Five takeaways from Rams’ win over Bears: Yep, Matthew Stafford is a good fit

Matthew Stafford, in Rams uniform, throws the football during warmups.
Matthew Stafford completed 20 of 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns in his Rams debut, a 34-14 win over the Chicago Bears.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

The Rams opened their season with a 34-14 victory over the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium.

Here are five takeaways from the victory.

Matthew Stafford is everything Sean McVay hoped for… and possibly more

New Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford played like a 13th-year pro, deftly executing short, midrange and, perhaps most important, long passes.

In 2020, coach Sean McVay seldom gave Jared Goff opportunities to throw deep.


Stafford showed that would not be an issue.

Embracing an almost childlike joy on the field, Matthew Stafford was huge in his debut, passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears.

Sept. 12, 2021

He delivered passes from various arm slots and demonstrated patience on a fourth-down completion to receiver Van Jefferson and a late touchdown to Robert Woods.

He completed 20 of 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns.

Van Jefferson has taken another step

Van Jefferson showed flashes of separation last season as a rookie.

On Sunday, he played like a veteran.

Jefferson made a heady play when he caught a long pass from Stafford, tumbled to the turf, and then got up and finished the play by running into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.

He also made the clutch fourth-down catch.

The run defense needs improvement

Bears running back David Montgomery rushed for 106 yards, including a 41-yard run early in the game.

Hey, nothing to get be too concerned about … yet. It was, after all, the first game.

Making his Rams debut, Matthew Stafford passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-14 win over the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium.

Sept. 12, 2021

But the Rams play in a division that includes the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will pound the run game with Chris Carson. Kyle Shanahan will do it with multiple 49ers backs.


David Long might fill the slot cornerback void left by Troy Hill

David Long, a third-year pro from Pasadena who played at Loyola High, intercepted a pass that was tipped by linebacker Kenny Young. It was Long’s first interception.

Long nearly intercepted another pass and broke up several plays.

With opponents avoiding Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams, Long will probably be targeted by opposing quarterbacks. But he showed Sunday he was capable of making them pay.

Photos: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns in the Rams’ 34-14 victory over the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium on Sunday night.

Sept. 12, 2021

SoFi Stadium has potential to provide a real home field advantage

With so many transplants from other states, and Los Angeles as an attractive travel destination, there probably always will be large contingents of visiting-team fans in the stadium.

But McVay and his players fed off the energy from the more than 70,000 fans who packed the place for the first time.