Eagles fans have turned to Pope Francis to ensure Sam Bradford’s knee will stay healthy this season. It’s easy to see why. While Sam Bradford playing in all 16 regular season games this season doesn’t guarantee them a good run at the Super Bowl, it would certainly help their odds.
Here’s why: A healthy Sam Bradford is an above-average NFL quarterback.
Bradford’s accuracy on his passes is far better than the accuracy of his depth chart competition. When he hasn’t been under pressure and throws at least 5 yards in the air throughout his career, he’s accurate on 66 percent of his throws. That is 5 percent better than Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley in their careers, and 10 percent better than Tim Tebow.
Even when Bradford is under pressure, he is accurate on nearly half of his passes with 5 yards in the air or more, which is still 5 percent better than the rest of the Eagles quarterbacks when they are under pressure.
No one is expecting Bradford to be Aaron Rodgers this year, but he has the chance to be very effective. His Philadelphia supporting cast includes DeMarco Murray, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson — all of whom rank among the top 10 players at their position. The Eagles also have several young, promising wide receivers. That is a better supporting cast then Bradford ever had with the Rams.
Of course, he can only take advantage of it if he stays healthy, and that’s been the issue for him throughout his NFL career. Perhaps the Pope can help with that.