The third game wasn't the charm for Sam Bradford, Cherokee. After playing lights out in his first two games, a close lose to the Detroit Lions and a come-from-behind win against Washington, Bradford and his St. Louis Rams were beaten soundly by the Chicago Bears yesterday, 23-6. The Rams are now 1-2, while the Bears improved to 2-1.
Bradford's tough day included getting sacked six times and a pick-six—Major Wright intercepted a deflected pass and returned it 45-yard for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to clinch the game. As the Chicago Tribune reported, Bradford was consistently in third-and-long situations because of the Rams paltry running game. Stalwart running back Stephen Jackson was held to just 29 yards on 11 carries, forcing Bradford to throw the ball 35 times. He only completed 18 of those throws, his lowest completion percentage this year, for a meager 152-yards. A week after his monster game against Washington in which he caught 15 balls, the Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola was held to five catches for 66 yards.
"We got beat, and we got beat up front," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told the St. Louis Dispatch. The Bears put pressure on Bradford all day, roughing him up and reminding fans of the disastrous 2011 season, when Bradford was eventually shelved for the season after spending most of his season on his backside. Yet this game was far from a blowout, the score was 13-6 with almost ten minutes left in the fourth quarter. Yet they couldn't string together a solid drive.
All is not lost, of course, for Bradford and the Rams in this young season. As the Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz's writes, "the Rams are young, and they have potential and a strong competitive spirit. They are better now than a year ago...in their first two games we saw the Rams move forward and take steps. In the third game we saw how easy it can be to knock them back a few steps."