Poll Of The Week

POLL OF THE WEEK: Teddy Bridgewater’s Touchdowns

With minicamp complete and a little over a month until the Vikings head to Mankato for training camp, all the focus appears to be on Adrian Peterson. How many yards will he rush for? How will Norv Turner use him out of the backfield? Will he be the same after missing a year?

They’re valid questions, but the success of the Vikings does not rest solely on Adrian Peterson’s massive shoulders. Although Peterson single-handedly carried the offense in 2012 — thanks, Christian Ponder — he’s surrounded by more talent than he’s seen in his 9 years with the Vikings, and that starts with the man he’ll be lining up behind  — Teddy Bridgewater.

After a promising rookie season, Bridgewater is expected to “make the leap”, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land atop NFL.com’s infamous rankings this offseason. Last year, he started 12 games for the Vikings, threw 14 touchdowns, and finished with a 6-6 record under center.

His stats don’t “wow” on paper (2,919 yards, 85.2 quarterback rating), but the poise, decision-making, and maturity he displayed behind a rickety offensive line are hard to dismiss. Heck, he did it all without Peterson, who looks to add yet another element to Norv Turner’s attack in 2015.

In those 12 starts, Bridgewater threw 14 touchdowns — good for 1.167 touchdowns per game — which would give him an estimated 18 touchdowns in a full season as the team’s quarterback.  His top targets were Greg Jennings (since departed), Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson, and Kyle Rudolph, and his running backs were primarily Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon.

This offseason, Rick Spielman and his staff set out to surround Bridgewater with the talent he’d need to unlock the offense’s full potential. In March, they bid Jennings goodbye and replaced him with Mike Wallace, one of the league’s fastest receivers and a legitimate deep threat. At running back, they held their ground and forced Adrian Peterson’s return to Minnesota. And in the draft, they acquired MyCole Pruitt, a Swiss Army Knife of a tight end who will likely start the season behind Kyle Rudolph.

The offensive line is still in flux, but Spielman again used the draft to shore up depth. According to reports, rookie Tyrus Thompson has taken the majority of first-team reps at right guard, and fourth-round selection T.J. Clemmings has rotated all over the right side of the line. Matt Kalil will welcome the presence of former right guard Brandon Fusco at left guard, making this a stronger, more cohesive line on paper.

But what does this mean for Teddy Bridgewater?

He’s grown with a year of football under his belt — highlight videos, press conferences, and photos from camp show a relaxed Bridgewater, a player comfortable as the team’s leader. He’s surrounded by a talented, young roster ready to build on last year’s surprising success. He has the support of the franchise, including head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

If last year’s 14 touchdowns were an indication of Bridgewater’s progress, it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to add at least six touchdowns to last year’s total. With Adrian Peterson back in the mix, many expect the Vikings to pound the ball, but reports indicate they want to limit Peterson’s workload. For comparison’s sake, a look at team rushing attempts in 2013 (with Peterson) vs. 2014 (without Peterson):

  • 2013: 423 attempts for 2,081 yards (4.9 yards per rush)
  • 2014: 413 attempts for 1,804 yards (4.3 yards per rush)

The numbers aren’t dramatically different, and Turner may find ways to use both Peterson and McKinnon as receivers out of the backfield. With a slew of weapons, including Wallace, Johnson, Rudolph, Pruitt, and a revitalized (cross your fingers) Cordarrelle Patterson, Bridgewater will have plenty of places to throw the football — and throw touchdowns.

Yes, Adrian Peterson is the star of the Vikings’ offense. But Teddy Bridgewater is talented enough to carry a team, and he’ll have a shot at improving on his solid rookie statistics in 2015. A number of new pass-catchers, the return of a threatening running game, and an improved offensive line are reason enough to warrant optimism heading into training camp.

I’ll set the over/under at 22 and ask our poll question of the week:

Will Teddy Bridgewater go over or under 22 touchdowns in 2015?

