Five takeaways from Rams’ win: Matthew Stafford is a good choice

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

Here are five takeaways from winning.

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

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

In 2020, coach Sean McVay rarely gave Jared Goff the opportunity to throw deep.

Stafford showed it wouldn’t be a problem.

He delivered passes from various arm pitches and showed patience with a completed fourth down to wide 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 a new step

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

Sunday he played like a veteran.

Jefferson made an exhilarating play when he caught a long pass from Stafford, tumbled onto the turf, then stood up and finished the game by running into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.

He also took up the clutch in fourth position.

Running defense needs to be improved

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

Hey, there’s nothing to be too worried about… yet. It was, after all, the first game.

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

David Long could fill cornerback void left by Troy Hill

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

Long nearly intercepted another pass and interrupted several plays.

With opponents avoiding Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams, Long will likely be targeted by opposing quarterbacks. But he showed on Sunday that he was able to make them pay.

SoFi Stadium has the potential to deliver a real advantage on the pitch

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

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

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