QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
HT: 6-4, WT: 236, Born: 11-8-1987, College: Oklahoma, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 1
|Outlook • Career Statistics • Game Logs • Split Stats • Play-by-play • Latest News|
Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: R Tannehill (174), M Sanu (175), Sam Bradford (176),
Position: M Schaub (154-QB21), R Tannehill (174-QB22), Sam Bradford (176 - QB23), C Palmer (183-QB24), J Locker (190-QB25)
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Sam Bradford has the same offensive coordinator in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his career. The Rams have surrounded Bradford with a core of young players on offense. As one of the better pure arm talents in the league, Bradford carries the St.Louis offense to new heights with his best group of skill position players to-date.
The Rams have struggled to protect Bradford in his three seasons, leading to a low completion rate and plenty of sacks. Jake Long was signed to bolster a weak offensive line unit, but has struggled to stay healthy. In addition to gambling on Long, the Rams are banking on a group of offensive weapons littered with first and second-year players. Without a track record of success and production, these young players have a wide range of possible results. Jared Cook has struggled to put together more than a few games of quality production in a season. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are rookie receivers that historically have long odds to be difference-makers in their first NFL season. There are many question marks on offense that create a wide range of outcomes. Bradford has not approached 4,000 passing yards or 25 touchdowns in a season. Outside of his best case scenario, he has an uphill climb to see a marked improvement from his 2012 production.
With a crowded quarterback position ahead of him, Bradford needs to maximize his opportunities in the passing game. He lacks the rushing production of the mobile quarterbacks in the league, making a high volume of pass attempts an absolute necessity to reach his peak. The Rams focused on adding much-needed weapons to the offense this offseason with Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, and Zac Stacy. With adequate protection, Bradford will have his best chance to become a high-level quarterback in 2013.
Latest NewsRams | Austin in for a sizable role? (Mon May 6, 06:55 PM) - In 2012 the Rams targeted a wide receiver lined up in the slot position 40.5% of the time, third highest rate in the NFL. With Danny Amendola (Patriots) moving on in free agency that slot role goes to first-round pick Tavon Austin. Our View: Austin was the first WR off the board in this year's draft class for good reason. He's a tremendous weapon with excellent quickness, speed, and agility in the open field. Austin could be in for a bigger role than some think. The selection of Austin had to make QB Sam Bradford happy.
link to story Rams | Rookie WR duo all about YAC (Mon May 6, 06:49 PM) - Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin led the NCAA in yards after the catch (947) in 2012. Fellow college teammate (and now Rams teammate as well) WR Stedman Bailey was third in the NCAA with 660 yards after the catch. Our View: What a brilliant move by the Rams to add both playmakers in the 2013 NFL draft. Austin reminds some in the scouting community of Randall Cobb (Packers) because of his run after the catch ability and elusiveness in the open field. Bailey will be relied on as a big play WR on the outside. Both enhance the caliber of weapons around QB Sam Bradford.
link to story
|2||at Atlanta Falcons|
|3||at Dallas Cowboys|
|4||San Francisco 49ers|
|6||at Houston Texans|
|7||at Carolina Panthers|
|10||at Indianapolis Colts|
|13||at San Francisco 49ers|
|14||at Arizona Cardinals|
|15||New Orleans Saints|
|16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|17||at Seattle Seahawks|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Sam Bradford posted modest numbers against an average defense in Detroit on Sunday without the aid of a legitimate running threat. Bradford threw no interceptions and kept his team in the game at all times. Bradford was decisive in the pocket, had good protection for the most part of the game and kept WR Amendola heavily involved. He spread the ball well when he could but the Rams limited options at WR and TE could only do so much in Detroit. Bradford played with confidence and threw many strikes down the seam and over the middle of the field, targeting mostly WR Amendola who always seemed to be open. Bradford found WR Givens deep down the field on a beautiful streak pass but his WR literally dropped the ball on this and it fell incomplete. Bradford was accurate for the most part but did miss WR Amendola running down the sideline for a potential big play. His only turnover came on a blind-sided sack and strip of the ball as he got hit from behind and coughed it up. Bradford’s only touchdown came late in the game as he threw a perfect over-the-shoulder fade route pattern to WR Gibson down the sideline for the score. Bradford had to carry this team on Sunday and would have had to play an almost perfect game for them to win, even though the Rams won the turnover battle also. The rest of the team must elevate and play up to Bradford’s level, this loss was not his fault. The lack of playmakers elsewhere on the team was also quite evident for Bradford and St. Louis will struggle until they find some more. The Rams also stayed committed to the running game which took a bite out of QB Bradford’s numbers.
