Cam Newton and Russell Wilson both made strong MVP cases during the second half of the 2015 season, but they could not keep up with Sam Bradford in terms of yards per attempt (YPA) on vertical passes (throws of 11 or more yards downfield). In fact, no one in the league matched Bradford’s 15.1 vertical YPA pace from Weeks 9 through 17.

That Bradford did this with a less-than-stellar pass-catching corps is notable, but it isn’t an anomaly. In the 2013 season, Bradford ranked sixth in the league in vertical YPA (12.5) despite throwing to a mediocre receiving corps consisting of Tavon Austin, Austin Pettis, Chris Givens, Brian Quick, Jared Cook andLance Kendricks. He is one of a small handful of quarterbacks capable of getting excellent downfield production out of subpar receiving.

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