It may seem redundant to do a “passing leader” section, given that there is only supposed to be one guy throwing the ball on offense, but that has not always been the case for the Rams. Bradford has been healthy enough to play in every game this season, a luxury that was not afforded to the team in 2011. At the midway point, Bradford is… 153 for 249 passing (61.4%, 16th in the league) for 1797 yards (17th), 8 touchdowns (T-23rd), 7 interceptions (T-15th), has an 82.4 quarterback rating (21st), and has rushed 21 times for 61 yards and a touchdown.
For a quarterback with two previously-cut, practice squad players (Amendola and Gibson) and one 4th round rookie (Givens) as top receivers, Bradford is definitely doing well given the circumstances. On top of the receivers, he has a 29 year old (Jackson) and a 7th round rookie (Richardson) in the backfield, and a third-string left tackle (Barksdale), fourth-string left guard (Smith), backup center (Turner), and one of the worst rated lineman in the NFL last season starting at right tackle (Richardson) on the offensive line. If I have to hear another word about how Tony Romo and Michael Vick aren’t succeeding “because they don’t have enough talent around them,” I might just throw up…
Steven Jackson is still the leader in the St. Louis Rams backfield, and is still the leader in rushing on the team. Jackson has rushed 108 times for 403 yards and a touchdown. His touchs have been essentially split in half since the quarter mark of the season, which has resulted in much better play from our aging leader.
Daryl Richardson has been the surprise of the season, especially considering he was the second player taken at his position in the draft by the Rams this year. He has clearly outplayed his fellow rookie Isaiah Pead, and has all of the number to prove it. Richardson has rushed 62 times for 335 yards, good for 5.4 yards per carry. Only two running backs in the NFL have posted a higher rush per attempt average than Richardson, which is a tribute to his explosiveness out of the backfield.
There had been some hype about the potential trade of Jackson before the NFL trade deadline, but Jeff Fisher firmed squashed those rumors in yesterday’s press conference. The St. Louis Rams would be smart to hang on to Jackson for the rest of the year, if nothing else, to help Pead and Richardson in their progression as running backs in the NFL.
Sadly enough, Danny Amendola is still the leading receiver on the team, both in terms of receptions and receiving yards. It is sad only for the fact that Amendola has only played in four and a half games this season, after being sidelined with a separated SC joint against the Arizona Cardinals. In the meantime, Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens have quietly had very productive seasons for the Rams. Gibson is the second leading receiver with 28 catches for 381 yards. Givens, on the other hand, has caught only 13 passes, but has racked up 333 yards, which is over 25 yards per receptions. No one in the league has caught more passes for 50+ yards than Givens, nor does anyone has more yard per reception than the Rams 4th round rookie.
The receiving core could drastically pick up their production when the team returns to the field in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers. The progression of Givens combined with the return of Amendola could be a welcome treat to Bradford, who has yet to have two competent wide receivers to work with for any significant amount of time in his young career.