The Los Angeles Rams are choosing to be cautious with Matthew Stafford, and rightfully so. He took a few shots to the head against the New Orleans Saints. It became clear his concussion issue wasn’t over despite being cleared to play earlier in the week. In fact, it may not be a surprise if the Rams monitor his situation for several weeks. He didn’t look right getting up from those hits. Now, third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins is set to practice with the starters in Week 12.
Three Reasons Why the Bryce Perkins Experiment Is Perfect vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Sean McVay-era Rams are a well-run franchise that genuinely puts the long-term health of their players first. It’s entirely possible Stafford sits out Week 12. When QB1 for the Rams can return might be dictated by the team’s record as he gets healthier.
In his weekly press conference update via webcast, McVay wasn’t always as vague as he’s known to be. There’s so much he doesn’t fully know on Mondays. Still, some of his decisions, as well as the possibilities, might be in plain sight.
First, Two Reasons Why Bryce Perkins is Perfect for Week 12, Possibly Beyond
The first reason is obvious, it was just addressed. Stafford’s overall health has to be the priority here even beyond football. And yet, only addressing the football side, the Rams are quickly running out of reasons to press him back into action. Cooper Kupp will be out longer than it usually takes a player to return from a concussion. More importantly, the Rams offensive line woes aren’t expected to miraculously be fixed any time soon. He could get hurt again then again before the season’s end.
The second reason is less important in the bigger picture. Stafford is, like it or not, in the twilight of his career. Additionally, coach McVay is the spearhead of the brightest minds in this generation of the NFL. This doesn’t mean he’s on Andy Reid‘s level yet, he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s got so much to learn. It does mean that one upcoming lesson must be what comes after Stafford. Meaning, there is a growing gap between the Mannings, Bradys, and Staffords coming into the league each year compared to the number of extremely talented Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson. This defining decision lies ahead for him.
With offensive schemes getting more sophisticated and defensive linemen getting bigger, faster, and stronger, McVay has to know the direction the team should be heading toward in order to be competitive consistently. Fortunately, this slow process has already begun. Bryce Perkins has been a valuable opposing quarterback in practices for the defense. And now, he is set to become a much-needed alternative in McVay’s play-calling capability.
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The Rematch of One of the Greatest Games Ever Played
Aah, the game itself — you do remember that 2018 Monday night masterpiece, right? The Jared Goff-led Rams defeated the Chiefs 54-51 and the demand for a rematch reached beyond both cities and fan nations involved. Rather odd that the football gods took so long to bring these two back together. But on to the point at hand.
It was only the second of two games that Goff had that season that qualifies as spectacular. He went on to play in the first McVay-era Super Bowl that year. They lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 13-3 but Goff gained valuable experience that he draws on this year with the Detroit Lions, one of the league’s top-scoring teams in 2022.
The point is, few thought Goff would give Mahomes and the Chiefs the fight of their lives at that time. When you sit back and realize why it happened, you have got to come away with, it was the Chiefs and Goff and the Rams simply got up for it!
The same can and might apply here. Perkins, though lacking the experience of Goff at the time, is no wet-behind-the-ears rookie. He’s already shown the poise and ability to handle the pressure of facing a top-tier team. What’s more, he’s got a more calm and natural ability to adlib off-script than Goff will ever have. All he needs is a full-game chance. The four-quarter experience brings real-time adjustments to early misplays or mistakes. As a pro, he lacks the flow that does the best teaching.
3rd Reason Why Bryce Perkins Should Be The Clear Forward Choice Regardless
Reason #3 has to be because it’s the Chiefs and he’ll be amped up for it. The team has his back and the run game showed signs of being less predictable/defendable. Sure, the odds of the Rams winning the game are slim (current spread: Chiefs +14.5). But imagine a world where the Los Angeles Rams look more like the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens than…well, the 2022 Rams and just about every Jeff Fisher-coached Rams.