Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Inside job: Bradford, Rams had their way
By Mike Sando
Sam Bradford faced a third-and-10 situation late in the first half Sunday.
The St. Louis Rams quarterback dropped back to pass and had ample time. The Seattle Seahawks rushed only three defenders, dropping eight into coverage.
Bradford stepped forward in the pocket and threw for rookie receiver Brian Quick.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was trailing Quick and made the tackle.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor, generally one of the NFL's hardest hitters, closed quickly from the front side but could not deliver a strong blow. Last season, the league levied a $40,000 fine against Chancellor for an illegal hit on Rams tight end Lance Kendricks. On this play, Chancellor pulled down Quick following a 19-yard gain. The Rams scored on a fake field goal a few plays later.
The Rams won this game for a variety of reasons. Their ability to shut down the Seahawks on third down was one of the leading factors. I was also struck by the Rams' ability to operate offensively down the middle of the field.
Bradford completed only 6 of 16 attempts with an interception when throwing outside the yard-line numbers, but as the chart indicates, he was much more effective working the middle: 10-of-12 passing for 133 yards and an NFL passer rating of 112.8.