Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Media Availability – October 7, 2021
QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
(On what happened with his finger…) I wish I could. I don’t know. I looked down at a certain point on a drive in the second quarter, I think the one we kicked the field goal on, I just looked down and felt a little pressure on it. I maybe got it on a handoff or a snap or something, I’m not 100% sure. I looked down and felt a little pressure in there. It was just a little bit out of place and I was able to put it back in and keep going. It didn’t affect me too much to be honest with you.
(On if there’s any pain in his finger…) No, not really. I’ll be alright.
(On if he expected Robert Woods to have that strong of a football game…) I don’t expect anyone to do anything other than what they’re capable of, and he’s capable of that. That’s the cool thing is watching him go out there and do his thing. He took advantage of his opportunities. He had opportunities tonight, I hit him a bunch of times, he did a great job catching and running, he was big when we were backed up, he made some explosive plays. He played great tonight. I thought a lot of our guys in the skill position played really good. There’s still more out there. Early in the game, I could play probably a tick slower. I went through progressions a little too quick early in the game, getting us off the field early a couple of times. Obviously I can’t make that mistake I made throwing that ball away. I really have to throw that ball away, away. That’s a big momentum swing in the game. If we get seven down there or three, we’re ahead on the scoreboard, we’re going to do what we want to do and what we should do. To give them life there was a play that frankly was not good enough. I need to be better on that.
(On getting Robert Woods involved tonight…) I try to throw the ball where the defense tells me to throw it. He was in the spot tonight where they were telling me to throw it. He made huge plays. He’s got great feel underneath, he got down the field a couple times and made some big catches. Just so appreciative of who he is as a person, who he is as a leader on our team. He does everything we ask of him. Ask him to go in there and block, ask him to run block for other receivers, do all these things and just know that his opportunities are going to come and when they come, he has a huge night. On the road in a hostile environment and in a division game when we really need someone to step up, he did just that. I’m happy for him and proud of him.
(On what he saw on the deep pass to DeSean Jackson with three defenders down there…) I took a hit kind of right as I threw it. I saw the still pictures, lot of green around him, but it was a great play by him. It’s one of those third and extra-long situations where you’re going to try and put one up and he did a great job of coming back to it and making a big play.
(On if he can talk through the six play, 73-yard drive that sucked the air out of the building…) I wish I could. I think it was a great mixture of being able to run the ball, throw the ball. I think in the second half, our guys up front really dictated the line of scrimmage. I thought our running backs hit it downhill great. Sony [Michel] had great plays in the run game and in the pass game, stepping up and picking up blitzers up the middle. That allowed us to get the ball down the field. There were a lot of big drives tonight. I’m just really happy that we were able to come away with the win on the road in a tough environment.
(On why the offense can start slow and then lead to an explosion…) I think I can probably be better. I think if I’m playing a little bit better, a little bit slower at the start of games, maybe we stay on the field for some of those third downs and we go get points. Obviously turning the ball over there in the red zone is a huge mistake. If we have 14 at the half instead of what we had, it feels a lot better.
(On what allowed the offense to turn it around…) I think just executing. I think it’s just executing the game plan. Going out there, trusting each other. I think Sean [McVay] has a great feel for what the defense is trying to do. I’m feeling those guys out as well [saying] hey, what are they trying to do to us, what are they trying to take away and then we’re going to go out there and try to exploit that. I thought he called a great game, an aggressive game. I got a lot of opportunities to throw the ball down the field and we hit some big ones.
(On what he saw on the interception in the end zone…) I was halfway between throwing the ball away and I just need to throw the ball away, away. I didn’t see Quandre [Diggs] where he was, I thought when I threw it, it’s just going to fall out of bounds out the back of the end zone. He did a great job of screaming across the end zone and making a play and catching it. But there’s no excuse. Can’t do it. If I’m going to throw the ball away, commit to it and just throw it all the way out.
(On how it feels being 4-1 going into a bit of extended time off after a Thursday game…) It feels great. Would love to be 5-0, but we are what we are. I think the fun thing is, being 4-1 and knowing that our best game of football hasn’t been played yet. There’s a lot of things that we could clean up, that I could clean up. I know we can as an entire team. Nothing is easy in this league. You earn every single one you get, especially going on the road against a really good football team like Seattle in a hostile environment. I’m happy to be where we are, I know there’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of football left to be played.
(On what Tyler Higbee showed him tonight…) A bunch of toughness. He was battling through some stuff, not feeling his best. I appreciate those guys in the tight end room, they do a heck of a job, him and Johnny Mundt. Our run game got going in the second half and they were big parts of that. Obviously Higbee with a big touchdown catch as well going up against an All-Pro safety and getting a bunch of separation, that’s a heck of a route and a great catch. Just happy for those guys, they put in so much work and the tight end position is just kind of like a dirty position. They’re in there blocking all day and then they’re asked to go out and catch balls. Just happy that when he got his opportunity, he made it count.
(On the contributions that Sony Michel and Darrell Henderson Jr. had offensively…) They were great. I think every time they touched the ball, there were positive things going on. I think they did a nice job in pass protection as well. Darrell freaking ran it great. It was so fun to watch him get out there and do his thing. Sony came in there and did his thing – when those two guys are rolling like they were tonight, it’s a really positive thing for our offense. I know our offensive line feed off of that. When we’re running the ball down the field, they’re looking at the sideline calling for more. They’re wanting more of these runs and it’s a fun thing to be a part of.
(On what he feels when he sees Russell Wilson’s finger get banged up…) I feel bad for him. I’ve been there. We’ve all messed up fingers that exact same way. I hope he can heal up quickly. His looked pretty tough. I’m sure they’ll do a bunch of tests and figure it all out. He’s a tough guy so he’ll be out there as soon as he can I’m sure.
(On how it feels as a team to bounce back from a loss so quickly…) It’s great. Thursday games are tough. Physically, mentally, the whole thing. To get ready to go in that short period of time, it’s tougher and tougher every year for me. Can’t imagine [Andrew Whitworth] doing it, but he does it. I think it was great. It was almost perfect timing to have a Thursday game after a performance like we had in Arizona where really if you ask anyone on our team, they probably didn’t play up to their capabilities. Tonight, we still had mistakes that we can correct and move forward and get better at, but we were able to find a way to win and that’s an awesome thing to be able to do.