QB Watch: Rams' Sam Bradford
October, 9, 2013
By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com
A weekly examination of the St. Louis Rams' quarterback play.
Bradford’s numbers were solid if unspectacular when combined with a 56 percent completion rate. He dropped in a perfect pass to Austin Pettis for a 31-yard touchdown to help close out the Jaguars late.
The Rams rushed for 143 yards and had some balance for the first time, surely helping Bradford and creating a few more play-action opportunities. That was, perhaps, the most encouraging sign for Bradford and the offense to come out of that game.
Fast-forward: Bradford and the Rams got a bit of a breather with Jacksonville in town on Sunday, but a trip to face the league’s top-ranked defense in Houston will provide a more difficult task.
The Texans are allowing just 134.2 yards per game in the air, more than 50 yards fewer than the next-closest team in the league. Behind dominant end J.J. Watt, they’re tied for 11th in sacks with 14 but lead the league in sacks per passing attempt, getting sacks on 11.6 percent of opposing quarterback attempts.
Ball security: Bradford has been fortunate that opponents have missed their share of interception opportunities, but given how many attempts he’s had in 2013, his interception rate has been a definite positive in his game.
Bradford has thrown an interception on 1.4 percent of his attempts, tied with Atlanta’s Matt Ryan for fifth-lowest in the league.
Prediction: This figures to be as difficult a challenge as Bradford will face in the passing game. Watt is the master of the batted pass, and Bradford has had issues in that area. Don’t expect much from Bradford & Co. this week.