CheckDown?? CheckYourself!!! ChessNotCheckers, CheckMate!!!!



I don't think I have ever seen fans hate on their own QB that doesn't suck this much in my life. It's like nothing this kid does is good enough. Maybe we should go back to our Tony Banks days, or Joe Germaine, Gus Feroutte, or dare I say it?! Lets bench Bradford and start Kellen Clemons! Oh yeah, that will shake things up.

There is nothing wrong with Bradford's play. This is going to sound like another excuse (and Bradford haters/cliche commentators are going to say "it sounds like an excuse because it is an excuse") but I don't care. Like I have said many times when accused of being a "hater", I am a realist. I just call it like I see/hear it. There is a lot going on that is resulting in Bradford having a low YPA.

For starters think back to the week of the Cardinals game. Think about the interview Sam gave that week on Tuesday after practice. Oh! Too many beers since then, can't remember that far, allow me to assist you. Here is the LINK TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE!!!! Click on it and go to 3:10. At this point Bradford starts talking about the 3rd down game plan before ever playing a game, which is directly related to his low YPA. Sam talks about how Schotty has advised/told him to be smarter on first and second down to create shorter 3rd downs and not be afraid to take what the defense gives.

Sam is being told/coached to go shorter. Mix that with only a few deep routes called and you suddenly have a large amount of short throws. And by the way not sure if many of you have noticed but Sam has been trying to go deep more the last 3 weeks, hence the reason his sack total is so high. His line can’t block for routes that are much longer than the intermediate variety. All of his sacks have come when he is looking down field.

Sam is a smart QB. He has a very high football IQ. So he knows that some vertical throws are needed, especially when you're down big in the fourth. Although it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that in that situation. The first two games when down we went into an uptempo no huddle to come back. In games 3 and 4, we chose to try to move the ball by picking up yards in chunks instead of the fast paced way. This meant deeper routes.

WK Game Date Opp Result G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
1 09/08 ARI W 27-24 1 1 27 38 71.1 299 7.9 2 1 0 0 100.7 2 1 0.5 0 1 0
2 09/15 @ ATL L 24-31 1 1 32 55 58.2 352 6.4 3 1 0 0 87.8 3 25 8.3 0 -- --
3 09/22 @ DAL L 7-31 1 1 29 48 60.4 240 5.0 1 0 6 43 80.2 -- -- -- -- -- --
4 09/26 SF L 11-35 1 1 19 41 46.3 202 4.9 1 1 5 32 59.2 3 -4 -1.3 0 1 1
5 10/06 JAC W 34-20 1 1 19 34 55.9 222 6.5 3 0 2 14 105.3 5 4 0.8 0 1 0

Here we have a breakdown of his game by game statistics. Now let me know if any of you recall a hurry up tempo when we were down to Dallas and San Fran, because I don't. I recall us waiting to try to mount a comeback and it being too late so we went with the "we need yards in big chunks approach". When this occurred Bradford was sacked often. Because at this point a smart pass rusher knows, "hey, they have to throw it from here on out", so he pins his ears back, and never looks for the run, he is full steam ahead up field. Its both the play calling and the poor o-line play causing the low YPA. The line struggles to block for more than 2.5 seconds. The deeper the route the more time it takes.

Outside of poor O-Line play and poor play calling, receivers have been an issue as well. Only one has consistrntly beat his coverage to get open, and that's Austin Pettis. Jared Cook is soft as baby poop, and everyone else is still learning how to consistently get open (route running, reading defenses, physicality, etc). Of course Sam could force some throws, and some will be completed, a lot will be incomplete, and the rest will be intercepted, resulting in more he sucks get him out of there.

2013 58.3 1315 6.1 10 3 85.7

As you can see Bradford is well on his way to reaching the range of stats used as an example all offseason by TST writers and fans, as well as other media outlets. All Off-season I consistently read this:

"For this season to be considered a success for Sam Bradford he needs to finish with", and it usually followed with stats in this range, 4100-4400 yds, 25-32 tds, 8-11 int, 85-95 QB rtg, 61-63 comp%.

Right now Bradford is on pace for 4,208 yds, 32 tds, 9 int, 86+ QB rtg, 59% comp. Of course everyone needs to realize the completion percentage and yds are both lower than it should be due to all the drops we have had this season (21). If just half of those were caught he would have a 63% comp rate, and about another 100 yds. I have no quarrels with Sam's play nor his physical abilities. Actually I only see one flaw in Bradford, I have mentioned it quite a few times, but none since I first began posting here on TST.

Basically what I am saying is get off his back. Remember this is chess not checkers. Its not quite as simple and a lot of factors go into each and every single play. Even with a struggling OC and line, this offense is still young and will take more time regardless. Even Tavon Austin said as much after week one, and they won that game.

Tavon Austin on Being a Ram "This feels like home." - Savard's Sitdown (via 101espn)

*Quick footnote

-Here is an excellent comment posted by Fishkiller regarding the subject at hand

"Peyton Manning’s passes travel an average of about 5.5 yards in the air? How can this be you ask, isn’t he averaging about 9.5 yards per attempt this season? Well, his WRs and TEs have accounted for about 40% of Peyton’s passing yards AFTER they catch the ball, that’s how. His WRs and TEs have over 740 yards after the catch, which leads the NFL by a large margin. That’s a sure sign of the talent he has at WR and TE in Denver, and it also exemplifies the proper use of those players via the offensive scheme to put them in a position to gain yards after the catch. Peyton is a great QB, but he also has a lot of talent to throw to coupled with an offensive scheme that knows how to utilize and maximize that talent."


*Quick footnote

-Comment by Ramfan1313

"Sam Bradford has posted a career-best 10/3 touchdown-interception ratio in 2013, and hasn’t thrown more than one interception in any of his last 18 starts — the longest active streak of its kind in the NFL."


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