No Shave November ended with a bang for St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford. He became the first rookie since John Elway to pass for more than 300 yards and 3 TDs with no INT in a single game. Bradford had a QB rating of 113.3 in that week 12 win over the Broncos.
Fortunes change. Since week 12, Bradford has three games with no touchdown passes and 5 interceptions. He has completed 57 of 104 pass attempts during that stretch, a 54.8 percent completion rate; through the four games prior, he had a completion rate of 67.9 percent. Bradford had a season-low QB rating of 40.9 this week, after ratings of 53.0 and 66.3 in the previous two weeks.
Bradford was universally acknowledged as the odds on favorite for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award as of Dec. 1. Now, you have to wonder whether or not he'll have another trophy to put on the shelf next to his Heisman.
Besides Bradford, the names most likely in consideration include Pittsburgh C Maurkice Pouncey, Tampa WR Mike Williams. Williams has already topped last year's OROY Percy Harvin's numbers for receiving yards and TDs. Pouncey already looks like the league's next great interior offensive lineman. Tampa Bay running back LaGarrett Blount could garner a few votes, with some impressive stats considering most of his work has come since week 7, but it's hardly Adrian Peterson-like. I've said before that Rams LT Rodger Saffold deserves some consideration as well. No offensive lineman has ever won the award.
Compare Bradford's stats this season to the last two QBs that won the ROY, Ben Roethlisberger (2004) and Matt Ryan (2008). The Rams' rookie has already topped Big Ben in passing yards and has the same number of TDs, 17. Ryan had just 16 TD passes in his rookie season, and Bradford should top his 3,440 passing yards. Ryan had a QB rating of 87.7 and completed 61.1 percent of his passes. Roethlisberger had a 98.1 rating and completed 66.4 percent of his passes.
Here are Bradford's stats:
|2010 - Sam Bradford||14||75.9||307||517||59.4||3065||218.9||5.9||17||14||27||63||4.5||2.3||1||30||209|
He has a 75.9 QB rating.
Like the Rams season, nothing is a lock for Bradford's ROY trophy. He needs a strong finish over the Rams last two games. It would punctuate his season and put the Rams on top in the NFC West, wrapping up the worst to first saga and putting the team on excellent footing heading into next year.