Matthew Stafford threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns on debut for the Los Angeles Rams; David Montgomery topped 100 yards rushing and found the endzone for the Chicago Bears – as did rookie QB Justin Fields – but the visitors offered little else

Last Updated: 13/09/21 6:06am

Matthew Stafford was hugely impressive on his Los Angeles Rams debut, throwing for 321 yards and three TDs

Matthew Stafford was hugely impressive on his Los Angeles Rams debut, throwing for 321 yards and three TDs

Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes as he got his Los Angeles Rams career off to a successful start with a convincing 34-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

Story of the Game

The Rams, on the whole, made light work of a timid Bears team in their 2021 season opener at SoFi Stadium, with Stafford’s three touchdown tosses – two of them deep strikes down the field – proving the difference.

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In sharp contrast, Chicago quarterback Andy Dalton endured a rough first outing for his new team, with the former Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys QB sacked three times and picked off once.

Chicago did, however, find some joy on the ground, David Montgomery topping 100 yards rushing and finding the endzone once – as did rookie QB Justin Fields – but, despite controlling the time of possession, the Bears barely threatened to come back at any stage.

Stats leaders

Bears

  • Passing: Andy Dalton, 27/38, 206 yards, 1 INT
  • Rushing: David Montgomery, 16 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD
  • Receiving: Marquise Goodwin, four catches, 45 yards

Rams

  • Passing: Matthew Stafford, 20/26, 321 yards, 3 TDs
  • Rushing: Darrell Henderson, 16 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD
  • Receiving: Cooper Kupp, seven catches, 108 yards, 1 TD

MVPs

This one belonged to Stafford. It was a statement performance by the signal-caller on debut. And, given the haul given up by the Rams to get their guy this offseason – a package involving sending Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round pick and two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to Detroit – on this evidence, it was a more than justified move.

He has some array of weapons to spread the ball to, but Kupp already looks to be a particular favourite, with the pair showing a good understanding between one another. Meanwhile, on defense, Aaron Donald had another hugely disruptive game in leading an L.A. defensive front that consistently harassed Dalton.

Montgomery was a bright spark for the Bears, however, with his 108 yards off just 16 carries all the more impressive considering the ferocious defense he was facing.

Scoring Summary

Scoring summary

FIRST QUARTER
Bears 0-7 Rams Matthew Stafford 67-yard pass to Van Jefferson (extra point)
Bears 0-10 Rams Matt Gay 53-yard field goal
SECOND QUARTER
Bears 0-13 Rams Matt Gay 22-yard field goal
Bears 7-13 Rams David Montgomery three-yard TD run (extra point)
THIRD QUARTER
Bears 7-20 Rams Matthew Stafford 56-yard TD pass to Cooper Kupp (extra point)
Bears 14-20 Rams Justin Fields three-yard TD run (extra point)
Bears 14-27 Rams Darrell Henderson one-yard TD run (extra point)
FOURTH QUARTER
Bears 14-33 Rams Matthew Stafford two-yard TD pass to Robert Woods (extra point)

Key Moments

After Dalton was intercepted by David Long off a tipped ball on the opening series of the game, former Detroit Lions quarterback Stafford promptly picked out a wide open Van Jefferson deep down the field for a 67-yard touchdown with just his second throw in a Rams uniform.

Los Angeles added a further two Matt Gay field goals onto their score either side of a Dalton fumble, before the Bears finally got going with a Montgomery score up the gut from three yards shortly before half-time.

The two teams traded in touchdowns in each of their third-quarter possessions, with Stafford firstly finding joy deep down the field once more, with Kupp this time the beneficiary off a 56-yard scoring strike.

Fields came into the game and score on a goal line run for the Bears, but the Rams added some extra gloss onto the scoreline as both Henderson and Robert Woods found the endzone late in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

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