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. You said it yourself Austin;
    ” A number of new pass-catchers, the return of a threatening running game, and an improved offensive line”
    How could he not improve, dramatically, this year?
    22 TD’s?? 22 TD’s???!!

    28 TD’s, no problem.

    1. 28?! Last year only 9 quarterbacks threw over 28 touchdowns and only 1 was under 30(Andrew Luck). As much as I like young Theodore he’s no Luck, Andrew is a generational talent.
      It would be nice if he beat Erin Rodgers tho.

      1. Top 9 is the upper 27% of QBs. Is it really a stretch to think that Bridgewater can make it into the top quarter of NFL QBs next year, especially after seeing his last 5 games rank him in the top 2? Interestingly enough, Luck wasn’t the other QB who rated that high over those last 5 games. I do agree, however; Bridgewater is no Luck…. he’s 3 years younger and 2 years less experienced. We’ll see what the future brings.

        1. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Ryan Tannehill, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan?
          That’s the top 16 quarterbacks in the NFL right now; I understand we’ll all have a hometown bias for Teddy but you really think he’ll pass 7 of those players his 2nd season?? I mean yeah I like Teddy a lot but you’re talking about 16 Probowl quarterbacks, many in much more pass friendly offenses.

          I’ll stand by what I said 100% even though I’m sure it won’t be the popular statement here, just the most accurate.

  2. I had to go with under, I think the final count will be 20. The Vikings haven’t been a passing team and I believe this year well be rushing a lot more inside the 10.
    I’d predict 3672 yards 20 TD 8 INT.

  3. Who are the 5 people who voted “other”? What could “other” be when the choices are =22, >22, or <22?

    Q: How many touchdowns will Teddy throw?
    A: Air conditioner, coffee, underpants.

  4. I think the more important number is how many points will the offense score and the defense allow.

    I think our D will allow 10-24 points per most games with GBay and Seattle being the exceptions at 35.

    I think the Offense will mostly score 20-42 points in most games, with the median being 35. Of these scores I think most will be runs with passing scores coming in at ave 2 per game hence 32 TD’s.

    Play I would like to see 4 times a game Flee-Flicker with AP as RB.

    1. Three teams in the history of the NFL have averaged 35 or more points per game. The 2015 Vikings will not be the 4th.

  5. Wow most of these commentors dont seem to have a clue. Saying Bridgewater is no Luck is rediculous. The thing about QBs, no matter who it is, is that its hard to tell just how good they will be. No one thought Brees was ever gonna be as good as he turned lut for NO. Brady was a 6th round pick. And as good as people say luck is, hes gotten blown out in multiple playoff games. Id take rodgers over luck. As for Bridgewater, Pff had him the highest ranked qb the last 5 weeks. The highest. Better than luck, better than mannimg, better than rodgers, better than Brady. He was the best. And he really looked it too. How good the vikings become is dependent on how good tb becomes. I believe by watching him, he can be the best qb in the league next year. Anyone who says Im crazy for saying that, I ask you, how am i crazy? Its not crazy to assume he plays all of next year like he ended this last year. As for the guy that said the will allow 35 poimts to green bay and seattle lol no. They wont l. Seattle ismt that great on offense. Packers were held to like 24 the last time we played them, so it aint gonna happen. Our D is too good to allow that many points.

    1. Man, you’re more biased than Paul Allen (who’s still an awesome announcer). No matter what you say Bridgewater isn’t as good as Luck right now, Andrew is taking a team that should be 5-11 to the AFC championship game. That’s not a slight on Bridgewater because Luck is a generational quarterback (think Elway, Montana, Favre, Manning, Brady). As for the blowout, you can’t blame Luck when the defense allows 45 points.

      The only thing you said that was correct is that Erin Rodgers is better which is true, he’s the best quarterback in the NFL right now partially because of age and he’s on a much more talented team.