Week 2 - Admittedly, the former Heisman trophy winner out of Oklahoma had some tough sledding last season, throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns and suffering from a high ankle sprain for a considerable amount of the season. It should come as no surprise that a full offseason to recover has Bradford back in the saddle and poised to regain the form of his rookie season. While he was quietly efficient in Week 1 against the Lions, Bradford shined against the Redskins, hanging three hundred and ten passing yards and three touchdowns on the Washington defense for a Rams victory. St. Louis Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer developed a game plan revolving around quick, rhythmic passing to hit the holes in the Washington’s zone coverage scheme. Bradford ended the day completing an efficient twenty-six of his thirty-five pass attempts in what appeared to be a ball-control passing offense. Most of his throws were of the three-step dropback variety, hitting his receivers in stride. He hit six different receivers on Sunday, though his two biggest plays came on a Danny Amendola fifty-six yard catch-and-run and a savvy touch pass to Brandon Gibson for a thirty-four yard Rams touchdown. Bradford’s pass to Gibson was easily his signature play of the day. Showing great patience – and benefiting from a clean pocket – Bradford let the play develop and lofted an accurate ball to Gibson on a slant-and-go route. Gibson hauled it in to give the Rams the lead early in the third quarter. It is worth noting that Bradford missed another touchdown opportunity on another touch pass to Gibson on the Rams’ first offensive possession, though Gibson was unable to get his feet down. Instant replay indicated Gibson did in fact have possession and both feet in the end zone, but Jeff Fisher decided not to challenge the call. Bradford showed patience and savvy in his other touchdown passes as well, hitting Danny Amendola between the numbers for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and allowing tight end Matthew Mulligan to slip past the Washington defense for a one-yard touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Credit Schottenheimer for developing an ideal gameplan to take advantage of the Redskins’ defensive scheme, as well as the Rams’ offensive line, which dealt with a couple injuries in the game, for assisting Bradford in a nice game, but Bradford held his own in the Rams’ home opener. “Poise in the pocket” is such a dreadfully overused sportswriter cliché, but Bradford had it on Sunday. His lone interception came on an end zone pass intended for Steve Smith – Redskins linebacker London Fletcher slid in front of Smith, and Bradford, who did not see Fletcher in front of Smith, tossed it into Fletcher’s hands for a Rams turnover. The mistake was purely mental, as Bradford benefited from a clean pocket and, unencumbered, Bradford did not see Fletcher when he targeted Smith.
Week 3 - Sam Bradford had a pretty good game. For a guy who was constantly under pressure with no running game and was the object of a week and a half of frustration from the Chicago defense. The Bears didn’t even need to blitz to put pressure on him, getting great play from their rotating front four. They sacked Bradford six times and intercepted him twice in the 4th quarter, including one for a TD. To his credit, Bradford maintained his poise as best as possible and looked like a better QB than Jay Cutler did on the other side of the ball. The Chicago defense was just too strong and too fast. They would frequently show blitz, then drop into coverage. While Bradford marched through his progressions, the Bears came with pressure up the gut and around the edge. It didn’t help that his running backs only had 45 yards rushing the ball. They simply couldn’t slow down the pass rush. Both of Bradford’s interceptions came in the 4th quarter, and both were caused by the solid play of Chicago CB Tim Jennings. On the first, Bradford threw a quick slant to Danny Amendola, but Jennings got into position and blocked the ball. It skipped into the waiting hands of Major Wright who returned it 45 yards for the TD. On the final series of the game, with under two minutes to play, Bradford went deep down the sideline to Brandon Gibson but the ball was off target and Jennings was right there to make the grab. It ended any chance the Rams had of getting back in the game. It also didn’t help that Brandon Gibson and Lance Kendricks both dropped passes at key points in the game. It was really a testament to how well the Chicago defense played. A couple of the sacks on Bradford were really coverage sacks, where the Chicago front four just got to him too fast. One of Israel Idonije’s sacks was actually due to the guard stepping on Bradford’s foot as he dropped back to pass, and he fell down for the easy sack. Bradford also had a nice 10 yard run just before the half – a scramble to avoid the sack as the pocket collapsed and Bradford was able to extend the drive that eventually led to a field goal. His best pass came at the start of the third quarter – where Danny Amendola lined up in the slot and broke straight up field. Bradford placed the ball a little high, but Amendola made a great catch in stride and turned it into a big 30 yard gain. It was the biggest offensive play of the day for the Rams.
