Sam Bradford has not had the start to the 2015 NFL season that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was hoping for when he traded for him in the offseason. In fact, he has been absolutely awful the majority of the time, with rare flashes of brilliance that make you wonder if it is the same quarterback that often looks like a dear in the headlights. While the Philadelphia Eagles have fought back from a 1-3 start and now sit at 3-3, quarterback Sam Bradford is holding back their true potential.
Through six games, Bradford has thrown for 1,561 yards, nine touchdowns, and nine interceptions. This comes out to an extremely pedestrian quarterback rating of 80, and many of his interceptions have come in crucial moments of the game. The NFL record for the most interceptions in the red zone is five. Bradford already has four, and the Eagles still have ten games left on the schedule. In addition to being turnover prone in the red zone area, Bradford also cannot seem to do anything else right. According to Jeff Skversky of 6abc Philadelphia, Bradford has the worst red zone quarterback rating as well.
So what exactly was Chip Kelly thinking when he traded former quarterback Nick Foles and draft picks in exchange for Bradford? Clearly, he made the trade based on potential alone, since Bradford has never been anything more than an average NFL quarterback. Since being drafted as the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, Bradford has been mediocre at best. Over his career, he has a quarterback rating of 79.4, which is slightly under his rating this year. While many fans and analysts were quick to blame Bradford’s former team as the reason for his failures, it appears the Bradford in Philadelphia is the same average quarterback that was on the Rams.
After defeating the New York Giants by a score of 27-7 last Sunday night, many fans and analysts felt as though the victory came in spite of Bradford. While his wide receivers did not help him with running the wrong routes and dropping passes, Bradford made a ton of mental errors. USA Today believes that the Eagles should even bench Sam Bradford in favor of Mark Sanchez. The problem is, Mark Sanchez has proven to be average at best as well. After getting off to a hot start last year for the Eagles after Nick Foles went down for the season, Sanchez proved why he is nothing more than an NFL backup. Besides not being able to get the ball down the field, Sanchez is also turnover prone, and is probably not the answer to the Eagles’ quarterback problem.
Even with all of the question marks, Chip Kelly says that Sam Bradford is still the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. According to Bleeding Green Nation, Kelly has full confidence in his quarterback and believes the issues can be corrected.
At his press conference last Monday, a reporter asked Kelly what the problem is.
“That’s a great question. There’s not one thing. I think, at times, it’s the rush will break down, so now he has to move his feet. We did have some inconsistency and some wrong routes run the other night, so that kind of puts him in a situation he’s expecting the receiver to be here and he’s not there anymore.”
It has become a common issue for Kelly to protect Bradford from blame. While he has recently cited the offensive line, drops, and wide receivers running the wrong routes as the problem, he has rarely called out Bradford directly. Regardless, if the Philadelphia Eagles have any hopes of making the playoffs and having further success, Sam Bradford has to significantly improve, and it better happen quickly.
[Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images]