September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) prepares to sack St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
In years past, the only statistical leader has been Steven Jackson paving the way in rushing yards. Many Rams fans have looked to this statistical category to fill the void left by 1 or 2 win seasons. Although it is early, the Rams are high up the ranking in a number of key areas in comparison to the rest of the league. We are going to breakdown the team and the individual who are representing the St. Louis Rams at the tops of these lists.
Sam Bradford has quietly put together five quarters of solid, elite quarterbacking, although you would not know it by the lack of publicity that it has received. Robert Griffin III eating a bowl of Wheaties in the morning will get more attention than Sam Bradford throwing for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns, which was the performance that led the St. Louis Rams to their first win of the season. Regardless of the press, Bradford’s name is still atop the list of a number of key categories, along with some very respectable names
Quarterback Rating: 112.4, which is the 3rd highest rating, behind only Matt Ryan and Alex Smith, who have both led their teams to a 2-0 record.
Touchdowns: 4, which is tied for 2nd place among all quarterbacks. This number is even more impressive given that Bradford threw for only 6 touchdowns for the entire 2011 season.
Completion Percentage: 71.7, which is 3rd highest rank. The Chicago Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, is anchoring the bottom of this category, with a 51.6 completion percentage, trailed only by the Arizona Cardinals’ John Skelton, who is currently sidelined with an injury.
Interceptions: 1, which is the tied for the second lowest mark among quarterback who have throw at least 4 touchdown passes. Bradford is tied with Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger in the tier. The only quarterback ahead of them is Alex Smith his has yet to throw an interception in the regular season.
September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola (16) celebrates after catching a one yard touchdown pass during the first half against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Danny Amendola may be one of the most undervalued players in the NFL. Granted, Amendola is not a true number one receiver, nor is the fastest, tallest, or strongest player on the field. However, he may very well be the smarter receiver, understanding where to plant himself in zone coverage and how to make the correct breaks in his route and use his body to get separation against corners that are much faster than him. You wouldn’t believe the numbers if I told them to you outright, but he has quietly become one the best receivers so far in the young NFL season.
Receiving Yards: 230, which is 3rd among all receivers in the NFL. He is trailing only Hakeen Nicks and Victor Cruz, who both got boosted by a 500+ performance this week from Eli Manning. Meanwhile, the Bears top receiver, Brandon Marshall, is sitting in the 22nd spot, with 143 yards, which is right below ex-Ram Donny Avery.
Receptions: 20, this leads the NFL, with the next nearest receiver catching 18 passes. This is completely understandable after Amendola’s record breaking night against the Redskins, where he caught 15 passes for 160 yards. More impressively, he has caught the ball on 80% of his targets from Sam Bradford, exemplifying the connection that the two share in the passing game
Receiving First Downs: 11, which also leads the NFL alongside Hakeem Nicks. This may be the most telling statistic to the importance of Danny Amendola in the St. Louis Rams offense, since he is clearly Bradford’s go-to on 3rd down
Unlucky for Finnegan, the St. Louis Rams have yet to play with or against the interception crazy Philadelphia Eagles. Cortland Finnegan bring a fiestiness and aggression to the Rams defense, which was on full display against the Redskins when eliciting the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Josh Morgan. However, he has also put up some outstanding numbers in the opening two weeks of the NFL season, aside from the mere qualitative skill set that he possesses.
Interceptions: 2, which is tied for 2nd with a handful of other defensemen, most of which either play for the Eagles or played against them in Week 1 or Week 2. Finnegan not only took one away from Stafford, but welcomed Robert Griffin III to the league by picking off one of his passes last week.
Solo Tackles: 14, which is good for 10th among all players, 3rd among secondary players, and 1st among cornerbacks. For a corner that has been targeted 6 or fewer times per game by opposing quarterback, Finnegan’s tackle numbers are extremely high. He is helping in run support, getting off block to make plays on the quick screens, and making tackles in the zone as soon as receivers touch the ball.
Defensive Touchdowns: 1, which leads the league, marking him as one of the eight players who have found the end zone on a interception, and one of ten that have scored (period) on the defensive side of the ball.
September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) kicks a 39 yard field goal during the first half against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Greg ‘the Leg’ Zuerlein is the Rams superstar, their special teams’ ace, the safety net for points once St. Louis makes it past the opposing 40 yard line. Jeff Fisher has not needed to use Zuerlein’s services from the 50+ yard range, but has definitely given him some quality time on the field.
Field Goals Made: 6, tied for 1st along with 5 other kickers. He has kicked 3 in each of the Rams contests so far, and made all them look like chip shots.
40-49 Yard Field Goals: 3, which is tied for 2nd with David Akers and Justin Tucker. Zeurlein has booted two more from 30-39, and one from 20-29 yards.