Sam Bradford Solid, Unspectacular In St. Louis Rams Loss Vs. Detroit Lions

Sam Bradford did solid but unspectacular work for the St. Louis Rams in Week 1 vs. the Detroit Lions.

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7 Total Updates since September 9, 2012
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Sam Bradford's Fourth Quarter Salvages Start Vs. Detroit Lions

Sam Bradford looked shaky through three quarters in the St. Louis Rams' 27-23 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but after he lost two of his offensive linemen to injury—Scott Wells to a foot problem and Rodger Saffold to this scary neck injury—Bradford inexplicably turned it on Sunday, getting the Rams to within a few yards of a touchdown that would have left the game tied at worst heading into overtime.

Bernie Miklasz tweeted the facts—Bradford, far from collapsing under the pressure, finished the game 6-for-8 for 84 yards and a touchdown, after starting the proceedings just 11-for-17 for 110 yards. Those final numbers won't get him elected to the Pro Bowl, but given the state of the Rams' offense—under its third regime in as many years—they won't get him dumped for Matt Barkley, either.

And if he keeps playing like that, the best part is that the Rams won't even be in a position to draft next year's Matt Barkley, for once. If you can turn Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, and Steven Jackson into 194 yards on 25 attempts, you—and, finally, your offense—are doing something right.

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Rams Vs. Lions Score: Sam Bradford Leads Fourth Quarter Touchdown Drive, St. Louis Up 20-13

After struggling all afternoon Sam Bradford came through in a big way in the fourth quarter of the St. Louis Rams' matchup with the Detroit Lions, finding Brandon Gibson in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown pass to break the tie score and put the Rams up 20-13 with less than 10 minutes left at Ford Field. It was the best the offense has looked all afternoon, and Bradford was at the center of it, finding Steve Smith for 16 yards before hitting Rams veteran Gibson, who spent the preseason on the roster bubble, for his first touchdown pass of the season.

Bradford still has a way to go to quiet the doubters; overall he's just 12-for-18 with 134 yards passing and the touchdown, and the Rams' lead is dependent mostly on three interceptions their new-look defense has taken from an inefficient Matthew Stafford.

But he's put the Rams in position to win a game that would be a major upset, and Tim Tebow will be the first to tell you that's enough to sway a lot of casual fans semi-permanently in your favor.

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Rams Vs. Lions Update: Sam Bradford Struggling In Limited Action

One slightly underthrown deep ball to Chris Givens is probably all that stands between Sam Bradford and the idea, among St. Louis Rams fans, that he's had a pretty good game so far in their 13-13 third-quarter stalemate against the Detroit Lions. If that seems like an overreaction, it's probably important to know that—between Jeff Fisher's conservative offense and the exploits of the Rams' secondary, which has intercepted Matthew Stafford three times—Bradford has made just 12 pass attempts so far, completing eight of them for 80 yards.

What's worse is how he's looked—the Rams' offensive line, forced to scramble for bodies again when Scott Wells suffered a foot injury, hasn't been able to keep the pressure away from him, and he's floated some balls in the mid-range and downfield that have looked positively Tebovian.

Increasingly Rams fans seem worried not about Bradford's ability to be competent but about his ability to rise above the dreaded game-manager label and be a difference-maker. So far in Week 1 he hasn't done that—but in his defense, he's hardly gotten the chance.

For more in-game score, fantasy, and injury updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis's Rams vs. Lions storystream.

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Rams Vs. Lions: Sam Bradford Has Matthew Stafford-Style Breakout To Hope For In 2012

The St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions are connected in multiple ways going into their Week 1 matchup Sunday afternoon, and most of them are related directly to how terrible they were in the second half of the aughts. In 2009 the Lions would have selected Sam Bradford, but he stayed in school; they took Matthew Stafford instead In 2010 they took Ndamukong Suh, the draft's defensive superstar, right behind the Rams' pick of Bradford.

In 2011, things diverged--Matthew Stafford, who spent his first few years dodging injuries and ineffectiveness, erupted into a 5000-yard season, and the Lions scored 474 points after scoring fewer than 300 in his first. Bradford, meanwhile, who'd had a superficially impressive rookie season, got hurt and revealed that hot start to be more about racking up counting statistics than playing an efficient quarterback.

In year three, then, Bradford finds himself about where Stafford did a year ago; he's still the team's quarterback-of-the-present, but it's hard to get too excited by the prospect. With his status as the face of the franchise in doubt, he won't have to quite reach Stafford-ian heights in 2012, but he will have to have the same kind of undeniably solid return to favor. And he and the St. Louis Rams will start this pivotal season off, of course, against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.

For more updates on Sunday's Rams vs. Lions game, and up-to-the-minute score, fantasy, and injury updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis's Rams-Lions storystream.

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