The St. Louis Rams' high-risk, high-reward new offense will face a tough test when Sam Bradford comes up against the Philadelphia Eagles' new pass defense.
The St. Louis Rams have just installed a new offense, one that—if Josh McDaniels's ability to turn Kyle Orton into a worldbeater is any indication—should play perfectly to Sam Bradford's established strengths. But Week 1 is unlikely to be a coronation of King Sam for one simple reason: the Philadelphia Eagles' embarrassment of defensive riches. A year after allowing 31 passing touchdowns the Eagles, already 10-6, added Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, as well as 2011 draft pick Jaiquawn Jarrett. Turf Show Times suggests sophomore surprise Kurt Coleman could be the weak point in the Eagles' pass defense, such as it is, but it's far from the walkover it was in 2010.
In last year's opener the Rams relied on Sam Bradford to an almost hysterical length, forcing him to go 32-for-55 with three interceptions on some absurdly short passes. The Josh McDaniels model of the offense will feature less dinking-and-dunking—and sheer quantity—but it's equally reliant on Bradford, who will have to run a complex, high-risk machine like hasn't been seen in St. Louis since Mike Martz was rousted out of his offensive laboratory. It's likely to work in the medium-term, given the track record of its two principals, but Week 1 is a harsh opening test.