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Sam Bradford

In his first start as an NFL quarterback for the St Louis Rams, whatever tests he had to take, Sam Bradford passed them, and he did so with flying colors, to the tune of completing 15 of 22 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns. His play garnered a QB rating of 125.0. With that in mind, perhaps all of the pundits should have the same excited perspective — if only for one game — concering Bradford’s performance, if, for nothing else, the lack of big-time talent around him at the skill positions (Steven Jackson notwithstanding).

That being said, the preseason grain of salt is still in effect hear, no matter how glowing a report Bradford sees. Nevertheless, with the Rams having issues at almost every position on offense, especially the offensive line — they surrendered 44 sacks last season — Bradford’s play against the New England Patriots, who were using their first-team defense, was eye-opening.

These are highlights from the Rams/Patriots, and all of Bradford’s memorable plays are featured, especially his touchdowns — speaking of, has Bradford’s affection for tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (caught both of Bradford’s TD tosses) make Hoomanawanui a viable fantasy football tight end? Definitely something to keep an eye on.

As for the excitement, praise and hype, take a quick look around the various sports outlets around the web and find statements and titles like this:

- King Sam (NFL.com)

- Bradford passes test in first pro start‎ (Yahoo Sports)

- Bradford Dazzles in Surprisingly Exciting Pre-Season Game (Riverfront Times)

No Doubt About It, Sam Bradford Already Makes Rams Better (FanHouse)

And I haven’t even mentioned on the St Louis papers; but you’d better believe they’re excited: “It really does look like the Rams have themselves a franchise quarterback.” Considering the last two or three seasons St Louis sports writers have had to endure, the excitement is very easy to understand.

Unfortunately for Bradford’s development, it looks like he’ll be without the services of wide receiver Donnie Avery, who injured his knee last night. According the Rams’ staff, the injury appears to be “significant.”

It should also be noted Bradford hasn’t been named the regular season starter by coach Steve Spagnuolo, and considering the questions concerning the offensive line and the limited offensive weapons, this, too, is understandable. Clearly, Spagnuolo wants to keep Sam around long enough to fulfill the potential he showed last night, and putting him behind a line that almost surrendered 50 sacks last season isn’t the best way to assure that.

However, if the Rams draft correctly in the coming seasons, the primary need being a big-time receiver — A.J. Green, anyone? — and a stout offensive line, it certainly appears as if they have the foundation in place with Bradford. The key is protecting him until the a few more necessary parts are added.