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Rams vs. Cardinals: Sam Bradford at turning point in Week 5 after hit-and-miss start

As the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals meet for Thursday Night Football, Sam Bradford finds himself at a surprisingly pleasant turning point. He's certainly had worse: At the end of 2010 he missed the chance to get himself declared a Permanent Winner by pushing the Rams into the NFC West's playoffs-by-default vacuum, and in 2011 seemingly every game was a turning point, the upside getting lower and lower as the season went on until A.J. Feeley showed up and we all stopped paying attention. This is better: This time, the question is whether Sam Bradford's going to keep being average.

After a huge Week 2 and an awful Week 3, Sam Bradford turned in a Week 4 performance against the Seattle Seahawks that Football Outsiders ranked... 17th of 31, between Alex Smith and Philip Rivers. Perfectly respectable territory, and a strangely coherent mix of his two prior performances, combining an inability to get to the end zone with an ability to at least get across midfield.

That, I think, is about where Sam Bradford is in total this year—with some help from his running backs he could be basking in the glory of being faint-praised as a consummate game-manager. Week 5 is another chance for Bradford to answer the question of whether he can be more than that.