Week 4 - The third year QB had a very up and down afternoon facing a very physical and imposing defense. He finished 16 of 30 for 221 yards with 0 TDs and 1 INT, and often looked uncomfortable in the pocket behind an extremely weak offensive line. Bradford’s best throw of the day came in the first quarter on a go route to rookie WR Chris Givens for a massive 52 yard pick up. From there, things went downhill. He forced too many passes into tight windows and easily could have had 2 or 3 more interceptions on the day. Seattle’s front 7 dominated the line and Bradford was clearly uncomfortable in the pocket rushing throws and missing his targets for much of the second half, while taking two sacks. One telling stat however was his ability to convert on third down. All five of the Rams 3rd down conversions were greater than 10 yards, all of which he was given ample protection to scan the field and find his targets. Sam Bradford will need better play from both his offensive line and WRs to statistically improve. His role of ‘game manager’ was evident here as the Rams played conservatively to control the clock and protect the lead rather than attack a strong defense.
Week 5 - Bradford came out of the gates firing. His first two passes were complete and all of a sudden the Rams were in the red zone. Also, his first five plays are passes, with four different targets, a rush for positive yardage, and ending in a TD to Kendricks,. Bradford showed nice mobility, good vision and instinct to move when the pocket collapsed. When scrambling, though, he also showed poise, as in the opening drive scoring play, which he threw on the run. He was making very bold throws – and was very precise, really threading the needle on a few. His interception wasn’t a bad play at all; under pressure, Bradford threw to the corner of the end zone, and the defender made an incredibly athletic play. The downside here is that he without Amendola, Bradford struggled, and had to deal with several drops from other receivers On his long TD pass to Givens, he had tons of time, and threw very accurately.
Week 6 - The Rams offense moved the ball quite well against the Dolphins, but had few points to show for their efforts. Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein missed three field goals on the day, two from long range, but they were made longer by Bradford taking untimely sacks. Bradford routinely got rid of the ball before the Miami pressure could get to him, but in the key moments, Bradford seemed to freeze. His primary target would be covered and Bradford failed to quickly progress to another receiver or simply throw the ball away. The offense rarely had chances in the red zone in this game. Despite 300 yards of offense in the first half, the Rams mustered just six points off of four field goal attempts. Bradford’s arm talent was present numerous times this week with great power and accuracy despite tight coverage on his receivers. Those skills were on display when Bradford hit Chris Givens deep against tight double coverage. It was definitely a wow-type throw. Play-action worked well for Bradford most of the day, creating space over the middle of the field. The usually pocket-dwelling Bradford had one of his most productive rushing performances in his career. He picked up multiple first downs with his scrambles and had a touchdown sneak from the 1-yard-line for the Rams’ lone score on the day. With Danny Amendola out, the lack of weapons surrounding Bradford was quite apparent in obvious passing situations. Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens were the sole playmakers in the passing game against Miami.
