Wednesday, September 25, 2013
QB Watch: Rams' Sam Bradford
By Nick Wagoner
A weekly examination of the St. Louis Rams' quarterback play.
Rewind: It was a rough week across the board for the Rams in Dallas, and Sam Bradford was no exception. The Dallas Cowboys roughed him up for six sacks after the Rams hadn't allowed any in the first two games. He managed to finish with 240 yards and a touchdown for a rating of 80.2, but most of that production was cosmetic after the game was out of hand.
Fast-forward: Surprisingly, the 49ers have been much better against the pass than the run so far in 2013, a departure from their M.O. of recent seasons. They’re allowing just 199 yards per game in the air, although that might be as much a function of teams sticking to what works -- in this case, the run -- as the Niners having some sort of lockdown secondary.
The Rams desperately need to establish the run Thursday, but it remains to be seen whether they can do that, which again puts the onus on Bradford to get the air attack rolling.
Get Cookin’: The Week 1 connection of Bradford and tight end Jared Cook generated plenty of excitement but Cook has barely factored in the past two weeks. He posted six catches for 54 yards with no scores after he had seven for 141 and two in the opener. Cook has struggled to shake loose and handle physical press coverage. He doesn’t have to have a career week every week but he needs to be a presence.
Prediction: San Francisco is missing top pass-rusher Aldon Smith and is generally banged up on defense, which should create opportunities for Bradford to have a bounce-back game at home.