Monday, December 3, 2012
Rams' deep passing game not key vs. 49ers
By Mike Sando
This item is a followup to one titled, "Rams' deep passing game key vs. 49ers".
The headline from last week obviously appeared in error. The correct one would have read, "Recovering botched pitch, forcing disputed grounding call and making long field-goal triess key for Rams vs. 49ers."
Kidding aside, the St. Louis Rams' ability to connect on downfield throws was a key variable in both games against the San Francisco 49ers. The success Sam Bradford enjoyed on those throws in Week 10 helped the Rams score 24 points. His lack of success on those throws against the 49ers in Week 13 contributed to a lower-scoring game as St. Louis clawed out a 16-13 victory.
The first chart shows Bradford's stats by pass distance from the Rams' 24-24 tie at San Francisco in Week 10. These plays exclude sacks and other non-throws, inflating the QBR scores for each distance.
The second chart shows Bradford's production by throwing distance against the 49ers on Sunday.
He completed the same number of passes on the same number of attempts as he did against San Francisco last time. He did not have success on deeper passes this time even though deep threat Chris Givens was active for this 49ers game and not the last one.
Receiver Danny Amendola's availability was one variable. He played against the 49ers last time, but not this time. Amendola has good downfield receiving ability. He also attracts attention wherever he goes, opening up downfield opportunities for teammates.
Givens caught 10 of the 11 passes thrown his way Sunday on throws traveling no more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. He gained 16 yards on the lone pass targeting him between 11 and 20 yards downfield. He had no receptions on two deeper attempts.
Givens has five receptions for 255 yards and three touchdowns on 16 targets more than 20 yards downfield.
The 49ers have allowed eight pass plays of 30-plus yards this season. That is tied for fewest in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. The Rams play the Bills in Week 14.