QB Keith Null - Carolina Panthers
|6-3, 222||Born: 9-24-1985||College: West Texas A&M||Drafted: Round 6, pick 0|
2009 Week 14 vs TEN (27 / 43 / 157 / 1 / 5 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Null had a very forgettable debut as the Rams starting quarterback. He threw 5 interceptions (including one returned by Vincent Fuller for a touchdown) and generally did not appear to adjust well to the pace of a live NFL game. That said, he was clearly more productive in the 2nd half of the game, which is when he threw a dart to Randy McMichael in triple-coverage to the right side of the field resulting in the Rams only points. Null demonstrated a strong arm and, surprisingly, solid touch on a number of throws. But the Titans pass rush and pass defense made it difficult for him to complete enough passes in a row to move the ball. Most of his success came on short drop-off passes and screens long after the Titans had pulled their defense in to "prevent" mode. Consider this: Null threw the ball 43 times, completed 63% of his passes, yet only managed 157 yards.
2009 Week 15 vs HOU (18 / 27 / 173 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 0 / 0 rush)
Quarterback Keith Null had his second start of the season and appeared to have improved quite a bit from the week before. Aside from two mental errors - an interception on an ill-advised throw when he was in the grasp and a fumble on a botched snap - Null was reasonably effective as a passer. He completed 66% of his passes and found receivers all over the field for solid gains. The Rams moved the ball fairly consistently but were not able to do much once they crossed in to Texans territory. Null's touchdown pass came on a rocket to Danny Amendola from the 4 yard line. Null took a 3 step drop and then fired the ball to Amendola, who had run a hitch out of a three receiver cluster on the right side.
2009 Week 16 vs ARI (20 / 31 / 171 / 1 / 3 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Null still looks like a rookie, but he looks better than he did when he first got the call. He was off early and making poor decisions, including a ball that he meant to throw away, but instead threw to Greg Toler, a Cardinal defensive back. His deep ball was too long or too short (too short was picked by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie). As the game went on, he got in better sync with his offense and actually strung together a few first downs. Null threw well on the rollout, and showed toughness when he came back after missing a play due to a hard hit. He was able to get a TD pass when Brandon Gibson laid out for a ball Null slightly overthrew. The Rams were within shouting distance late, but Null had a throw jumped by Adrian Wilson, whose return set up the gameclinching TD. The Rams seem to have found at least a nice backup QB in their sixth-round pick.
2009 Week 17 vs SF (7 / 17 / 57 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 6 / 0 rush)
Null was under a lot of pressure and didn't hang in well to take hits to make plays or throw accurately on the move to keep the 49ers from pinning their ears back and coming on every passing down. He did settle down as the game went on, converting more 3rd downs, but the lack of a strong running game or decent play from his line kept Null from showing us much in this one before he left with concussion-like symptoms after getting thrown to the turf.