Much has been said and written in the last two months in regards to how the Rams offense will perform in the upcoming season. Opinions and expectations on how Bradford, Quick, the other receivers and the offense as a whole will perform range from the ultra-conservative to the wildly optimistic. I have read more than once that Quick could be capable of having a 1000 yard season. I have also read that Bradford could produce 4500 yards passing and 36 touchdown passes. The question is : What are reasonable, moderately optimistic, achievable expectations for Bradford, Quick and the rest of the players that catch the ball??
I begin by looking at Brian Quick.
Here are the rookie statistics for Terrell Owens, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson (Megatron). I chose these six for obvious reasons. The two Rams are from the GSOT days and Bruce was (like Quick) the 33'rd overall pick (in the 1994 NFL draft). Arguably Johnson and Fitzgerald are the premier receivers in the NFL today. Jones is a very recent 1'st round draft pick. Owens is here because many have compared Quick's abilities to his.:
Terrell Owens: 35 recs. 520 yards 14.9 avg. 4 td's
Isaac Bruce: 21 recs. 272 yards 13.0 avg. 3 td's
Torry Holt: 52 recs. 788 yards 15.2 avg. 6 td's
Larry Fitzgerald: 58 recs. 780 yards 13.4 avg. 8 td's
Calvin Johnson: 48 recs. 756 yards 15.8 avg. 4 td's
Julio Jones: 54 recs. 959 yards 17.8 avg. 8 td's
It is worthwhile to note that the last four players on this list were also chosen in the first round of the draft no later than the sixth overall pick in their respective draft years.
Given these figures, what are reasonable (and moderately optimistic) expectations for Brian Quick's rookie year?
In my opinion, 45 receptions, 585 yards, a 13.0 y/c and 5 td's would constitute an excellent first year for Brian Quick.
Now for Sam Bradford
Given the return to the West Coast offense, better health (both Sam and the rest of the offense), better coaching and some added playmakers through the draft it is reasonable to conclude that Bradford will have a better season than last year. How much better? I went through last years QB statistics to look at numbers that seemed reasonable for Bradford to attain this year. The one QB that stood out was Joe Flacco of the Ravens
80.9 QB rating, 312/542 completions, 57.6%, 3610 yards, 20 td's, 12 int's and 11.6 y/c.
In my opinion, similar statistics for Sam Bradford are reasonable and attainable.
80 QB rating, 320/525 completions, 61.0%, 3500 yards, 20 td's, 12 int's and 10.9 y/c.
The remainder of the receiving statistics I project to look like the following, both reasonable and attainable (while bearing in mind the offense we will be running and the personnel):
Steve Smith 30 recs. 10.0 avg. 300 yards 2 td's
Danny Amendola 65 recs. 9.0 avg. 585 yards, 3 td's
Chris Givens 25 recs. 15.0 avg. 375 yards, 2 td's
Greg Salas 25 recs. 11.0 avg. 275 yards, 1 td
Austin Pettis 17 recs. 12.3 avg. 209 yards 1 td
Tight Ends 58 recs. 12.0 avg. 696 yards 4 td's
Steven Jackson 20 recs. 8.0 avg. 160 yards, 0 td's
Isaiah Pead 35 recs. 9.0 avg. 315 yards 2 td's
Looking at the Rams offense as a whole, I think it is reasonable to project 3500 passing yards and 1450 to 1460 rushing yards (with Steven Jackson finishing around 1100 yards rushing). The team would thus average 219 yards a game passing and 91 yards rushing per game for a total of 310 yards per game. The offense would rank in the low twenties based on last years league statistics. In addition to the 20 touchdown passes I predict we score 8 TD's on the ground. This would be 28 TD's in total, a 75% increase over last year. This roughly translates into the Rams scoring an average of 19 points a game this year, a 58% increase over last year. The only numbers that really matter are the points that get put on the board. It's all about efficiency. Look at the Jets last year. 311 yards a game yet they averaged 23 points a game. Do you think my projections are reasonable? Attainable? Please share your thoughts.