EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams rolls out turnover pass against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 19, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Rams have scored exactly two touchdowns through two games. Offensively, they are averaging 14.5 points per game. That is at least a better number than the sub-12 point per game average from 2009, but below even last year's still poor 18.1 points per game.
As head coach Steve Spagnuolo said, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. Even though there are 14 games left in the season, finishing should be primarily on the collective consciousness of an offense with the league's worst red zone percentage, second-worst third down percentage and goose egg for goal-to-go. In the middle of all that, Sam Bradford's stats are a long way from where many thought they would be.
Here are Bradford's stats so far:
|2011 - Sam Bradford||2||77.7||39||76||51.3||519||259.5||6.8||1||0||4||0||0||0||0||6||45|
He's on pace for completing 311 of 608 passes (assuming the same completion rate), 4,152 yards, 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Hey, no interceptions and over 4,000 yards. Obviously those numbers will change. We can expect him to improve on a poor 51.3 completion percentage; only Kerry Collins has a lower completion percentage.
Side note for the longer pass fans, Bradford is averaging 6.8 yards per attempt versus 6 last year.
Couple ways to look at this. First, you can take the alarmist stance. That's probably not realistic. Bradford's numbers are still suffering from a poor opener, and with just two games, it makes a difference. The stance I choose to take is my usual fence-sitting version of cautious optimism. Bradford's numbers are a sign that the Rams offense is underperforming right now. It has to get better.
As tough as the Ravens' defense is, if Bradford can get a little protection, he might be able to start beefing up his and the team's numbers. The Ravens have some weakness in their secondary. From the National Football Post preview:
The Ravens struggle somewhat on defense against the Rams due to vulnerability at cornerback. Domonique Foxworth's knee has been bothering him, and Chris Carr has a left hamstring problem. Rookie first-round pick Jimmy Smith is out indefinitely with a high left ankle sprain.
The Ravens have allowed an average of 370 passing yards per game. Hopefully, the Rams can do what they did to San Diego last year, surprising a favored team after limping in from a huge disappointment.