A 30-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers was just the beginning of the bad news for the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Despite the disappointing result of the game, the team was also informed that their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, had torn his ACL and would be out for the remainder of the season.
With Bradford now sidelined, this will be our final opportunity to "chart" Bradford in 2013. Going forward, at least for the time being, we’ll utilize Mondays to look back on Kellen Clemens’ performance[s]. There’s really no silver lining to be found here…
Despite throwing a pick-six a mere six seconds into Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers, Bradford actually had a very productive day. He finished the day completing 21 of 30 passes [70%], for 255 yards and a score. For a closer look at how Bradford finished his day, and his season…
As usual, Bradford relied on short passes to orchestrate drives down the field. 18 of his 30 attempts were thrown within five yards of the line of scrimmage, as were 14 of his 19 completions. Unlike last week though - where Bradford only attempted four passes beyond five yards - the team took more shots on intermediate [6-15 yds] and deep [16+] routes yesterday. Outside of what might be considered his "comfort zone," Bradford went 7-of-12 for 160 yards on deeper passes.
In fact, a large chunk of the team’s yards through the air came on passes deep left. Over the past three weeks, Bradford has completed 4-of-5 when throwing deep left, tallying 159 yards.
It’s impressive. But not nearly as impressive as 6-of-7 for 247 yards, and two TD’s…that’s what could’ve been, if not for a couple of offensive hiccups yesterday.
Jake Long performed his best "sweep the leg" rendition from Karate Kid, nullifying a 63-yard play where Tavon Austin scorched his defender deep [left], and Brian Quick was unable to hold onto a beautifully thrown [25 yard] ball about five yards into the end zone. Missed opportunities.
And while opportunities will still be plentiful for Austin and Quick in 2013, the "Sam Bradford" chapter of the Rams’ season has come to a close. Opportunity now knocks for the team’s backup QB, Kellen Clemens.
Clemens isn’t chart-worthy at this point, but it doesn’t mean he’s not noteworthy. Clemens attempted 4 passes on Sunday, completing two [19 yds]. He attempted two deep passes, neither of which were pretty…or close to being caught. Continuing with the theme of "two" with Clemens, he was also sacked twice and fumbled twice, one of which effectively ended the game for the Rams.
It’s not much to go on for the Rams’ backup QB, but it’s enough for fans to be concerned. I hope you’ve enjoyed the very short series of "Charting Sam" thus far this season. "Charting Kellen" starts next Tuesday…after the Rams host the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.