Wednesday, September 11, 2013
QB Watch: Rams' Sam Bradford
By Nick Wagoner
A weekly examination of the Rams’ quarterback play.
Rewind: The much-anticipated reveal of an offense with quarterback Sam Bradford as the centerpiece didn’t offer a huge difference from the past, although plenty of wrinkles were added to the mix.
Against Arizona, Bradford threw for 299 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was in command for most of the game and led the Rams to the game’s final 14 points in posting another fourth-quarter comeback win to his growing tally.
Bradford was not without fault, though. He checked down a few times when he had receivers open down the field, threw a pick-six and nearly coughed up a huge fumble late in the game when backed up to the Rams’ 12.
Fast-forward: The Falcons are expected to get veteran cornerback Asante Samuel back from injury to join a group of young corners that gave up big yardage but not many points against New Orleans last week.
The Rams' offensive line didn’t allow a sack last week, and Bradford was hit just six times. If they can provide that same protection against an Atlanta team that had two sacks last week but isn’t known for its pass rush, Bradford should find some favorable matchups.
Spreading it around: Bradford completed passes to seven targets in Week 1, but tight end Jared Cook was clearly his favorite and the most effective. Atlanta will likely look for ways to slow Cook, which could leave some opportunities for Bradford to get receivers like Chris Givens and Tavon Austin more involved.
Prediction: The Falcons probably won’t send the frequent and varied blitzes that Arizona sent at Bradford, but it’s safe to assume they’ll try to find ways to make someone other than Cook beat them. Still, the Falcons don’t have a shutdown corner like Arizona’s Patrick Peterson, and without a dominant pass rush, the matchup should allow for Bradford to again put up solid numbers.