- Stafford can sling it. In an unfamiliar setting, Matthew Stafford faced a familiar foe. Starting against the Bears for the 21st time, the former Lions QB debuted as the Rams’ signal-caller2021 NFL season Week 1. From the onset, it was clear there is more punch and possibility to the L.A. offense upon his arrival. Stafford (321 yards, three touchdowns) has clearly developed a quick chemistry with Cooper Kupp (seven catches for 108 yards), whose 56-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter showed what this Rams offense already is and can become. Under the bright L.A. lights of SoFi Stadium, Stafford offered up a stellar season premiere.2021 NFL season Week 1
- It’s Justin time. It’s arduous to take in this game and not come away feeling Justin Fields should be starting at quarterback for the Bears. Chicago lost with Andy Dalton as the starter, while Fields got his shots and shined. Dalton wasn’t terrible (27 of 38 for 206 yards, no touchdowns, an interception), certainly considering the excellence of the opposition. Still, the rookie offers up a more versatile offense and can provide more big-play potential. Fields didn’t get the start, but he got to debut. Fields was the first Bears QB of the season to score a touchdown with his third-quarter run and he presented a solid argument on Sunday that he should be put in place to score the next at the start of Week 2.2021 NFL season Week 1
- Rams’ rush might need a boost. The passing game, the vaunted defense and the special teams were all impressive for L.A. But the Cam Akers-less running game didn’t have a smashing debut. Darrell Henderson had his moments, but if the Rams want to be the second team in a row to win a Super Bowl on their homefield, the rushing attack will have to round into form. Against a formidable Bears defense it’s fair for it to have a 74-yard showing, but as the season rolls along, Stafford’s arm can’t be the only thing opposing defenses are worried about — especially in a top-heavy NFC West in which all four squads won their openers.2021 NFL season Week 1
Next Gen Stat of the game: Matthew Stafford was 7 of 9 for 212 yards, three touchdowns and a 158.3 passer rating on downfield passes (10-plus air yards).
NFL Research: Matthew Stafford’s 156.1 passer rating, per Elias Sports, is the highest passer rating (min. 20 pass attempts) by any player in NFL history in his debut with a new team.