Week 7 - The former number one overall draft pick in 2010 looks like a shell of his rookie self at the controls of the Rams offense. St. Louis did a solid job of pass protection for Bradford and kept a relatively clean pocket for its quarterback. However, Bradford put on his Blaine Gabbert Halloween costume nearly two weeks early, appearing skittish for four quarters. He did complete over sixty percent of his passes for two hundred and fifty-five yards, but never really appeared comfortable against the Packers. Bradford under or overthrew his receivers on a sizable amount of his pass attempts, but often Rams receivers could corral Bradford’s errant tosses into their hands. His lone touchdown pass to Austin Pettis came during the smelliest portion of garbage time – with fifteen seconds left and the Rams down by seventeen. Bradford’s longest pass of the day actually came on a catch-and-run by Chris Givens rather than a deep throw. His only interception on the day came on an underthrown pass intended for Givens. Packers cornerback Casey Hayward snagged it for his league-leading fourth interception. St. Louis’ passing attack is bereft of difference-makers – the Rams seem to have five of the same player starting at wide receiver. A lack of playmakers hurts Bradford’s chances to increase his confidence and decision-making abilities. Given that dynamic wide receivers do not grow on trees, it would benefit St. Louis to continue using a quick, rhythmic style of passing attack to get the offense clicking while wearing away at the defense with its effective ground game. Bradford is not hampered by an injury of any sort, and St. Louis has a decent enough defense to keep the Rams in most of their games. Bradford appeared –at least against the Packers – to lack trust in himself to extend plays or allow his receivers to make them. He often looked to check down simply to keep the Rams on offense.
Week 8 - Bradford played about as well as the Rams could have asked for during the first 2 ½ quarters and his team still had no chance to compete. On the first drive, Bradford was 3/3 including a perfectly thrown bomb to Chris Givens for a 50 yard touchdown pass. Other than the deep pass to Pettis, nearly all of Bradford’s passes early were of the short variety with led to him completing 15 of his 16 attempts in the first half. His timing and ball placement was impeccable in the half and his line for the most part provided good protection. Only the Rams could stop the Rams in the first half and they did so with a fumble and botched snap on a field goal. Things got a little bit more difficult on Bradford in the second half as the Patriots turned up the pressure and focused heavily on stopping the short routes. On the Rams final drive of the third quarter Bradford finally started getting receivers open downfield, or at least one. He connected on passes of 16 and 22 yards to Brandon Gibson but the drive ended with another sack. Bradford played just one more drive, which ended with his only interception. He was crushed between two defenders on the throw which led to the pass being well short and easily intercepted.
Week 10 - Bradford had a strong game, especially in regards to his decision making. When he had time, Bradford went threw his reads and threw to the open man, whether they were running short or medium routes. The first touchdown is a perfect example: when given time Bradford saw Quick wide open on the sideline and delivered an accurate pass, allowing his receiver to catch the ball in stride and make a play for the touchdown. When Bradford was pressured, he often threw to his safety valve or short option and let his skill players do the rest. His second touchdown was a short route under heavy pressure, with Patrick Willis shooting through the A gap, about to hit Bradford. A much-needed Jackson chip gave Bradford enough time to throw an extremely accurate pass to Pettis just as the receiver cut in to the middle of the end zone. The accuracy to make all the short and medium throws was consistent throughout, but on the one deep throw he made to Amendola in regulation, Bradford badly under threw his receiver. He made up for it on the first play of overtime, launching a perfect deep ball that allowed Amendola to run underneath to make the catch and gain 80 yards. Unfortunately for Bradford, the play was nullified by an illegal formation penalty, but the accuracy was there, as well as Bradford’s apparent mind meld with Amendola. The timing of the quarterback and receiver was so well synced that when Amendola sat out for most of the 2nd quarter to check an injury, the offense sputtered. But when Amendola was playing, Bradford elevated his game and was willing to thread the tightest needles to get the ball to his favorite receiver, throws that Bradford wasn’t willing to venture with any of the others.
Week 11 - After putting together four consecutive solid outings, Bradford crashed back to Earth in a big way on Sunday. Despite completing two touchdown passes, Bradford had trouble throwing the ball downfield for almost the entire day. He hooked with Austin Pettis on a 36-yard strike down the seam on the first possession of the game, the Rams’ best drive, but it was all downhill after that. He checked down repeatedly throughout the afternoon and even some of those were off target, as was the case with his interception, a telegraphed pass to his tight end that Erik Smith could easily make a play on. His first touchdown couldn’t have been easier, as he had both Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola open in the endzone, next to each other. His second touchdown was a good touch pass to the corner to Gibson, but it came in garbage time, as the Rams were in full comeback mode. After showing great promise with his accuracy and arm over the past month, hopefully this was just a case of being out of sync and unable to get in a rhythm. With tough matchups with the Niners, Seahawks, and Cardinals still to go this season, Bradford will have to put this performance in his rearview mirror quickly.
