The Los Angeles Rams opened their 2021 season with a 1-0 start following a 34-14 victory over the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium.
It was a game that included plenty of splash plays on offense, and a few takeaways on defense. The Rams entered the game as nine-point favorites and they exceeded those lines by the oddsmakers.
Following the Sunday night contest, players and coaches took to the podium to discuss the Week 1 win.
Here are the best quotes from the Rams' win over the Bears:
Matthew Stafford about his impression in making his Rams debut:
“It was awesome. You know, it was a complete team win. Obviously, our defense did a great job getting the ball back for us three or four times it felt like. Great job on fourth down a couple times turning the ball over. As an offense, it was tough kind of to get into a rhythm the first half. We only had four possessions, but we were explosive on some of those and made some big plays. You know, Sean (McVay) dialed it up great and our guys went out and executed. A lot to learn. Some good to take away from it and keep building on it. Obviously, some plays we’d love to have back like every single game.”
Stafford on his chemistry with teammates:
“Yeah, that’s when we’re going to be at our best, when everyone gets involved in the game. I’m not sure how many different guys had catches, but it felt like a bunch. You know, those guys are talented playmakers. I’ll do it a different way. So I’m trying to do everything I can to make sure those guys are able to show their abilities and go out there and play.”
Stafford on how it felt after his first touchdown throw:
“I was feeling good. You know, that’s a pretty good start. So, I was happy for our team, happy for Van (Jefferson). He’s had a great offseason, a great lead up to the season. And to catch it, fall down, get back up and get in the end zone, that’s a huge play, a huge momentum thing. And especially right after our defense got us a turnover and got us the ball back. A big play after big play is a lot of fun to be a part of. I don’t know, man, I was jacked up and having fun out there.”
Coach Sean McVay on the chemistry with Stafford:
“I thought he did a really good job. And, you know, we only threw it 26 times but he certainly made the most of those plays. And I thought he did a great job. To be able to get all those guys involved, the goal is really to activate all five eligibles. He did a nice job of being able to go where the coverage dictated. I think that’s the most important thing. There’s certainly some things that I know I want to be able to do a better job of moving forward for our offense. But as a start, the most important thing is we’ll take the win.”
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McVay on if he was eager to call deep pass plays:
“Yeah, I don’t know if you’re really eager about it as much as you want to see these guys come out and play well and come away with a win. And that was something that we felt like in this game, what we thought they might play, there was really no inventory. You know, this was Sean Desai’s first game as a defensive coordinator. I thought he did a good job. But that was something that we’ve emphasized. But it doesn’t mean any time we have a shot called, it doesn’t mean shot taken but the third play represented an amazing play by Matthew (Stafford) and by Van (Jefferson) to be able to make it. And Cooper Kupp, you know, you guys can go back and watch him securing the edge is what really enabled it to get off. And you don’t have many receivers making the plays he’s doing in the pass game, doing all that unselfish stuff as well. And that’s one of the things that makes him great.”
McVay on what impressed him most with Stafford:
“I think it was just his steady demeanor throughout the course of the game. Just like you had hoped you would see, that you had seen in practice and that you had seen from afar, but I think the second drive. Their first drive in the second half was what I thought was the most impressive. But now I’m thinking about what an unbelievable job he did progressing, finding Robert Woods on the last touchdown.
So there was multiple things. But I think the overall game management and I think the expectation.
You know, you could just see, there was a look in his eye. He had confidence in his teammates, he expected to play well. And, you know, he did a great job. It’s hard to say that there was one thing. I loved everything that he did tonight.”
McVay on if Stafford met expectations:
“The expectations were for us to win the football game as a team. I’m always interested in putting together all three phases. But I thought he did a nice job controlling what he could control. I was really pleased in the second half. He did a great job of being able to make some conversions. We got some third downs. I thought the fourth down conversion to Van Jefferson on the crossing route in the first half was a big play. But there was a lot of good things and things we can go back and look at. But being right after the game, I was pleased with Matthew (Stafford) and he did a nice job tonight.”
McVay on opening the season with fans in the stands:
“It was electric. I think everybody wants to talk about this stadium. It is an iconic venue that Mr. Kroenke built. But I thought the players did a great job of giving the fans something to get excited about. And they came out. You know, you almost get goosebumps when you walk out for the pregame and you’re kind of just looking at it and you realize how much the fans make the atmosphere and the environment. I can’t even tell you how much better it felt because this is an incredible venue but it’s about these fans. They did a great job and hopefully, we’ll have a lot more like that and it will just continue to build.”
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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.