“I think he’s doing everything he can,” McVay said. “I think he needs more help. Guys got to play better around him. We’ve got to be able to help him be able to give himself a chance to sit on his back foot, just past even a hitch on some things. But, [I] love Matthew Stafford.
“I’ll ride with that guy to the end of time. And he’s continuing to do everything in his power to try to help our team move the football, score points and we’ve got to be able to help him out more.”
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