Rams QB Matthew Stafford downplays first playoff victory: 'I'm just excited for our team to get the win'

Matthew Stafford got the playoff monkey off his back, netting the first postseason win in his 186th career game as the Los Angeles Rams destroyed the Arizona Cardinals, 34-11, on Monday night.

Now, Stafford has bigger fish to fry.

"I think it means a lot more to you guys and all that," Stafford said of his first postseason win. "I just want to be a part of this team and help us win. I trust in myself, trust in my abilities, trust in my teammates. I'll go out there and play and let the chips fall where they may."

The 33-year-old quarterback was previously 0-3 in the postseason with the Detroit Lions. However, anyone pinning the Lions' lack of playoff wins on Stafford was simply trolling for sport. But facts are facts, and in the NFL, a QB's legacy is built in the postseason. So, while a wild-card win isn't the ultimate goal, it's the first step in the Rams returning to the Super Bowl.

"Yeah, I mean, I'm just excited for our team to get the win," he said. "Obviously, what a team effort. I mean, our defense played outstanding tonight. Special teams basically set up a score with Johnny (Hekker) pinning them down there. Did a great job on field goals. We were good enough on offense to score some points and come away with a win. Just happy to be moving on."

In his first home playoff game, Stafford wasn't asked to do a ton, going 13-of-17 passing for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns. But when he did uncork it, he was on the money.

Stafford's 154.5 passer rating is the highest by a Rams QB in a playoff game in franchise history. He became the fourth QB in the last 20 postseasons to have a 150-plus passer rating and 200-plus pass yards in a playoff game (Josh Allen in 2021 WC Round; HOF Kurt Warner in 2009 WC Round; and HOF Peyton Manning in 2003 WC Round). And he joined Jim Plunkett (1980 AFC Championship Game) as the only players in the Super Bowl era with a 150-plus passer rating, 200-plus passing yards and 1-plus rushing TD in a playoff game.

"You know, I felt like I was putting the ball in the right place for the majority of the night," he said. "I had to throw one away towards Coop(er) (Kupp) one time. But other than that, I felt like the ball was going to the right place in a pretty good spot. Our guys made great plays. That's how I expect to go out and play every game. It doesn't always happen that way. But just felt good out there, felt comfortable and our team played great."

The Rams didn't trade for Stafford to win a wild-card game. Been there. Done that. The Rams have now won at least one playoff game in three of the last four seasons.

L.A. traded for Stafford to hoist a Lombardi Trophy. Monday night's romp was a roaring team victory, but it was simply the first act in this playoff drama.

"Yeah, I thought he did a great job leading the way," coach Sean McVay said. "He's still the same great player to me, and he always was before this game as well. I think it's good so you guys don't have to talk about that anymore so he can get that one out of the way. But really proud of him. Just so lucky to be able to do this with him. He's our leader. We wouldn't be here without him."

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