Matthew Stafford Was ‘Fired Up’ By How Well Rams Ran Ball In Second Half Against Cardinals
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford will always look to throw the football, but in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals the run game stole the show. After a sluggish first half that featured no third-down conversations, the Los Angeles Rams finally decided to embrace their running backs in the second half.

Kyren William was able to rip off several explosive runs, while Ronnie Rivers was a solid complement when he got opportunities. Stafford didn’t have to do too much late in the game as the running backs were able to carve up the Cardinals defense.

Stafford was just as happy as anyone to see the running game take off when it did. “It’s awesome,” Stafford said. “I love it. I was so fired up stepping back into the huddle each time with a run play. Those guys were loving it. I was loving it. It was fun. It wasn’t anything too tricky, just kind of line up and go play ball and I was proud of those guys for the way they played.

“Both in the pass game and the run game, the guys up front did a really nice job and our backs ran it great and guys on the perimeter blocked. I mean, for us to run the way we did, everybody has to have their hand in it. We asked Puka to block a defensive end a few times today and he was doing it. The more of that kind of stuff we can get, the better we’re going to be.”

The Rams have lived and died by the pass, but Stafford believes that the offense is going to have to build on the run game going forward. “Each game is different. Each defense is different in how you attack it. I thought we did a great job at halftime of making the adjustments to go out there and play the second half the way we wanted to play it.

“It’s not as easy as lining up and just running the ball all the time. The defenses are going to have their hand in it and we have to do a good job staying on the field on third down, all those kinds of things. Our defense is doing a great job of keeping the score down on the other side of the ball, gave us time to go out there and run it in the second half. But it’s definitely something to build on, but you have to go out there and prove it every single week as we know.”

The offensive line also deserves credit for helping open up running lanes and Stafford gave them some praise as well.

“That’s great. I’ve never been able to block anybody like that in my life so I don’t know what the hell that feels like. It’s got to feel pretty good for them. I imagine being able to lean on people and move them around, do what you want to do, and then our backs running physical, guys on the perimeter, it’s an awesome thing to be a part of and just happy for those guys. They got that done and did a great job in the run game and the pass game.”

Although the backfield had their best showing to date, Stafford might need to go back to shouldering the offensive burden in Week 7 as both Williams and Rivers are dealing with injuries and will be out against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’ll be hard to build on the rushing attack with backups, but Sean McVay needs to still commit to establishing the run.

Matthew Stafford didn’t have conversation with Sean McVay about run/pass balance

There was a noticeable shift in philosophy after halftime, but Stafford said he didn’t talk to McVay about the playcalling.

“No, like I said, I thought it was great to get three right before the half, kind of get a little bit of momentum going. Second half, we were just talking about committing to getting some runs off and letting our guys go and then when you’re getting 15, 12, 10, 6, 5, 15 again, no reason not to keep running it so it was awesome to be a part of that.”