San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick: Week 4, at St. Louis.
|Dropback||0||0||0||2, 32 yards||0||1|
|Total||2||11||0||2, 32 yards||2||2|
Kaepernick made a few silly mistakes, such as getting sacked on a screen pass and losing control of the ball on a handoff. Otherwise, he had infinity times more success passing than he did against the Seahawks and Colts. After watching three weeks worth of games so far and watching him in the second half of last season, I’d personally say that Kaepernick has the strongest arm in the league and it’s not particularly close. That showed up on the deep out routes that made up the majority of his throws Thursday Night – and more importantly, in the wake of last Sunday’s mild disaster against the Colts, his accuracy returned as well.
It seemed like the Rams’ defensive scheme also helped the 49ers get back on track, however, as Anquan Boldin magically started getting wide open again after being completely blanketed by man coverage the past two weeks. Could that possibly have had something to do with the fact that the Rams predominantly played zone coverage Thursday Night? PERHAPS. It also helped Kaepernick that Vernon Davis was back in the lineup and that the running game got fully on track for the first time all season. But, really, the 49ers’ improved performance through the air against the Rams doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve solved the problems that plagued them the previous two weeks – they simply faced a defense that couldn’t (or, perhaps, wouldn’t) take advantage of their weaknesses. With Houston and their aggressive man coverage scheme coming to Candlestick next Sunday Night, Kaepernick and Co. will learn soon enough whether they’ve made any real progress.
St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford: Week 4, vs. San Francisco.
|Dropback||0||0||1||1, 6 yards||5||7|
|Play-Action||0||0||0||1, 15 yards||0||1|
|Total||0||0||1||2, 21 yards||5||8|
Bradford started 11-of-17 for 140 yards befor e throwing an interception in the end zone that was tipped by Tramaine Brock and spectacularly intercepted by Donte Whitner. After that, things got brutal for the Rams – Bradford went 8-for-22 for 64 yards the rest of the way, got sacked four times, lost a fumble and had six of his eight inaccurate throws. It’s the second game in a row where the Rams offense has had 13 combined inaccurate throws and dropped passes, which is a good way to score 18 combined points in two games and lead to a montage of tortured fan reactions around the Edward Jones Dome. Take out the garbage time production after they fell behind by 21 to Atlanta and you’ve got a legitimate streak of nasty offensive performances.
It’s still early, but right now the Rams’ offseason shuffling of their skill position players hasn’t paid many dividends this season. Tavon Austin has been more productive than Danny Amendola by default since Amendola’s been hurt, but he hasn’t really shown any of the agility and acceleration he was purported to have coming out of West Virginia. Jared Cook’s shown why the Titans were okay letting him walk in free agency, following up a huge game against the Cardinals with three forgettable ones. And the Rams also miss the possession receiving qualities Brandon Gibson is currently providing the Dolphins, not to mention the yards after the catch Steven Jackson provided as a receiving running back. It’s shaping up as yet another poor supporting cast for Bradford, who certainly hasn’t shown the ability to overcome a lack of talent around him. Getting the Jaguars at home next week will provide an opportunity to feel better about themselves for a week, but there’s not a whole lot of other reasons to feel optimistic about the Rams right now.