St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford had an impressive game last week by any standard. Most notable was that he became the first rookie QB to throw for 300 yards, 3 TD and no interceptions against the Broncos this weekend.
That performance was enough to earn him a top spot on Football Outsiders' weekly Quick Reads list. Bradford was the 8th best QB in week 12 with a mark of 111 DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement).
The comments that accompanied the analysis of Bradford's performance might be more enlightening for what they say about the Rams play calling decisions and the Broncos comeback efforts in the second half.
Comments and commentary after the jump.
Bradford came out on fire, as 13 of his first 20 dropbacks resulted in either a first down or a touchdown for the Rams. He finished the first half with three incompletions and a sack inside the red zone, though, and the Rams chose to run Steven Jackson into the line for no gain over and over in the second half. Bradford had just five first downs on 15 dropbacks in the second half, although each of those first downs went for at least 13 yards.
The point is that the Rams continued to gain yardage when they threw the ball; however, they continued to run it and fail to get needed first downs despite the Broncos comeback efforts.
I understand what it looks like the Rams are trying to do, control the ball with a lead and let the defense do the heavy lifting. Except, that wasn't working last week. Note where Steven Jackson ranks on the list of running backs. Need I say more?
Ok, I will say more, more Bradford at least.
Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. puts the Rams QB on top of his rookie watch list, just above the second overall pick in the draft, Lions DT Ndamukong Suh.
Bradford told reporters today that he prefers wins rather than records. Can you imagine if he'd said otherwise?