Is Sam Bradford Bad?

This is an ugly season for the Eagles, and yesterday was an ugly loss to an even uglier team. Leaders get the blame, and for the Eagles that means quarterback Sam Bradford and head coach Chip Kelly, who traded for the former.

Breaking down the tape from yesterday’s game, though, I don’t think Sam is the problem. He was 15-28 for 270 yards, with three TDs and no interceptions (or fumbles.)

That last point is important — Bradford was picked in large part because he protected the ball well. In games one and two, when he had two interceptions per game… well, that was bad. He seems to have corrected that.

Of his 13 incompletions, five were very well defended by the Skins’ secondary. At least two were probably tactical INCs, thrown to minimize interception risk in tight coverage. Three were thrown away under heavy pressure, and he was hit while throwing a fourth, which fell to the turf.

The Skins’ pass rush was brutal in the first half, as Bradford was sacked or nearly sacked six times on the first three drives. It doesn’t seem to be any one lineman getting blown up; Jason Kelce and Jason Peters (before he left the game) got shoved around too. It looked more like communication and adjustment to handle stunts and things like first-down blitzes, which you could blame on chemistry between shifting players on the dinged up line, or bad coaching.

Oddly, Sam’s protection got better after Peters left the game, with a makeshift line featuring Matt Tobin at left tackle, Allen Barbre at left guard, and Dennis Kelly at right guard. Since the Eagles weren’t able to sustain a drive, Chip started calling the long pass, and Bradford delivered.

First there was the 45-yarder that Nelson Agholor caught one-handed. Bradford overthrew Jordan Matthews deep at the five-yard line but came right back with the 62-yard TD to Riley Cooper. These were not short catch-and-run throws; they were in the air for 54, 60 and 55 yards, respectively.

Sam had a lot of other great throws, not even counting his second and third touchdowns. His first half bullet to Zach Ertz for a touchdown was called back because Agholor failed to cover the tackle on the line of scrimmage [editor’s note: I thought this was Bradford’s best pass as an Eagle]. In the third quarter he placed a beautiful ball to Matthews (see picture above), 30 yards in the air right in between three defenders at the Washington 30. That set up the shorter TD pass to Celek two plays later.

He was also pretty mobile, breaking tackles to evade two sacks and throw — one of which was that TD to Celek. On another play, he scrambled for 14 yards and executed a perfect slide, a move that has been strangely difficult for Eagles QBs in recent years.

We haven’t seen the coaches’ tape yet, so it’s impossible to say how many open receivers Bradford might have missed. (Matthews was open in the end zone on one first half sack.) But I only saw four passes I would criticize him for. Two were overthrows on deep shots down field. The others were short passes to Sproles – too low and behind him, respectively – but Sproles has caught those types of passes before.

Unfortunately, one was the key third down on the Eagles’ fourth quarter drive that could’ve put the game away. But I would blame Celek’s holding call on Philly’s third successful run in a row (for nine, six and eight yards) earlier in the drive more than Bradford’s toss. Bradford threw a 12-yard pass to Miles Austin after that, but it wasn’t enough.

There are a lot of huge problems with this team, starting with the offensive line. But I don’t think Sam Bradford is one of them. Or at least he’s not in the top ten.

If I had to hastily rank problems?

1) O-line of course, which might be four or five problems:
a) communication between them
b) run blocking
c) depth
d) penalties
e) coaching

2) injuries

3) kicking

4) drops

5) DeMarco Murray not fitting in

6) 3rd down defense

7) inconsistent WR play (separation, hanging on to the ball after hits, route running)

8) play calling

9) ineffective pass rush

10) lack of faith in themselves

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42 Responses

  1. It’s amazing how all the bandwagon Eagles fans and sports talk radio hosts have bailed on Chip Kelly already. Of course if the Eagles turn the season around there will be thousands of the “only guy who believed in the team’.

      1. [Ok, Mark Saltveet,] [you’re] a moron. Your writing is borderline dull. [Yes, ]Bradford [threw] for 270 yards…[t]his offense is designed to have over 400 passing yards per game.

  2. All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be
    Nice

      1. Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a c0cksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to take a walk. Be nice. If he won’t walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can’t walk him, one of the others will help you, and you’ll both be nice. I want you to remember that it’s a job. It’s nothing personal.

