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Thread: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

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    Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford
    By Mike Sando

    After a successful rookie campaign, Sam Bradford has been largely ineffective as the Rams struggled with the lockout and injuries.

    The stat line for Robert Griffin III seemed too good for a rookie making his first NFL start: 19-of-26 passing for 320 yards with two touchdowns, no turnovers and just one sack.

    It was the third time in the past 50 seasons a Washington Redskins quarterback completed at least 70 percent of his passes for at least 310 yards with at least two touchdowns and no picks. Mark Rypien and Joe Theismann each hit all those baselines once.

    NFC West baselines

    Kurt Warner did it three times for the Arizona Cardinals and five times for the St. Louis Rams. Marc Bulger and Jim Everett each managed one such game for the Rams.

    Matt Hasselbeck (twice) and Jim Zorn (once) are the only Seattle Seahawks to post games with at least 70 percent completions, 310 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

    Steve Young (five times), Jeff Garcia (three), Elvis Grbac (once) and John Brodie (once) have done it for the San Francisco *****. In a bit of a surprise, Joe Montana never did.

    Griffin and Bradford

    The most relevant comparison this week: Griffin to Rams starter Sam Bradford.

    Their teams face one another Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. The Redskins selected Griffin with a draft choice acquired from the Rams once St. Louis determined Bradford would remain its starter. Both players were very high draft choices, Bradford first overall in 2010 and Griffin second overall this year.

    The scheduling rotation called for the Redskins and Rams to play one another this season regardless of the trade. That part was coincidental. Scheduling Griffin against Bradford in Week 2 gave fans something to anticipate early in the season. Bradford nearly led the Rams to an upset at Detroit last week. Griffin helped the Redskins knock off New Orleans in the Superdome.

    Few great games

    '08-12 Fewest Gms. 70+ QBR (min. 25 plays)
    QB Games
    Sam Bradford 2
    Chad Henne 4
    Matthew Stafford 8
    Alex Smith 10
    Carson Palmer 10

    A note from ESPN Stats & Information, displayed in the first chart, revived a point I've heard recently from a source I can't recall.

    The point is that Bradford has never had a truly great statistical performance in two-plus seasons with the Rams.

    The chart at right shows players with the fewest games featuring a Total QBR score of at least 70 out of 100, counting only games with at least 25 action plays for the quarterback. Bradford has the fewest.

    Matthew Stafford and Alex Smith are on the list, but both have made strides. Smith's QBR was at 83.5 during the *****' victory over Green Bay in Week 1. Stafford tossed three picks and struggled, but he led the winning touchdown drive after Bradford had helped rally the Rams into the lead.

    Top offensive rookie

    Bradford was most productive in 2010, when he was healthy and won offensive rookie of the year honors. Injuries to him and a long list of teammates affected Bradford last season. Learning a new offense on short notice -- we all recall the lockout -- had to be tough.

    Bradford's Above-Average QBR Scores
    Yr. Wk. Opp. Score
    2010 12 DEN 94.7
    2010 16 SF 72.5
    2010 3 WAS 67.7
    2011 2 NYG 60.0
    2010 8 CAR 55.5
    2010 6 SD 55.3
    2010 11 ATL 52.1
    2010 10 SF 50.3

    Bradford completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 308 yards, three touchdowns and no picks during a victory over Denver as a rookie. His Total QBR score for that game was 94.7, a career high by a wide margin. That was one of three 300-yard games for him. It was the only time Bradford tossed more than two touchdown passes. He has five games with two, 12 games with one and nine games with none.

    The nine games with no scoring passes are the most since 2010 for quarterbacks with at least 20 pass attempts in a game.

    Anyone familiar with the Rams' offense over the past three seasons -- its linemen, wide receivers and changing schemes in particular -- realizes Bradford isn't the primary problem in St. Louis. Still, the best quarterbacks and even a few average ones hit the statistical jackpot every so often. Bradford's time will presumably come.

    Closing thoughts

    QBR measures how quarterbacks affect win probability for their teams. It correlates to winning more closely than even turnover differential. The Rams haven't won much at all.

    So, have the Rams dragged down Bradford more than Bradford has held back the Rams? I think so. We'll have a better idea as the Rams improve around Bradford. We shouldn't expect Bradford to produce the way Griffin did last week. We shouldn't even expect Griffin to do so. That game was the exception. But it's reasonable to expect progress.

    The biggest concern from the Rams' perspective is how Bradford will perform behind an offensive line that has already lost center Scott Wells and left tackle Rodger Saffold to injuries. That angle is getting tiresome, but it's real. It's at least a threat to cloud the Rams' quarterback evaluation until those players return.

    At a certain point, the Rams need Bradford to transcend the challenges around him. Having it happen against Griffin and the Redskins would come as a welcome bonus.

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Good grief, I think there are so many things that affect QBR & total pass yds in a game that are beyond the QB's control that this supposed "statistical jackpot" is nonsense.
    Let's talk about a few statistical mileposts that we can really compare Bradford to RGIII once he's actually completed a year and every other successful rookie, no matter how different their circumstances. Maybe we all need reminding, even the ardent pro-Sam camp of which I am a member, just what this guy is about.I know it got me excited.

    SB set the record for most completions by a rookie in a season. Iirc, ditto for attempts.

    Tied record for most TDs(11) in first 8 games by rookie QB.

    Set record for most consecutive INT-free passes (169) by a rookie QB

    Oh, and that Denver game Sando talks about ? First time a rookie QB has thrown for 300+ yds 3TDs 0 INTs on the road. According to Bleacher Report, Denver is 7th in the NFL in home advantage since 2006. Before that, they were #1 but that still doesn't lessen the fact that SB led The Rams to their first victory at Mile High since 1979. Not even Warner won there.

    Yeah, it's just one game but so was Griffin's.And almost all of those other guys started before SB so should be producing more in that period & certainly had more chances, missed fewer games due to injury or had some huge personnel advantage like,say, Megatron to help out their stats,whether they won or not.

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    This might sound petty, but Sam has never, ever had a receiver take a short pass and turn it into an 88 yard TD.

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    I'm waiting for Bradford to get that SWAGGER! Then the wins will come!

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    I'm pro-Sam camp and I'm not waiting for him to do or show me anything more then what he is doing or has done. He gets better every time he plays win or lose. As long as he stays healthy and we add more talent around him, I'm confident he will make steady progress.

    Good grief, I think there are so many things that affect QBR & total pass yds in a game that are beyond the QB's control that this supposed "statistical jackpot" is nonsense.
    I agree

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Well Sando ADD BRADFORD TO YOUR LIST! 310 yards 3 TD and 74.2 completion percentage.
    live4ramin likes this.

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Well Sando ADD BRADFORD TO YOUR LIST! 310 yards 3 TD and 74.2 completion percentage.
    not to rain on our own parade but he above mentioned no picks to qualify for the list -_-

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by BarronWade View Post
    not to rain on our own parade but he above mentioned no picks to qualify for the list -_-
    And no picks.... shoot we will fix that! LOL did not see that, next week.

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    Check ....
    If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

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    Re: Sando: Awaiting a breakout from Sam Bradford

    It definitely was a top performance. His best in a Rams uniform.
    Sometimes stats can be deceiving, but Bradford earned every stat and he was every bit as good as his QB rating suggests! He hit on all different kinds of passes, stood well in the pocket, extended plays. All the things you like to see - and which I don't really think he has shown before. Not even in his rookie season.

    However just like one bad game doesn't make him a bust, the same goes for one game not making him elite. I liked what I saw though. Keep up the good work

    An awesome game to watch!

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