49ers vs. Rams: Sam Bradford Versus The Field

ST. LOUIS MO - DECEMBER 19: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams passes against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome on December 19 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. The Chiefs beat the Rams 27-13. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

My original plan was to have a post comparing Sam Bradford and the 49ers starting QB. Unfortunately at the time of this writing we have no real idea who that QB will be. Due to Internet limitations I'm writing this post the night before so if a decision has been made by the time this publishes, feel free to insert the appropriate name.

A coule days ago Mike Sando ran his latest rankings of the QBs in the NFC West. In those rankings he had Sam Braford number one, Alex Smith number two, Matt Hasselbeck number three, and Troy Smith number four. Bradford had a very solid start to the season, which is a big reason he remains number one. However, he's thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns the last three games. Consider him the big fish in a small pond.

Football Outsiders ranks QBs and they have the top four NFC West QBs as follows (overall ranking in parenthesis):

1 (30). Matt Hasselbeck
2 (31). Sam Bradford
3 (34). Alex Smith
4 (35). Troy Smith

It's certainly not a pretty picture, but Sam Bradford has had arguably more 2010 highlights than any other NFC West QB. Throw in his rookie status and he would seem to be the best QB in the division.

The 49ers roll out a rather inconsistent pass defense that Sam Bradford could excel against or he could end up like Matt Hasselbeck throwing interceptions left and right. Bradford threw for 187 yards and an interception while completing 62.1% of his passes in a win at Arizona. He threw for 231 yards and two interceptions while completing 56.3% of his passes in a loss at New Orleans. He threw for 181 yards and two interceptions while completing 48.8% of his passes on Sunday in a home loss to KC. Not exactly a strong showing leading up to today.

All things considered the Rams have to be extremely excited about Sam Bradford's development in 2010 and what it means for their long term future. However, for the purposes of what amounts to a one-game playoff is he in a position to succeed on Sunday and help put his Rams in a position to win a key game against the 49ers? He had a fairly solid game against the 49ers in week 10 but even then the 49ers bend but don't break defense did just enough.

What kind of performance are you expecting out of Sam Bradford on Sunday, and will the 49ers defense be able to handle the rookie QB?

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