Rams’ playoff shot improving with Matthew Stafford’s health

Two years ago, Matthew Stafford led the Rams to victory in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Super Bowl LXI, which will cap the 2026-27 season, was awarded to the Rams’ home. Stafford, 36, chuckled when asked if he anticipated still playing for the Rams. “I have no idea,” he replied. “That’s a long way away.”

But Stafford expressed that he would welcome the opportunity to play another Super Bowl in his home stadium: “It was cool. … It’s a unique experience, getting able to do that at home. Don’t know what it would be like anywhere else, but it sure was fun getting it done at our place.”

After their Super Bowl victory, the Rams gave Stafford an extension through 2026, but salaries for the final two years are not guaranteed. Stafford is still working on helping the Rams qualify for the NFC playoffs despite their 6-7 record heading into their home game Sunday against the Washington Commanders.

Stafford’s outstanding play since returning from a right thumb injury keyed a three-game winning streak before the loss to the Ravens. In the last three games, he has passed for 10 touchdowns with one interception, giving him 19 touchdowns with nine interceptions this season.

Coach Sean McVay praised Stafford’s exceptional play, stating “He’s a great player, has great command of what he’s seeing.”

Against the Ravens, Stafford connected for touchdowns with receiver Cooper Kupp, tight end Davis Allen, receiver Demarcus Robinson, and receiver Puka Nacua, showcasing his exceptional passing.

With Commanders defense giving up 30.4 points and 266 yards passing per game, Stafford anticipates a challenge but is confident in his ability to navigate any defense.

Historically, this announcement is significant as it marks the first time a Super Bowl has been awarded to a team’s home stadium two years in advance. This creates the potential for Stafford to play in another historic game in his home stadium.

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Image courtesy of Daniel Kucin Jr. / Associated Press.

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