Week 12 - Sam Bradford completed eight passes, but those completions proved to be big plays. During the first half, Bradford wasn't helped by his receiving corps inability to gain separation and his offensive line who were consistently allowing the Cardinals to get pressure on the pocket. Bradford survived the first half, with just one big mistake. He threw an interception to Patrick Peterson over the middle in the endzone. Bradford needed to understand the situation better and take more care of the football. He cost his team points by trying to fit the ball into too tight of a window. From then on however, Bradford just put points on the board. A big reception to Danny Amendola had been the highlight of the day, but Amendola was very limited so Bradford instead looked to Chris Givens as his go-to receiver. Givens repeatedly made big plays, but his biggest came off a perfect throw from Bradford under pressure. Bradford instantly recognized the single coverage against Givens down the left sideline, and even though he couldn't fully step into the throw, he hit Givens in stride over a defender in tight coverage for the touchdown. Bradford's other touchdown was much easier as a play-action fake created plenty of space for Lance Kendricks across the field. Bradford hit him in stride before Kendricks beat a safety with a stiff arm to get into the endzone. Bradford didn't have to carry his offense on the day, as two big touchdowns from Janoris Jenkins on defense and the strong running of Steven Jackson made it easy on the quarterback. He did however make the plays that ultimately decided the difference in the football game.
Week 13 - There were a number of factors that held Bradford’s game back: his receivers’ inability to gain separation, a running game that was mostly ineffective, and a healthy amount of pass rush from San Francisco. Nevertheless, Bradford was able to find success on short, quick throws to his receivers. His most consistent target was Chris Givens, and Bradford threw to the rookie in almost every situation, including the rare deep ball. Though Bradford’s deep throws were accurate, the coverage was often too tight and Givens was unable to get behind. Bradford had much more success on quick slants, delivering accurate throws on time. Often his receivers were unable to gain separation, which made the absence of Danny Amendola even more glaring. This forced Bradford to rely more on dump off passes than any medium or long routes. Bradford’s best throw, and most difficult, came on a 4th down in the red zone. With Isaiah Pead underneath to pull coverage, Pettis broke to the corner of the end zone where Bradford threw a perfect ball in to Pettis’ hands. However, San Francisco was in tight enough coverage that even though Bradford’s pass was right on, Chris Culliver was able to tear the ball from Pettis’ hands for an incompletion. Bradford also had a good throw on St. Louis’ two point conversion. With the offense backed up to the 7 yard line after a false start penalty, Bradford threw an accurate ball underneath to Lance Kendricks, and the tight end caught the pass in stride and dove across the goal line to convert. Bradford also showed a good amount of speed and awareness on the final drive, scrambling through the space in the middle on two back-to-back plays for long gains to get St. Louis in position to tie the game.
