When the Rams drafted Sam Bradford #1 overall in April, following a 1-15 season, most agreed it was the right move for the franchise 2-3 years down the line. Few imagined this team would become playoff contenders (albeit in the NFC West). This team was a win away from winning the NFC West and giving Sam Bradford the much needed playoff experience Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, and Matt Ryan all received as rookies.
This team started the season 0-2 and many thought this would just be another rebuilding year. However, with a week 3 win over the Redskins, followed by a week 4 win over division rival Seattle, the Rams were suddenly contenders in the weak NFC West.
They hung around most of the season and Sam Bradford had an amazing rookie year both in terms of how much this team improved and his stats. Bradford completed 60% of his passes for an average of 6.0 YPA with 18 touchdowns and 15 picks, despite being a rookie and having his top 2 receivers go down for the season early. Bradford also set the rookie record for consecutive throws without an interception.
Bradford’s lone rough stretch was weeks 14-15 when he struggled in New Orleans and at home against the Chiefs. He was a combined 39 for 75 for 412 yards, no touchdowns, and 4 picks in two straight St. Louis losses. He rebounded with a win against the 49ers before falling short in Seattle week 17.
Still, the Rams have a lot to take away from this season. They went 7-9, which is at least 3 wins more than most projected. They went 5-3 at home and the fans finally showed some life after years of misery. Bradford should only get better with more experience and better receivers. Steve Spagnuolo rebuilt their pass rush and made something out of 2008 2nd overall pick Chris Long’s career. And, with Matt Hasselbeck entering his twilight years and San Francisco and Arizona both a mess at the quarterback position, they are the only team in the division with a legitimate franchise signal caller.