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St Louis – Three Performances of Note (PFF)
What is Sam Bradford?
Whatever you think about the development of Sam Bradford (-4.0) the biggest question I have is, what has happened to his accuracy? When he was coming out people like Mike Mayock were lauding him as one of the most accurate passers they had ever seen, capable of not only hitting receivers in his sleep, but putting the ball in the perfect location so that they didn’t even have to adjust.
Though his raw numbers weren’t terrible in this game — he completed 61.8% of his throws for 255 yards with a touchdown and an interception — the number of simple, routine throws where he was off with his accuracy was just unacceptable for any quarterback, let alone one with this reputation for accuracy. Several of these throws resulted in incompletions, but his receivers caught a lot of passes in this game that were way off the mark in terms of ball location, which limited the work they could do after the catch and often made the catch far tougher than it needed to be. Bradford has a lot to work on, but he needs to retain the skills he had to begin with, otherwise he’ll only ever go backwards.
The Tale of Two DEs
Chris Long (-4.3) may be the more experienced of the pair, but it was Quinn (+4.3) who shined in this game while Long found himself struggling to even make an impact. In 38 pass rushes, Long was completely blanked by the right side of the Green Bay line, and the only time he really showed up in the game was when he was jumping offside, trying to gain an advantage in a battle he was badly losing.
In exactly the same number of rushes, Quinn notched a sack, two knockdowns and three more hurries, and wasn’t flagged once. His lone black mark was when he got into the backfield but couldn’t make the tackle on Rodgers, which allowed the Packers’ quarterback to escape and make a play. Overall though, his work against a player like Newhouse, who had been impressive so far this season, was excellent, and now, in theory, the Rams have a pair of legitimate edge threats — but they need Long to shake off this game and bring the heat going forward.
Welcome to the NFL Janoris Jenkins
Things have been going pretty well for the Rams’ rookie corner since being drafted, but in this game he went up against the league’s premier timing offense and the league’s best quarterback, and he was taken to task. The Packers went after Jenkins a lot in this game, throwing his way 11 times, and he coughed up nine receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. He was beaten by all three of the Packers’ top receivers before the game was over.
Jenkins was set up with short passes all day, and just when he was working on jumping those, Randall Cobb sold him a double move in the end zone to completely lose him for the touchdown. Jenkins will likely become a quality player in the NFL, his talent is evident, but this was a real lesson in how tough things can get at this level, and just how hard it can be to stop an offense as in-sync as this one.
– Randall Cobb caught everything thrown his way (eight from eight) and beat six different Rams defenders on those catches.
– The Packers went deep six times in this game (20+ in the air) — twice to the left, twice to the right, and twice down the middle.
– The Rams averaged 4.9 yards per carry in this game and were at their best when they were chewing clock, but they rushed just 22 times.
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Re: St Louis – Three Performances of Note (PFF)
It's time to realize Sam Bradford is going to play only as well as his surrounding cast allows him to play. Forget what Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper, Gil Brandt or anyone else said about him three years ago. Sam Bradford has not shown us he's an elite player, but he hasn't shown us he's a bad one either. I am not happy with some of Bradford's play on occasion, and agree with those who feel a number one draft pick needs to elevate his play, but I think the negativity towards him is a bit over the top. He will get better as the guys around him get better.
Chris Long is one of three or four players we shouldn't worry about at all. So he was a non-factor yesterday? Big deal. Every solid D-lineman runs into a buzzsaw from time to time and doesn't impact the game. Long will be a factor in most games. The thing we should be ecstatic about is that Quinn is showing us he was more than deserving of being picked where he was and is having an excellent season. He can be every bit the player Long is or better.
I do have concerns about Jenkins. He is talented and has behaved himself, so I will give credit where credit is due. He has a nice upside and could become a very good player. He's not there yet. He plays a sloppy corner- doesn't wrap on tackles, instead opting to throw his shoulder into a guy in the hopes of bringing him down. He's been burned more than once by receivers who have gotten behind him. In my opinion, I don't feel he's a very smart player. He relies on instinct and ability rather than sound fundamental play. This needs to be corrected.
Re: St Louis – Three Performances of Note (PFF)
PFF also thought David Vobora was one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL two years ago. He's out of football now so I've never really listened to their rating system.
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