When it comes to quarterback Sam Bradford’s favorite targets this year, the third-year quarterback has seemingly adopted a qauntity-over-quality mentality.
No Rams receiver has more than 646 receiving yards this year, but three receivers are within seven yards of each other with one game remaining.
Receiver Brandon Gibson has 646 yards on 48 receptions, followed closely by rookie Chris Givens and slot receiver Danny Amendola, who have 644 and 639 yards, respectively. And the idea of sharing the wealth doesn’t stop there – although Gibson has the team lead in receiving yards, Amendola leads the team in receptions (59) and Givens leads the team in yards per catch (16.1).
The shared load has become somewhat of a calling card for an offense still in search of a true No. 1 receiver. There are no Calvin Johnsons or A.J. Greens on the Rams; rather, the collection of complementary players allows for Bradford to spread the ball around without becoming overly dependent on one receiver.
Five Rams have 31 or more receptions on the season, and one reception by tight end Lance Kendricks this Sunday will give the Rams four players with 40-plus. No receiver is higher than 58th on the league’s list of receiving yards, but three are among the top 61. The parity among the group speaks to his confidence in all his receivers, Bradford said.
“I think it shows that we’re not afraid to spread the ball out,” Bradford said. “The ball can go to any number of our receivers. We’re not going to force it to one guy, and I think those numbers show that.”
That abundance of options has, in part, helped Bradford to his best year as a professional. Barring a disaster Sunday in Seattle, Bradford will finish the season with career-highs in passing yards, passing touchdowns, yards per attempt, quarterback rating and touchdown-to-interception ratio. Despite some ugly box scores and the never-ending scrutiny that has followed Bradford since his rookie season, the quarterback has taken a step forward in his third offensive scheme in three years.
That progression would accelerate with the addition or emergence of a No. 1 receiver next season, but for now Bradford will try to finish the season on a high note with the receivers he’s got. Which one will go down as Bradford’s favorite target still remains to be seen.