    1. Dalton, I taught you everything you know. And now it’s time for your final lesson. Drop down on your knees, open my pants, pull out my 9 incher… And start sucking boy.

  3. This site reads like it was created by a spoiled brat who skated through private high school and Villanova with a C average on Mommy and Daddy’s $. Thus, the cum-dumpster writing and infrequent updates.

      1. Saltveit went to Harvard??? I doubt that. For undergrad??? Maybe for grad school, Harvard doesn’t like accepting J E Ws for its undergrad programs.

        1. On a side note. Scagnetti, why are you so hostile towards people of privilege? What’s wrong with working hard to give your children a better life? There’s a reason why private school kids are more successful than public school kids.

          1. Scagnetti, you are just poor white trash and your angry at your parents because they couldn’t give you the life you feel you deserved.

    1. It really is too bad that this is the only website on the Internet that has Philly sports content. Oh, wait……

  4. I on called they were going 7-9 before the damn season!!!!!’
    Gimmicky college style offense. Undisciplined players that hurt the team with big penalties. Getting rid of almost all your big playmakers in the offseason and replacing them with an entirely new cast and throwing them into said gimmicky college style offense hoping it’ll still work. I’m sick of this !!

    It all comes down to bad coaching & general managing. Go to Texas you bum

      1. Over the next two years? Yeah, probably.

          1. Thank you. Have to be old enough to remember it.

  5. Getting snaked by the Rams by giving up Foles & what looks like a high 2nd rd pick will set this franchise back even more. Enjoy your windmills Jeffrey!!!!

  6. Chip had me fooled. I was so sick of Andy that any new HC would have been fine. Then they hired Chipper, the genius of football. After his first presser as the new head coach I’ll admit…I fell in love. He talked so intelligently about the game, something that fuckin asshole Andy had never seemed to do. Chip made me want to strap on shoulder pads and play for him. But now, he makes me miss Andy. It don’t get no worse than that! Fuck you Chip!

  7. Thanks for writing this, people going after Bradford for this game are clueless. He put the team on his back in the 2nd half. I can’t criticize him for the two drops by Sproles, the first throw of the game was just below his waist and the second one was a bit behind, but he didn’t have to turn his body around….it’s the NFL, if your able to get two hands on the ball with both your feet on the ground, then you have to catch it, no excuses for that

    1. This. I think Sam could get much better as season progresses.
      My wishful thinking is the Eagles get going at the right time , get these bad games behind them. As long as Green Bay doesn’t get home field NFC is up for grabs IMO.

      1. yea i’m a pretty optimistic guy, but it isn’t looking good for this season. The o-line is absolute shit, and i think Peters is done for his career. Chip ignored the o-line in the draft for the past 2 years and it’s sort of costing him now…although aside from Marcus Smith, i think there has been pretty good picks made at other positions and as far as o-line prospects go…..the past two drafts haven’t been so great. Lucky for Chip, next years draft is stocked with very good o-linemen

        1. “Pretty good picks?” Really??

          2013: L. Johnson is REGRESSING, did you not watch him getting eaten alive in the Redskin game?…he might have been the worst of the 5 lineman. Ertz has been a huge disappointment, Logan is definitely the best pick in this draft, Barkley, Wolff, Kruger, Poyer, and King aren’t even on the team.

          2014: M. Smith is a BUST. How do you just thrown away a first round pick?…not sure buy Chip did. Matthews has been a good-solid slot receiver…is he anything special though? Regardless, he is the best pick in this draft class. Huff was drafted much too early and projects has a 4th wide receiver at best…what a waste of an early round pick. Watkins was cut. Hart is being outplayed by an undrafted 30 year old DL (Bair), Reynolds couldn’t make the team for the second straight year and is on the practice squad, and Beau Allen is just a big-body for depth on the DL and is probably the second best pick for this draft which tells you all you need to know.

          2015: Still much too early to tell obviously….but so far Agholar and Rowe both have promise. However, I’m sure Chipper was expecting more production out of both of these guys considering he allowed Maclin to walk and got rid of both Williams and Boykin. Hicks has been by far the best pick up until this point and seems like a legit player. Even with how good he has been they probably could have used an OL instead of a LB at this spot since they had already had Alonso, Kendricks, and Ryans on the roster. Obviously it looks good now cause both Kendricks and Alonso got hurt, but he wasn’t even getting on the field before they went down. Shephard was put on IR, Evans and Mihalik were cut.

