Wednesday, October 16, 2013
QB Watch: Rams' Sam Bradford
By Nick Wagoner
A weekly examination of the St. Louis Rams' quarterback play.
Rewind: Sam Bradford attempted 16 passes against Houston on Sunday, but he made them all count as he completed 12 for 117 yards and three touchdowns. The result was a career-high quarterback rating of 134.6.
Those numbers could have been even better had receiver Chris Givens held on to a deep pass that almost certainly would have gone for a touchdown.
Bradford has been in a good groove the past two weeks, throwing six touchdowns and continuing to take care of the ball with no interceptions. His 13 touchdown passes are tied for fourth in the NFL through the first six weeks.
Fast-forward: Bradford and the offense figure to have a difficult test on Sunday, but then the Houston matchup looked tough on paper as well, and the Rams moved the ball fairly easily against the Texans.
Carolina is particularly stout against the run, which could complicate things for Bradford and the Rams. The Rams’ recent surge in the run game has opened things up for Bradford and the pass game, but the onus to throw more could weigh more heavily because of the Panthers' ability to slow the run.
Handling pressure: Before Sunday's game, Bradford hadn’t exactly been productive when defenses brought extra pass-rushers. He turned that around against the Texans, completing all eight of his pass attempts in such scenarios, with all three of his touchdowns coming against the blitz.
Prediction: Bradford faces another tough test on the road this week, but he’s shown a consistent ability to take care of the ball and has taken advantage of teams having to respect the running game. His numbers aren’t likely to be eye-popping, but if he can protect the ball and deliver against pressure again, the Rams could be in position to add another tally to the most important stat of all: victories.