I don’t write a lot of football articles, but since I’m from Minnesota, I should write something about Teddy Bridgewater’s rookie season as quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings.
I think it’s pretty clear to say that this is going to be Bridgewater’s team next season. Head coach Mike Zimmer did wonders with the defense this season, after it was all-time franchise bad last season. It’s also safe to say that the defense will be even better next season, but we don’t need to talk about that.
We need to talk about Teddy. His touchdown-interception ratio wasn’t great, but it was better than 1-to-1 (1.167 to 1 to be exact), and that’s still a positive stat. He is a very crafty quarterback and he knows when he’s been in the pocket for too long. He is faster than most defenses expected, which is why he was able to run for 209 yards last season.
It’s clear, to anyone who watched football last season, Bridgewater was the best rookie quarterback in the league this season. He passed for nearly 3,000 yards and didn’t play at all in the first three games. His Quarterback Rating suggests he is just above-average, 50.2, but then again, his team had to rely on him thanks to the almost-season-long absence of All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson. He didn’t have Pro-Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph for most of the season either.
Here is a list of the quarterback’s who had a higher QBR, but whose team lost more games than Teddy’s, which makes me wonder if QBR even matter?:
Eli Manning – 70.9 rating, 6-10 record
Matt Ryan – 67.0 rating, 6-10 record
Jay Cutler – 54.0 rating, 5-11 record
The combined salary of those three quarterbacks for the 2014 season: $42,150,000. That means if Bridgewater keeps this up and improves, he will be well compensated once his rookie deal is over.
I mentioned that Bridgewater didn’t have two of Minnesota’s main playmakers for most of the season. But the three quarterbacks listed above had their main offensive targets. Manning had Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. Ryan had Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Harry Douglas. Cutler had Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett. Bridgewater had Greg Jennings, Charles Johnson, Chase Ford, and Rhett Ellison.
That’s just something to think about.
I liked Bridgewater’s accuracy. He completed 64.4% of his passes, good for 11th among qualifying quarterbacks, ahead of even Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, and Matthew Stafford.
Bridgewater had a solid, slightly above average rookie season when a person looks at his stats, but I feel that it was so much more and that it is only the beginning. He was able to win games, something a Minnesota quarterback hasn’t for some time. If the Vikings decide to bring back Peterson, it will only make things easier for Bridgewater. I hope they decide to draft a playmaker in with their pick in the first round. Currently, they are in the 11th slot. If the Vikings don’t bring back Peterson, they might look to move up, provided Melvin Gordon III has a tremendous combine and really impresses scouts throughout the draft process. I don’t think he will be there at 11, though.
It’s all speculation, but it’s fun to think about. It’s also nice to know that the Vikings know who their quarterback is heading into next season.
Change is nice.