          Not great drafting here by the Chipper – especially when considering their wasteland of an offensive line.

          1. Chip didn’t have control of the 13 or 14 drafts, One of the main reasons he fought for control was the Marcus Smith pick. Have you ever watched his face when he gets asked a question about him? He doesn’t even like talking about him. And it’s been reported (always take with a grain of salt though) by numerous philly writers that he wanted Jordan Matthews in the first round, but Howie assured him they could trade up to get him in the second, which they did. I agree Huff was taken too early, but i think he’s a decent slot player who is only in his 2nd year…anything beyond that is a total crap shoot….yea Watkins was cut but 4th rounders get cut in their second year all the time. They could have taken an OL somewhere in there, but please tell me who you would have taken? The guys stunk, and even this year, sure he could have taken someone, but then you get the “but he didn’t address the secondary” and “But who is going to take Maclin’s place?” anyone beyond the third round was garbage. And i see your a guy who says “he LET Maclin walk” Offering someone 10 million dollars per year is a hell of a way to tell someone to hit the bricks. Hart isn’t being “outplayed” by Bair he’s just hurt, and i bet you didn’t even know who Bair was until the game against the Jets. BTW Lane Johnson was playing Sunday with a sprained ankle and sprained MCL, so yeah he looked like shit.

      2. It would also help if the O-line could keep him on his feet for an entire game (not to mention help establish a real run game). We saw what Bradford can do when he has a decent pocket in the second half of this game and the second half of the Falcons game. I think its fair to say that he holds on to the ball too long sometimes, but, once he gets into a rhythm he’s actually good.

        It’s also not his fault that the WRs have dropped about a million passes so far this season.

    2. Sam Bradford is not going to get much better, because he’s a friggin gutless statue playing behind a porous offensive line.
      What he’s going to get, is injured.

  8. I won two dollars on corrupt DraftKings last night – I think I am ahead of Neighbor Mike. But what’s that?

  9. The hard part is you don’t know what is going on in his head…did he miss reading the defense, did he go through his progressions? If you’re saying he threw into good coverage, how do you know that wasn’t a mistake on his end? I saw him throw into double coverage on a play, that was not great… I also feel like he stares down receivers….I don’t know, I’m not sold either way, but maybe because he looks like Van Wilder, I just don’t think he’s making the right mental plays

  10. Is Sam Bradford bad? Yup. Bad in St. Louis; bad here.

    Let me get this straight, he had one good quarter all year so far, against a baaaaaad Redskins team by exploiting an obviously injured Culliver and this blog rights a pretty lengthy post to come to Sam Bradford’s defense and paint him out to be a good QB? Kyle, why not get Dave Spadarro to write for this site. He may be a little less biased.

    Crossing Broad Logic:

    Chip Kelly: Genius, great coach.
    Andy Reid: Terrible coach

    Sam Bradford: Great QB not getting the credit he deserves, who “Put the team on his back” for one quarter against a putrid team.
    Donovan McNabb: Lousy QB

  11. IS SAM BRADFORD BAD? ARE YOU CRAZY? HE STINKS!

    WE GAVE THE RAMS FOLES AND A SECOND ROUND PICK FOR THIS LOSER?! FOLES HAS BEAT ARIZONA AND SEATTLE. BRADFORD BARELY BEAT THE STINKING JETS.

  12. Sams no good. Coach would have put me in – we would have won State. For sure.

    Yeah, Sam throws to receivers ok. Can he throw a football over them mountains?

  13. Ahh! Ha! Ha! Ha! We’re going to the Super Bowl baby!
    That’s the pathetic Eagles fans chant we hear every year after year! Ahh! Ha! Ha! Ha! FUCK the Eagles

  14. Guys, if you don’t have an o-line, you can’t judge the QB or the receivers, or the running backs. Not only that, it’s affecting the defense so you can’t rightfully call them out either (they’re gassed). Chip is a good coach, he’s way better than Andy Reid. However, his arrogance and personal decisions don’t fit in the NFL.

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