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On Monday night, Sam Bradford had the best game of his career

Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Bradford has a good case for being the NFL’s best quarterback in Week 1.

Pro Football Focus gave Bradford its highest rating for opening week. ESPN’s QBR statistic, which weighs game situation along with numbers, scored him a 93.9 out of 100, edging out Kansas City’s Alex Smith for the top spot.

Only Smith totaled more yards and had a higher quarterback rating with a 148.6, but Bradford topped the league in yards per attempt at 10.8 and completion percentage at 84.4%

A deeper dive into Bradford’s numbers reveals just how impressive his start to the season was. On third downs, he went 9-for-11 with 103 yards and two touchdowns and completed all five passes over 20 yards, including a touchdown.

 

Bradford wasn’t under duress as much as last season, but when he was, he had a perfect passer rating per Pro Football Focus.

https://twitter.com/PFF/status/907669145679953920

How do Bradford’s numbers compare to the best games of his career?

Here’s something that stuck out: Monday night’s 346-yard performance against the Saints ranked  sixth in Bradford’s career. The top five highest games in total yards all came in losses and the top four came in double-digit losses.

The Vikings’ quarterback registered his highest career QB rating versus the Saints. Of his top five games in QB rating (in games with more than 20 throws), only one came before 2015.

Last season’s Week 5 win over Houston ranked second (123.1) and his debut win over Green Bay was fourth (121.2).

In games with more than 20 throws, Bradford had never topped 10 yards per attempt until Monday night (10.8).

Bradford’s 84.4% completion percentage was the best of his career. His second best came against Detroit last year, but he only averaged 6.1 yards per attempt in that game.

Results this good would be tough to sustain, but much of Bradford’s success came on throws to Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, which seems to be a recipe for success. The two combined for 16 catches on 18 targets for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, Bradford had a 75% completion percentage when throwing to either Thielen or Diggs.

Bradford and the Vikings will look for a strong follow up next week when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • Jeeves

    ESPN ranks the Steelers #1 in their power rankings. BIG game!

    • Wilbur One

      Can’t wait.

  • linus

    “On third downs, he went 9-for-11 with 103 yards and two touchdowns and completed all five passes over 20 yards, including a touchdown” Fine, but a more relevant statistic would be how many of those third-down completions were for first downs… and that’s not a criticism of Bradford. I would just like to know.

    • hugh mann

      And while we’re at it, I would like to know how much a touchdown weighs. Only then can figure out Bradford had a good game.

      • cka2nd

        Of the seven completed third down passes that were NOT for a touchdown, four made the first down, so 57.1%. The box score for the game at Pro Football Reference includes a play-by-play chart with sortable column headings.

        • linus

          Thanks.

          • cka2nd

            You’re welcome.

      • linus

        Hunh? Is it too difficult for you to understand that a 3rd-down completion doesn’t mean much if it’s short of the first down? And are you unaware that perhaps the biggest criticism of Bradford has been his tendency to throw five yards short of the sticks on third and long?

  • brian199511

    Perhaps people will quit whining about Bridgewater coming back and realize Bradford is the QB we have needed for decades. Treadwell even equaled his catch total from last year. Against the f’ing Steelers Treadwell and some other players are going to have to have their coming out party next weekend.

  • SurfinUSA

    Amazing what Sam can do when he has blockers doing their job. We gotta hope that the “boo-birds” lose their voice when it comes to Sam Bradford.

  • Talltales08

    When is the Vikings brass going to sign him long term?

  • Gordon Guffey

    This should shock anyone ~ He has never played behind a good OL nor had the kind of WRTE he has now ~ I cant remember who had at RB with the Eagles or Rams so I cant say anything about them ~

    He has also play for two of the worst HC to ever had the title of HC ~ Fisher will for ever be remembered for holding the record of most loses as a HC ~ The other guy who was the HC of the Eagles ((( cant remember his name ))) was fired after he stripped the team of most of its time talent and then was fired after one season with the 49ers ~

    Thats all I need to know about Bradford’s past ~ Some fans want to put the loses on Bradford when he had very little talent to work with ~ That I dont understand ~ These same fans want to give all the credit to Teddy for the 11~5 season in 2015 when he had a 1400+ yard RB and one of the top defenses in the NFL ~ They never give AP or the defense any credit for that season ~





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