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RamView: Week 2 – Quarterback

Another learning experience for Sam Bradford, who put up respectable numbers (14-25-167, 86.6 rating) despite making a ton of mistakes. He opened the game with a 13-yard laser to Billy Bajema, but back-to-back sacks killed that drive. Bradford couldn’t do much about the first, but really went deer-in-the-headlights when Oakland brought both safeties on 3rd down, a situation we’ll have to hope he can check out of in the future, because he needed to there. He set up a FG attempt later in the 1st with a near perfect long ball to Daniel Fells (perfect = he catches it with both hands). Unfortunately, Bradford took a completely avoidable sack at the 18, losing 13 yards despite time and multiple opportunities to throw the ball away, and that ended up costing the Rams three points when Josh Brown revealed himself to be a big pile of suck. Bradford set up a TD in the second with a sweet, arcing screen pass over a blitz that Steven Jackson burned for 24, and he hit Mark Clayton on a skinny post for the score. Bradford walked a mile in Marc Bulger’s shoes the second half, though, with nothing happening downfield, a lot of that by design, and the Ram offense deteriorated into a series of meek 3-and-outs. Bradford did miss at least a couple of open-enough receivers by throwing behind them; drops weren’t a problem today. He appeared to stick the fork in the Rams himself midway through the 4th with a bad interception. Bradford had plenty of time to throw and still tried to force one to a blanketed Laurent Robinson, taken away happily by one Stanford Routt. But given a second chance after a Jerome Murphy INT, Bradford led the Rams back into the game. He found Danny Amendola in the middle of the Oakland zone for 16 and then hit Clayton for another TD, a nice pass Clayton caught right inside the near pylon. 16-14’s as close as the Rams would come, though. Bradford seemed to do well against the blitz most of the day, but the three early sacks seemed to convince the Rams to put him in the Shurmur Fish Bowl, which wound up playing right into Oakland’s hands. Don’t pin today’s loss on Bradford, but he can eventually save Rams Nation a lot of agony with better blitz reads and better decisions under pressure. Sam’s key task every week is to convince Shurmur to put the fish bowl away.

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