Week 14 - Like three previous QBs to face the revitalized Bills’ defense, Bradford really struggled outside of two lengthy drives. Pressure and poor throws abound, Bradford had four three and outs in the Rams’ first five drives (with a four and out on the other), including an abysmal 2/7 throwing the ball (for nine yards). Bradford finally found some rhythm on the sixth drive, kicked off by a nice catch from Chris Givens. Clearly some issues with chemistry early, Givens was running an out when Bradford’s throw suggested he expected Givens to sit. The throw was well behind the WR, but he made a tremendous adjustment on the pass picking up 13 yards. Like the Rams’ DBs, Bradford and Brandon Gibson took advantage of some sagging coverage on the following play, picking up 11 yards on the quick shot. After a short hit to Austin Pettis on a five-yard curl, Bradford made his lone mistake of the day. Trying to hit Lance Kendricks on the out, S Bryan Scott deflected the pass and Stephon Gilmore was able to snatch the pass out of the air. Gilmore returned the INT for a TD, but the Rams were saved by a phantom holding call on the return. Given the penalty break, Bradford continued his rhythm from the prior drive on the Rams’ opening drive of the 2nd half. After Bradford opened with a quick hit to Pettis for four yards, he hit Brian Quick on a short crosser for six yards four plays later. Three plays later Bradford went back to Gibson on back-to-back throws, picking up 22 and 16 yards, with a pretty back shoulder throw on the latter play. Bradford threw a quick screen to Givens on the next play, just missing a TD as Givens was shoved out at the one-yard line after picking up eight yards on the play. The drive put the Rams ahead for the first time despite being outplayed severely in the 1st half. Bradford and the offense went back to struggling as the defense promptly relinquished the lead to Buffalo. Bradford opened the next drive with a 12-yard out to Kendricks and followed the completion up with an 11-yard scramble on 3rd and nine to extend the drive. The drive fizzled, however, and the Rams were forced to punt. Bradford’s long came on the following drive, a 24-yard pass to Gibson after a nice double move. However, Bradford underthrew the very open Gibson and missed what could have been a much bigger play. Four plays later, St. Louis was forced to punt. The following drive was even worse, as Bradford missed on back-to-back throws and the offense went three and out. Taking over at their own 15 with just under five minutes to work with, Bradford put together another TD-scoring drive, killing nearly all five minutes in the process. After two incompletions on his first two throws, Bradford connected with Kendricks down the seam for 22 yards. Two plays later, Bradford and Jackson connected on a short crosser for nine yards. George Wilson just missed an INT on Bradford’s next throw to Givens, forcing a 4th down play for the offense. Bradford went to Pettis on a quick slant and the WR made a great adjustment on the poor throw, which was behind him, reaching back for the nine-yard catch. With newfound life, Bradford nearly threw another INT to Wilson two throws later, but dodged another bullet as the pass fell incomplete. Facing a 3rd and 10, Bradford and Gibson connected for 15 yards. The coverage was there, but the throw made it through and Gibson showed nice concentration to complete the catch. After Bradford’s next throw was batted down at the line of scrimmage, Bradford completed his best throw of the day. Gibson ran a post and Bradford perfectly touched the throw over the coverage, into Gibson’s waiting arms in the back of the end zone. Bradford’s performance was ugly, and like Fitzpatrick was battered by the defense, but when the game was on the line, he and his receivers delivered.
Week 15 - Bradford made some nice throws when given time early on, but he was under pressure on many occasions before throwing a touchdown pass to Brian Quick. Not only did Bradford throw a beautiful pass to Quick for the touchdown, but he made the call from under center to switch plays to take advantage of the Vikings' defensive formation. It was a kill rather than an audible. On the very next drive however, Bradford fumbled a quarterback-center exchange and allowed the defense to come up with the recovery deep in Rams' territory. The Vikings only scored a field goal after that turnover, but a touchdown off a Bradford turnover soon followed. The Vikings sent a disguised blitz attacking the left of the Rams' offense, which meant Everson Griffin dropped into coverage on the opposite side of the field. Bradford threw the ball straight to Griffin as he tried to hit a slant over the middle. Pressure was closing in on Bradford which forced him to make a quick decision and rarely did that pressure ever let up, as he was immediately sacked on the very next play also. Even with max protection two plays later, Bradford was again sacked. Even though the Vikings weren't consistently sacking Bradford, the pressure destroyed their offensive efficiency in the first half. Bradford led a good drive down the field during the two minutes before the half, but missed Chris Givens wide open down the right sideline for what would have been an easy touchdown. To be fair to Bradford, he initially stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure but couldn't step into the throw as a defender was in his face when he let the ball go. Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Amendola in the fourth quarter after he rolled out of the pocket and threw an outstanding pass across his body to the back of the endzone.
