Matthew Stafford’s Los Angeles Rams debut could have hardly gone any better. The new L.A quarterback helped his team to a 34-14 win over the Chicago Bears, passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns.
The Rams are one of the top favorites for the Super Bowl odds, having replaced Jared Goff with Stafford in a blockbuster trade during the offseason. The Kansas City Chiefs are atop the table in terms of NFL season odds and will hope to correct last season’s failure at the final hurdle. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who beat the Chiefs in the championship game earlier this year, are right behind as far as the bookmakers are concerned. But the Rams are also right up there, thanks to Stafford.
Sunday was a pretty big day for the player and his family. His wife Kelly admitted to the first game in a Los Angeles uniform being the most nervous moment of her life.
“I have never been so nervous for something,” she said on the first episode of her new podcast, The Morning After with Kelly Stafford (H/T Yahoo Sports). “I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink. I couldn’t do anything.
“Matthew handles this pressure far better than I do. There were obviously very high expectations coming into this game and this season and he crushed it, which was so fun to watch. He looked like he was having so much fun, which I haven’t seen that side of Matthew on a football field in a very long time. I felt like my husband has a renewed love for this sport again.”
Matthew and Kelly met while they were students at the University of Georgia. The former was drafted by the Detroit Lions as the No.1 overall pick in 2009.
The QB’s wife said she realized there was a difference in his attitude as soon as he got onto the field and pumped his fist, which isn’t like him. He also did something new after the contest.
“For the first time ever after the game, he looked up at the suite with a big smile with both hands in the air,” she said. “It was just an incredible thing to witness.”
Kelly also read out the text she sent to her husband before the game.
“Know that I understand that this is like a big leap of faith for you, but no one deserves this chance more than you, so go out, but more so go out and have some f—— fun,” she disclosed.
“I felt like football hadn’t been fun for him in a very long time,” she added.
Kelly asked Matthew how he was feeling the morning after his debut.
“And he turns over and gives me this little smirk. He’s like, ‘I think this is gonna be fun’,” she claimed. “I hadn’t seen that from Matthew in a very long time.”
Another top NFL QB did not have that great a start to the campaign. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers suffered a blowout 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in quite the surprising turn of events.
Rodgers, who will be appearing on The Pat McAfee Show every Tuesday afternoon, wasn’t allowed to warm up before getting down to the burning question. Asked what the hell happened in Jacksonville by McAfee, Rodgers claimed it “was just one of those days.”
“We had one of those last year as well,” he said, referring to the 38-10 loss to the Buccaneers last season. “We’ve had a couple rough ones in Florida.”
The reigning MVP pointed out that the Bucs were beaten by the Saints 38-3 last season and still went on to win the Super Bowl but added that the offense was bad and the defense was hardly better.
“It was 17-0 and we’d run 12 plays,” he said. “One of those weird games where it seems like the clock is running the entire time. We had a good drive (to start the second half) and then I threw a pick.”
As it pertains to the very rare interception, Rodgers had a pretty good excuse.
“I don’t like to make a lot of excuses, there’s some (expletive) ones, there’s some ones you want to have to back,” he explained. “That was due to the double nut shot I took. I guess I have to overcome that and throw a better ball. That was a painful one. They got their money’s worth on that one.”
He praised the offensive line for not allowing that many more shots, however.
“Right now we’re taking it on the chin,” he added. “Pretty soon it will be flipped. I’m confident and excited and love these guys. I’m a competitor. This game is about how you respond to the negativity, usually more than how you’re hailed for your successes.”