Teddy Bridgewater on rise entering 2015 season
It was a simple night of work for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in Sunday’s Hall of Fame game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He took what the defense gave him (as he usually does) to complete 5 of 6 passes for 44 yards. But what is he going to do when we turn the page to the regular season?
There is a lot of debate around the league about which quarterback from the 2014 class has the brightest future – Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles all being considered – but there was a clear front-runner coming out of their respective rookie campaigns, and that’s Bridgewater.
Those dismissing him are still likely citing arm strength, hand size, or his pro day (labeled as everything from disappointing to disastrous) to state their case. But Bridgewater was the best at actual playing quarterback among his classmates last year, and he was our highest-graded quarterback – in the entire NFL — over the last five weeks of the season.
Bridgewater was most impressive on passes at the intermediate level, ranking second on passes thrown between 11 and 20 yards, and he was just as good in the 21- to 30-yard range. He did struggle on passes beyond 30 yards (worst in the league), but that could be where new wide receiver Mike Wallace comes in. While Wallace doesn’t have great downfield ball skills, he does sneak behind the defense often enough to provide big-play opportunities for Bridgewater and the Vikings.
Also providing big-play opportunities is running back Adrian Peterson, whose return should open up the offense even further with a run threat this season. Building off of a strong rookie season and adding better personnel, a sophomore slump is unlikely for Bridgewater.