Patriots vs. Rams: 5 Reasons Tom Brady Shows Sam Bradford the Meaning of 'Elite'
This Sunday, the New England Patriots take on the St. Louis Rams in a game that's sure to teach London what the quarterback position is all about. With superior weapons, and Hall of Fame tools, Tom Brady is looking to light up the competition.
For the Pats, this game is about finally playing a complete four quarters and furthering a slim AFC East lead.
For the Rams, they hope to crawl back into the NFC West after a disappointing first half.
Either way, this is a good opportunity for Brady to teach Sam Bradford what an elite QB looks like.
Brady's always been known as an accurate passer, with a career completion percentage of 63.5. He's only gotten better as he's gotten older, holding a 65.3 percent completion rate on his 2012 season.
Bradford, meanwhile, has struggled at times completing his passes. His career mark sits at 58 percent, and he's completing just 59.8 percent of his passes on the season.
Not to mention, Brady doesn't let his incompletes turn into mistakes. He has just three interceptions on the season, while Bradford has double that.
His Tight End Duo
It's not exactly fair to Bradford, but one thing Brady has that he doesn't is an elite corps of weapons.
The Rams have been getting exquisite play out of their corners this season. That means Brady will have a tough time getting the ball to his outside receivers.
If that's the case, he's got just as deadly a duo on the interior, in tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
While New England's tight ends are averaging a combined 98 yards receiving per game, St. Louis' ends are averaging just 25 yards per game.
One of Brady's best attributes is his pocket presence.
Part of that is a product of a superior Patriots unit. New England has a much better offensive line than St. Louis. They've allowed 14 sacks and 30 QB hits on the season, where as the Rams have allowed 21 sacks and 42 QB hits.
That kind of pressure forces the quarterback into hurry-up mode.
O-line aside, the pocket is the kind of environment Brady thrives in. It's why he's so good at cutting down on mistakes. It's a part of the game Bradford is still developing.
Elevating Those Around Him
Bradford's wideouts have struggled all season long. His leading receiver, Danny Amendola, has just 395 yards on the season.
That has never been an issue for Brady. He has an uncanny ability of making those around him better. A prime example of this is Deion Branch.
Branch has split his career between New England and Seattle, but has been drastically better as a Pat (50 yards per game, 13.3 per catch) than a Hawk (46 yards per game, 12.4 per catch).
No one even knew who Wes Welker was until be came a Patriot. Now he's considered one of the most lethal wide receivers in the game.
While Tom Brady's ability to elevate others gives him an infinite number of weapons, Bradford is scrounging to find a competent group of receivers.
The biggest reason Tom Brady is so lethal: he's going to find a way to score points.
Let's examine our two cases.
Sam Bradford has six touchdown passes this season, and 41.18 percent of the time the Rams are in the red zone, they score a TD. St. Louis is averaging 18.6 points per game in 2012.
Tom Brady has 12 touchdown passes on the season, and 58.06 percent of the time they're in the red zone, the Pats walk away with six points. New England is averaging 31 points per game this season, best in the NFL.