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A look at Rams' (really) deep passing game

12/7/2012

Jim Thomas' piece on Sam Bradford's improvement in the deep passing game matches up with charting from ESPN Stats & Information.

2012 Passes Traveling 36+ Yards Downfield

In 2010 and 2011, Bradford completed 5 of 20 passes for 205 yards with one touchdown, three picks and a 46.9 NFL passer rating on throws traveling more than 35 yards past the line of scrimmage. That gave Bradford the third-lowest rating among 17 quarterbacks with enough attempts to qualify for inclusion.

Fast-forward to this season and the numbers on these extremely deep passes look like this for Bradford: 6 of 16 passing for 299 yards with three touchdowns, no picks and a 125.0 passer rating that trails only Matt Schaub's 135.4 mark. Bradford also ranks third in Total QBR on these throws, up from 15th over his previous two seasons.

The chart compares the Rams' stats on these throws to how Week 14 opponent Buffalo has fared against them. These are infrequently thrown passes, but when they connect, a game can change in an instant. The Bills have allowed only one such completion all season, a 41-yarder to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Danario Alexander (three), Brandon Lloyd (two) and Mark Clayton (one) accounted for all six of Bradford's connections on these throws over the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Rookie Chris Givens already has five for 255 yards and three touchdowns. Danny Amendola has the other one, good for a 44-yard gain.