The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams came out looking horrible on Thursday night’s home opener.
While the game started with the flash of Dwayne Johnson firing up the crowd, things cooled off quickly.
Fans saw the Rams give up a quick touchdown to the Buffalo Bills on their opening drive.
However, the rest of the night was a showcase of regression by quarterback Matthew Stafford.
After signing a contract extension earlier this year, he started looking like the Stafford Detroit Lions’ fans know so well.
So what are we seeing after week one with Stafford and what are the Rams getting with him in 2022?
Stafford Shows Why He’s A Leader In Interceptions
The Rams veteran quarterback is starting out the 2022 season the same way he closed last season.
Last season, he finished the season leading the league in interceptions thrown.
Stafford lead the league in interceptions last year and he’s picking right back up where he left off
— Myles Morales (@_mizzy14) September 9, 2022
As Myles Morales points out on Twitter, Stafford is already back as the leader of interceptions in the league.
However, throwing interceptions is a familiar thing with Stafford.
During his previous 13 years, he’s only had two seasons with less than ten interceptions.
But those two seasons with fewer than ten interceptions only came because of Stafford playing less than half the season.
So in reality, Stafford is a well-known turnover machine during his career in the NFL.
This reality peeked its head out with his performance against the Bills.
However, does his latest injury factor into his early regression?
Stafford Is Dealing With An Elbow Injury Mostly Seen In MLB Pitchers
Ever since Super Bowl 56, the Rams quarterback has been dealing with an elbow injury.
His injury is called “pitcher’s elbow” and commonly seen with MLB pitchers.
Matthew Stafford update:
Given @RapSheet reports of “tendinitis/thrower’s elbow” & McVay calling it “a baseball thing” Stafford is likely dealing w/ a strain/sprain of muscle and/or a ligament on the inside portion of his elbow. Ligament or muscle is anyone’s guess
— Edwin Porras, DPT (@FBInjuryDoc) August 16, 2022
However, Stafford is dealing with this issue now as it’s possible the injury is affecting his play in 2022.
Even with the offseason treatment he got, Stafford looked out of his element on Thursday night.
So it’s possible the injury is causing more disruption than many thought it could ever do.
While some on Twitter think the injury is a direct link to his poor play, it will take a doctor to determine the actual answer.
— Austin Maida (@Maida904) September 9, 2022
However, there’s no doubt that he’s looking bad to start the 2022 season.
Stafford Can No Longer Rely On His Defense And Cooper Kupp To Help Him
The Rams won Super Bowl 56 thanks to their defense and Cooper Kupp, not Stafford.
His play wasn’t stellar, as he threw two interceptions, with one leading to a field goal by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Had it not been for his defense stopping the Bengals, those turnovers could have led to more points.
As for Kupp, his play in the game winning drive by the Rams got them the Lombardi trophy.
However, teams are wise to who’s a threat on the Rams roster.
The Bills showed this, as they prevented big plays down the field.
It now means Stafford can’t rely solely on Kupp and his defense when he makes costly errors.
That’s why his early regressing can easily end the Rams’ Super Bowl chances in 2022.