Okay, first off, a disclaimer. ESPN obviously doesn't entirely hate the Rams or Sam Bradford, or the ratings this rising team will pull in for their two Monday Night Football appearances this year. But they're more than willing to stoke the fires of fan sentiment any way they can, while wearing the mantle of the "Sports Information Leader."
Their latest ploy? The introduction of the "Total Quarterback Rating (QBR)," which they intend to use to put the old antiquated QB Rating system to bed. Their initial story, explaining the ranking, has the helpful headline: "How to Identify the NFL's Best Quarterbacks."
And at this point, Rams fans are thinking "YESSSSSS! Now that we finally have a quarterback worth bragging about, we're about to get some love!"
Uh, no. In fact, you'll find Bradford buried in the "below average" tier, lumped in uncomfortably next to Alex Smith, Jason Campbell and Chad Henne, and just a small step away from the untouchables like Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen. And when challenged, ESPN's Stats and Info department is more than happy to clarify why the NFL's offensive rookie of the year is tiered closer to it's biggest busts than its elite talents.
@ESPNStatsInfo Sam Bradford is BELOW AVERAGE??? Therefore the system is flawed.
Issue w/ Bradford is air yards. Short passes w/ YAC=easy for QB
"Air yards?" Really? Let's take a deeper look.