The young Vikings signal-caller wins the fan-voted award, though there may have been better candidates.
UPDATE: Teddy Bridgewater has officially won the contest. Story as it originally appeared, below:
Pepsi’s fan voting contest on NFL.com for rookie of the year has evidently picked a winner, despite the announcement coming later tonight. The interaction is still up at their website (update: no it’s not), but in case they take it down, here’s a screenshot:
It’s a big feather in the cap for Bridgewater, though of the five players, his performance was probably not the top one. Still, his five-week run at the end of the season was as good as anybody’s so it’s not as if Teddy doesn’t deserve it in an abstract sense.
That makes three Pepsi Rookie of the Year Awards for the Vikings, the other two being Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin—the most of any team since its inception in 2002. Current starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and Super Bowl participant Russell Wilson won the award in 2012.
Teddy’s rookie season was reminiscent of Drew Brees’ first year as a starter, and though his totals were low because he had fewer starts than most starting quarterbacks, his statistics generally looked good. Teddy finished with 7.3 yards per attempt and a completion rate of 64.4 percent, the third-highest of any rookie quarterback in history.
The 7.3 YPA is good enough to be 13th-best in the NFL and although high sack rates and unlucky interceptions bring down his rankings in passer rating and more advanced stats like net yards per attempt and adjusted net yards per attempt, he can still be proud of a 5.5 ANY/A, to go with his three fourth-quarter comebacks.
Still, it probably should have gone to Odell Beckham, Jr or (not on the ballot) Joel Bitonio if the award is limited to offensive rookies, or Aaron Donald if including defensive rookies. Beckham averaged 108.8 receiving yards per game, the best in the NFL. He finished tenth in total yards despite only playing in 12 games, and had 12 touchdowns to his name. Most notably, Beckham probably had the highlight of the year:
There’s not much use griping, however, and we should feel happy for Teddy Bridgewater.
The Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award is not the only ROY Award presented by the NFL before the Super Bowl. The Associated Press holds their own, conducted by a poll of their sportswriters, not the general public. The Pro Football Writers Association also holds a poll of their members for a rookie of the year award, but it is not presented by the NFL like the AP award.