by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
So, it’s Sammy Sleeves Week, huh?
Hmmm, kinda seems much ado about … mediocrity.
Thing is, there really hasn’t even been a question Sam Bradford being a serviceable, even smart, pro quarterback. He throws a pretty nice ball. Seems capable of making almost all the throws. If anything, the criticism about his lack of toughness always has seemed unfair. Getting injured is not the same thing as being a pansy in helmet and pads.
So, at worst, he’s either hurt or just OK.
At best … what, mediocre or a cut just above?
Yep, he leads the NFL in completion percentage, stands second in passer rating and is averaging about a yard and a half more per attempt than he has the rest of his career. But, as he says, he’s not gonna “try to do anything special,” and, thus far, he really hasn’t.
We’re not talking about a guy who has carried Minnesota to a 5-0 record after starting the last four games following a last-minute trade from the Eagles to serve as a professional stopgap for Teddy Bridgewater, whose training-camp knee implosion sent shockwaves through the league. We’re talking about a guy who has done a serviceable job of directing an offense mostly out of harm’s way so as not to screw up what the team’s dominating defense has created.
He’s not being called upon to do too much, as evidenced by his ranking 21st in the NFL in yards passing per game, and that has paid off – for the team and his efficiency.
But, really, eye-test wise, is he any different than he was while drawing mixed reviews here in Philly last fall or mostly disappointing ones previously during an injury-plagued stint in St. Louis?
He still plays conservatively. He still gets into Checkdown Charlie mode. He still seems to be a brittle statue in the pocket.
The one difference is that he’s on a better team, with better blockers, better receivers and, yeah, a much better safety net with that defense.
The Eagles would be better this year if they had him?
Not buying it. Not unless the Vikings’ personnel joined him here.
Frankly, rookie Carson Wentz has made plays with his athleticism and chutzpah that Bradford could never make or even attempt to make ... and posted numbers quite similar to the veteran anyway.
That 3-2 record, with a shaky offensive line and subpar receiving corps, that’s pretty good. Especially when the two losses came when the Birds didn’t exactly play great, yet still had opportunities to either win or extend those games.
Put Bradford in the same spot … and he might not even be suiting up for this Sunday’s game at the Linc.
Wentz? He’s good to go.
With something more than mediocrity appearing to be part of his future, maybe even the immediate one.