The Los Angeles Rams present Matthew Stafford with a fresh offensive scheme just in time for Easter.

The Los Angeles Rams are eager to replicate the success they achieved in 2021 when they clinched Super Bowl LVI with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, securing a 23-20 win. To bolster their chances, they have revamped their offensive strategy, aiming to provide their lead quarterback, Matthew Stafford, with a fresh playbook.

Despite their efforts, the California-based team ended the 2023 season as runners-up in the NFC West with a 10-7 record, trailing behind the San Francisco 49ers. Their playoff journey was cut short in the NFC Wild Card round by the Detroit Lions, who ultimately progressed to the NFC Championship game.

This suggests they are on the verge of making a significant push, but they are lacking a few final pieces, and for Les Shead, the General Manager, the crucial aspect appears to be safeguarding Stafford from sacks and pressure in the upcoming 2024 season.

To address this concern, they have ensured the retention of Kevin Dotson, a guard, with a three-year, $48 million contract. Additionally, they signed Jonah Jackson, another guard, to a three-year deal worth $51 million, with $34 million guaranteed. This strategic move allows them to bolster other areas without spending any additional funds by transitioning offensive lineman Steve Avila from guard to center, his natural position during his collegiate career at TCU.

Stafford’s performance in 2023 saw him throw for 3,965 yards, resulting in 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions across 15 games, marking his first uninterrupted season since their Super Bowl victory. In 2022, he faced challenges with two concussions and a spinal contusion.

How does this address the issues from 2023?

In 2023, the Rams ranked fifth in the NFL for sacks allowed, averaging 1.59 sacks per game, and sixth for pressure rate allowed. This indicates their struggle to adequately protect Stafford from opposing defenses.

The consequences extend beyond turnovers from sacks; they also heighten the risk of interceptions as the 36-year-old quarterback is compelled to rush plays, reducing his time to assess distances and speeds before passing.

Improving in these critical moments is expected to result in increased points scored and decreased points allowed, leading to more victories and fewer postseason games played.

Furthermore, the addition of Dotson and Jackson enhances the quality of roster depth. In 2023, the Rams relied on six players throughout the season, which is unusually high. Utilizing more players reduces stability and consistency for all involved, resulting in more vulnerabilities in the guard position.

Dotson emphasized the importance of continuity among teammates, stating, “The more consistent we are as a group, the better we play and the more confidence we have in each other. Continuity in the offensive line is crucial for success.”

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