Monday, October 14, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Bradford burns blitzes
By Nick Wagoner
HOUSTON -- Sam Bradford couldn't think of the last time he threw only 16 passes in a game, not that he had any problem with his workload in the Rams' 38-13 win Sunday over the Houston Texans.
"That’s got to be the lowest of my career by far, and I’m perfectly fine with that," Bradford said. "There’s no way we only threw it 16 times in college. We were throwing it all over the place. I think that just speaks volume about our run game, the guys up front and our defense. Obviously, I think the score kind of dictated some of the play calling at the end, but I thought we were very efficient in the pass game today and the run game was awesome."
To say Bradford and the Rams were efficient in the pass game against the Texans would qualify as an understatement. Not much was asked of Bradford, but he certainly over-delivered given the opportunities he had. By any measure of the word, Bradford had a successful outing against Houston, going 12-of-16 for 117 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 134.6. And Bradford's QBR of 93.2 was the highest among all starting quarterbacks in Sunday's games.
Making Bradford's performance more impressive was how he handled the variety of blitzes the Texans threw at him. Loosely defined as sending five or more pass rushers, the Texans blitzed eight times. Bradford got off a pass attempt on each of those blitzes and completed the pass every time. The total damage against the blitz: 8-for-8 and all three of his touchdown tosses, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Since the start of 2008, Bradford is one of only six quarterbacks to complete at least eight passes against added pressure without an incompletion. He joined Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Brett Favre as the only ones to do it while throwing multiple touchdowns.
The numbers weren't eye-popping, but there's little doubt that Bradford had one of his best games of the season and handled pressure better than any point in his career.
Our daily roundup of Rams' stories from right here at ESPN.com on Sunday. ... We started with a little rapid reaction, followed by some locker room buzz and then a look back at three things. ... From there, we took a deeper look at the Rams' emerging personality and then further examined the value of winning the takeaway battle as a method to win games.
Over at stltoday.com, Jim Thomas details the Rams' victory against Houston. Thomas also looks at the reaction of the Rams and Texans to the cheering that occurred when Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was injured.
Columnist Bryan Burwell writes that Rams coach Jeff Fisher knew exactly how to turn the tide for his team.
Jeff Gordon offers his weekly grades, with higher marks for the Rams than in recent weeks.