Week 16 - There were some good moments and some bad moments for Bradford, as the offense took advantage of good field position from turnovers, but was largely held in check by a physical Tampa Bay defense. At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, Bradford ran play-action and threw deep right to Danny Amendola, but instead of going over the one-on-one coverage, Bradford threw to the inside. The corner had inside position on Amendola and was able to make the interception easily. Bradford was able to make some nice medium length throws in the first half, such as a corner route to Gibson to the left. The receiver was tightly covered, but Bradford was able to put the ball on the outside shoulder for a long gain. On another play, Bradford threw a great ball while heavily pressured to Gibson on a medium post route, hitting the receiver in stride. But Bradford struggled in the short passing game as Tampa Bay played tight coverage and the receivers were unable to separate. There was also a bad decision in the 1st half to throw to a double covered seam, but the two undercutting defenders were unable to make the interception. However, Tampa Bay turnovers allowed St. Louis to jump to an early lead, and the first play of the 2nd half widened the margin enough for St. Louis to lean more on the run. On that play, Bradford ran a play-action that pulled the linebackers in. With Kendricks running in to the seam, Bradford threw a great ball down the middle to his tight end. Both safeties were split to the side and Kendricks was able to sprint downfield for an 80 yard touchdown. Soon after, Josh Freeman threw another interception that set St. Louis up with a short field, and Bradford was able to throw his second touchdown of the day. From the 5 yard line, Bradford ran a play-action that opened the seam over the middle, and Austin Pettis was able to cut through. The timing was perfect as Bradford delivered the ball to Pettis in stride.
Week 17 - Facing one of the league’s best defenses in arguably the league’s most imposing venue, Bradford and the St. Louis Rams gave Seattle everything it could handle on Sunday. A struggle early, Bradford and the offense only mustered one first down in their first three drives and were pinned deep in their own territory. However, with a little better field position, Bradford settled down on the Rams’ 4th drive. After opening with a short toss to TE Lance Kendricks on a crosser for eight yards, Bradford went to Steven Jackson on short dump for five yards. Facing a 3rd and five two plays later, Bradford delivered a perfect slant to Chris Givens who made the first guy miss and turned the short throw into a 37-yard gain that went deep into Seattle territory. Bradford went to Austin Pettis over the middle two plays later and despite the pass being tipped at the line of scrimmage, Pettis was able to make the two-yard TD grab. A bad drop from Pettis spoiled the next drive, forcing another three and out, but Bradford’s confidence did not waver at all. Short on time, Bradford quickly moved the offense down the field with short throws to Jackson and Danny Amendola before hitting Brandon Gibson for 21 yards on a deep post to get into FG range just before half. Bradford’s solid play continued in the 2nd half, as he worked the offense down the field again on the Rams’ opening drive. After two short hits to Jackson and Daryl Richardson, Bradford threw an eight-yard dart to Pettis on 3rd and seven. The very next play, Bradford play faked and booted right, hitting Givens again deep down the field for 17 yards. Amendola picked up five on Z-route before the drive stalled with an incompletion to Gibson, but the Rams were able to extend their lead with a FG. Now trailing, and fighting a revitalized crowd, Bradford and the offense continued to find plays. Back to back 12-yard completions to Gibson had the Rams into the red zone, with a 10-yard completion to Kendricks two plays later giving St. Louis 1st and goal from the Seattle five-yard line. Bradford threw long to Amendola in the end zone two plays later before a bad delay of game penalty on 3rd down put the offense in an even longer 3rd and goal. The drive stalled, but the Rams were able to tie the game at 13. With the game still tied and an opportunity to take the lead, penalties again hurt Bradford and the Rams’ offense. After opening the drive with a 15-yard pass to Pettis, Bradford nearly had a costly fumble. Dropping back to throw on 2nd down, Bradford was hit just as he released the ball. Initially ruled a fumble (which Seattle had returned for a TD), the play was overturned and a holding penalty was assessed. After an ugly attempt on a quick screen to Givens bounced incomplete, Bradford was forced to dump it off to Jackson for 12 yards on 3rd and 18. Now trailing by seven, Bradford’s final drive again started strong. A 25-yard pass interference penalty and a 15-yard completion to Kendricks on the drive’s first two plays had the Rams into Seattle territory. Two incompletions and short toss to Jackson later had Bradford facing a 4th and five. Not known for his feet, Bradford escaped the pocket and was able to pick up the 1st down with a six-yard scramble. Bradford couldn’t connect on his next three throws and tried to hit Pettis in the end zone on 4th down. CB Richard Sherman undercut the route perfectly, picking the pass off in the end zone to end the Rams’ comeback bid. Despite the disappointment, Bradford played well, with his lone turnover coming on the final INT. Bradford connected with eight different receivers and was not sacked, despite throwing the ball 42 times.