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RamView: Week 3 – Quarterback

Sam Bradford (23-37-235, 78.1 passer rating) is on his way to becoming a force in the NFL. The young man is proving impossible to rattle. He tore up the Redskin blitz all day, kept a steady hand on the offensive wheel and didn’t freeze up when a searing spotlight hit him in the form of an injury that sidelined Steven Jackson for half the game. Bradford saved his best work for the second half, with that spotlight full on. The Redskins had just taken their first lead of the game and the pfffft of the air being let out of the Dome could be heard all over the Midwest. So Sam stepped up. He found Brandon Gibson over the middle for 16. On 2nd-and-15, he beat a blitz with a quick hitter to Danny Amendola for an 18-yard catch-and-run. That only led to a 3rd-and-10, but Bradford hit Daniel Fells up the seam perfectly for 12. That only led to a 3rd-and-7, but Bradford sent another perfect pass in the near flat for a not-very open Mardy Gilyard and the kids were alright for another first down, setting up Kenneth Darby’s TD run that put the Rams, strangely unfamiliar as this sounds, ahead to stay. Three clutch plays by Bradford that helped the Rams re-take the lead and established him as a player who can lead, and carry, the team. He made another clutch play to seal the game in the final 3:00, rolling right on 3rd-and-20 and gunning a throw to favorite target Mark Clayton for an improbable 1st down that set up a coups de grace FG. Third down conversion rate’s a fair measure of clutch play, isn’t it? Behind a rookie in his 3rd NFL game, the Rams converted 7-of-16. Behind a future Hall-of-Fame QB, the Redskins? Converted 1-of-10. For Bradford’s best play, though, go back to the first half, 2nd-and-goal from the Washington 3. Bradford rolls right but doesn’t have his primary, Clayton, coming along with him; he’d been knocked down. With nobody open, Bradford makes a move for the goal line, which pulls the cornerback off of Fells in the back of the end zone. Seeing that, Bradford finishes off a splendid fakeout by pulling up and tossing a TD to the now-lonely TE. Bradford completely made this play. Not only did he overcome the loss of his primary receiver right from the snap, he actually got his secondary receiver open. That’s a QB making his receivers better. A rookie did that? I thought only Peyton Manning could do that. Or make the 8-yard sideline throw that looked like a potential pick, but because Bradford put infinite mustard on it, was only catchable by Amendola for a 1st down in the 2nd. Bradford’s only blemish came when an INT cost the Rams a chance to go up 21-0. Though there was one bozo on local TV last night criticizing Bradford for it, I doubt it was even his fault. There was a blitz coming, and he found Fells single-covered; Fells pretty clearly didn’t run the route Bradford was expecting. At a minimum, that’s the kind of team error that’s going to happen less often as this team matures. As for Sam Bradford, he’s maturing quickly. The Rams are already becoming his team.

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2 Responses to “RamView: Week 3 – Quarterback”

  1. Mike says:

    Having watched Bradford do this for 2 years at OU, I’m not surprised. I didn’t know if he’d make the transition to the pro game, but knew that if he did, he’d make those around him better.

  2. SB8RamsFan says:

    Way to go, Sam! Way to go, Rams!

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