Saturday, October 1, 2016

teddy bridgewater

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VT QOTW

how surprised are you by Minnesota’s 3-0 start
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings weren’t supposed to start the season undefeated. The losses of Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil, and Sharrif Floyd spelled doom for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

But led my head coach Mike Zimmer and the NFL’s most dangerous defense, they’ve overcome the odds, beating NFC powerhouses like the Packers and Panthers along the way. It’s been an exhilarating run for fans, and one that may only improve with time.

Still, had you asked any fan before the season whether Sam Bradford could carry the Vikings or T.J. Clemmings would seemingly outperform Kalil, they’d have laughed in your face. This has been a surprising stretch of success in Minnesota, one that few outside the state or fan base expected.

Inside the Vikings Territory writer’s room, I asked the same question and received a few surprising answers:

“On a scale from 1-10, how surprised are you by Minnesota’s 3-0 start to the season?”

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Alex Boone Injured in Vikings Win
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Lost in the excitement of yesterday’s win over the Carolina Panthers is the potential loss of Alex Boone. The Minnesota Vikings’ starting left guard was injured in the second quarter and did not return to the game. His hip injury will require an MRI this afternoon and adds another offensive lineman to Eric Sugarman’s cadre of “patients.”

Boone’s status is up-in-the-air, leaving the Vikings without two starters up front. Matt Kalil underwent hip surgery of his own on Thursday, ending his season just two games into the 2016 campaign. Second-year tackle T.J. Clemmings stepped into Kalil’s role on Sunday, performing well enough to keep Sam Bradford upright against the Panthers.

Jeremiah Sirles replaced Boone midway through the second quarter and held his own against a stout Carolina front. Asked after the game if he was worried about the injury, Boone simply told Brian Murphy, “All fine, all good.”

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Welcome to Minnesota

Sam Bradford Drops Dimes
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A thunderous clap echoes throughout U.S. Bank Stadium. A crowd of more than 66,000 sends a deafening cheer onto the field. And in the huddle, Sam Bradford is preparing to take his first snap as quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings.

Louder than the fans and more ferocious than the Green Bay Packers, doubt casts an ominous shadow over Bradford’s soon-to-begin tenure with the Vikings. General manager Rick Spielman paid a fortune to acquire Bradford, giving up a 2017 first and 2018 fourth round pick for the seven-year veteran. In doing so, he banked his team’s future on a quarterback riddled with past injuries and surrounded by question marks.

The first pick of the 2010 NFL Draft had yet to live up to given expectations, and nothing indicated he’d ever get there. He’s what I originally called a spare tire — a short-term fix for the long-term problem of Teddy Bridgewater’s devastating knee injury.

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Minnesota Vikings Sam Bradford

sThe Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings opened the gates to historic US Bank Stadium Sunday night in rousing fashion defeating the Green Bay Packers 17-14. The Purple were led by a strong effort by the Zimmer Hellfire Defense, an other-worldly performance by Stefon Diggs, and a completely surprising/electric outing from newly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford. We recap the game that was and even do it without “sampling” other teams’ & sports’ traditions.

Today’s Border Battle Talkers Include:
• Sam Bradford Played Better Than Anyone Could Have Expected
• The Defense Owned Aaron Rodgers
• Stefon Diggs is Already Antonio Brown
• Why Adrian Peterson’s Injury Could Be a Positive
• The Ballad of Trae Waynes
• The Good and Bad Coaching Calls
• Matt Kalil is Back to Being Bad Kalil
• The Offensive Line Needs to be Fixed
• Loose Thoughts

All that and other “Shaun Hill Who?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Five(ish) thoughts on Sunday night's win over the Packers

Bradford is the best passer
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. Sam Bradford is a better passer than Teddy Bridgewater.

I KNOW. I know it reads like a reactionary take, and there’s more to playing quarterback than prowess as a pure passer. I’m not trying to pick on a player who is unavailable due to injury, nor am I trying to throw out a splashy take based on one game. But I really don’t think this take is even hot; it was obvious in Bradford’s first start with the Vikings, he is a superior passer to Bridgewater at this point in their respective careers. This was an idea many astute observers floated before Bradford first took the field for Minnesota, and it was supported Sunday night. Sam Bradford is a natural passer—his arm strength is upper-echelon and his throws against Green Bay were extremely accurate. He had two beautifully placed touchdown passes, and he was decisive and poised against nearly constant pressure. And he’s been with the team for two weeks. You can see how he could be a good fit for a Norv Turner, vertical passing offense, and understand why Spielman targeted him via trade. That first round pick seems fully justified today.

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