Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP
The Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts both debuted new quarterbacks on Sunday, with very different results. Matt Stafford, a former Lion, had a great day leading the Rams to victory over the Bears. As the Colts offensive line failed to protect Carson Wentz, Carson Wentz was also hit 10 times. This weekend, the two teams will meet. Let’s check out the NFL odds for this game.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, September 19, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at Lucas Oil Stadium
The Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts both debuted new quarterbacks on Sunday, with very different results. The Rams traded for Detroit’s Matt Stafford, who had a career-best 156.1 passer rating in the Week One blowout of the Bears. Although the Colts acquired former Eagle Carson Wentz, it was difficult to assess his performance Sunday as he was running for his lives much of the day, as the Seattle Seahawks hit him ten times during their 28-16 win.
Stafford Powers Offense
Matt Stafford was at the top of everyone’s quarterback shopping list in the offseason, but the Rams landed him, and based on opening day, the Stafford-Sean McVay pairing appears to be a marriage made in heaven. Stafford was 20-of-25 and had eight completions of at least 17 yards and two more than 50 yards. He finished with 321 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the Rams’ to scores on six of their seven drives, which did not include kneel-downs at either end of each half.
“I loved everything that he did tonight,” McVay was thrilled.
Stafford spread the ball and hit six receivers. His second pass as Ram was a 67 yard touchdown to Van Jefferson. Although the running game took some time to develop, Darrell Henderson made it to the second half with h70 yards. Surprisingly Sony Michel was the only offseason player to get a carry in this game.
The Rams’ defense was also solid, getting an interception and a strip-sack fumble. Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams continued to show that they’re one of the top cornerback tandems in the league, and third corner David Long, Jr. got the tipped-ball interception. Long went home with an injury. However, the team stated that it was only cramping. The most difficult part of defense was stopping the runs. Chicago’s David Montgomery had 108 yards and averaged 6.8 per carry.
Carson Wentz #2 of Indianapolis Colts throws an pass. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP
There Wentz the Pass Protection
Carson Wentz didn’t have a bad opening game for the Colts. His final stat line against the Seahawks was respectable—25 of 38 passing for 251 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 102. Still, he had a long day at the office, thanks in large part to the Colts’ offensive line. Wentz was sacked ten times by Seattle defenders. This included three sacks on third and fourth downs that were crucial in ending Indianapolis possessions. He also ran three times 23 yards. This is a sign that his foot has been surgically prepared.
Coach Frank Reich defending the play of the line, saying, “I’m not ready to just dump this thing and say the offensive line played bad, so forgive me for that.”
The linemen themselves weren’t happy with their performance, however.
“”One of the biggest things is to keep the quarterback safe. We gave away too many hits,” center Ryan Kelly said. “That’s not our standard of play. … Put it on our shoulders, it’s not the standard we hold ourselves to. We’ll be better next week.”
The line will have to be better against one of the most feared defenders in the league—the Rams’ Aaron Donald, who will create havoc for Kelly and company in the middle of the line. Braden Smith, right tackle for the Colts, was hurt in the foot during the game. His status for this week is still unknown.
The Indianapolis defense, which faces the prospect of stopping McVay’s explosive offense, now powered by Matthew Stafford, also wasn’t happy with the opener.
“We got our (butt) kicked,” linebacker Darius Leonard said. “Especially in the first half.”
On average, the Colts allowed Seattle to rush for 140 yards. They were beaten on the ground by Tennessee only last year. Russell Wilson was also capable of finding holes in the pass defence, particularly in the middle.
The Rams offense won’t be as good as we saw in Week One, and the Colts’ protection won’t be as bad. To even the score for Week Two, the teams will need to go back to the basics. Look for the Colt’s blocking players to try to stop Donald, and the defense to continue giving up big plays against Stafford when making your NFL pick.
NFL Pick: Rams -4 at (-110) with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)
Rams -4 (-110)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.
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