REIDELL: Vikings Should Start Both Bridgewater AND Keenum

The Minnesota Vikings have an issue at the quarterback position.

Teddy Bridgewater, who fans seem to like quite a bit, has been activated from the physically unable to perform list and, by all accounts, is ready to play. Case Keenum, the long-time spot-starter who has won the hearts of many in Minnesota over the past several weeks, continues to fend off the former first-round draft selection’s return with quality play and a handful of quarterback wins.

Everyone has an opinion on who the Vikings starting quarterback should be moving forward, but I think we might be asking the wrong question. Instead of asking which of Bridgewater and Keenum should be the team’s starter, we should instead be asking, “Why not start both quarterbacks and get the best of both worlds?”

It’s no secret that Bridgewater and Keenum are different quarterbacks from different football backgrounds with different skill sets. That said, both players have also proved capable of having success at the NFL level. In essence, there isn’t truly a bad option here, as both signal-callers could very well lead the Vikings deep into the postseason.

Now imagine what could happen if both Bridgewater and Keenum were on the field at the same time. Offensive coordinators are always looking for new ways to attack defenses, and trotting out a pair of quarterbacks could be the next great innovation.

Combining the different talents of Bridgewater and Keenum with a touch of Pat Shurmur magic could be what Minnesota needs to take the proverbial next step. Shurmur has been an electric play-caller all season long; who is to say he couldn’t determine a way to maximize the talents of both Bridgewater and Keenum at the same time?

The Vikings could hypothetically switch off between their two quarterbacks, employing them situationally in order to best fit their strengths. Bridgewater, for example, has been historically successful during the first and fourth quarters, but he has had some issues during the second and third quarters, as shown by the chart below:

Courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference

Throughout his career, Bridgewater has opened and closed games very well, producing quarterback ratings of 94.7 and 91.2, respectively. On the other hand, his quarterback rating drops to 81.1 during the second quarter and even further down to 79.8 during the third quarter. Fortunately, the Vikings have another quarterback on their roster who has been more successful during these game periods.

Courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference

Keenum, as shown in the chart above, has been better than Bridgewater during the second and third quarters but worse during the first and fourth quarters. His quarterback rating is higher during these game situations, which means he is the better option during the middle 30 minutes of the game.

So, basically, the Vikings have an opportunity to optimize their offense by switching between Bridgewater and Keenum based on how they have played during specific situations. To compare it to baseball, Bridgewater would act as the starting pitcher and the closer while Keenum would represent the middle reliever. This would keep both quarterbacks fresh while also playing to their strengths.

Hear me out — maybe there is a way we can all be happy. And maybe, in the process, the Vikings could become the first team ever to start two quarterbacks and also win a Super Bowl.

Oh, and by the way, this article is satire. I probably should have said that earlier.

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BJ Reidell

Captain Content and Superior Half of About the Labor: A Minnesota Vikings Podcast. Human Flamethrower on Twitter @RobertReidell.

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  1. Funny don’t really care who they go with as long as we keep winning Skol Vikings drink from the skull cap of Rogers

  2. I think you’ve officially lost your mind. You would have to take out a skill player to do that. Keenum is starting. Deal with it.

  3. Take out Case Keenum?!!! Are you kidding? After 4 TDs in the Nation’s Capital? No one has bombed Washington like that since the British in 1812. The first lady had taken the Washington portrait off the wall, folks on capital hill were told to pack their bags.
    I know we need to minimally evaluate Teddy for
    financial reasons. But not this week.

  4. I am fine with what ever direction we go with but if u decide to start kenum in my opinion u better be in it for the long haul cuz u can’t put that kinda pressure on him that if he has one bad game he’s getting benched or in Bradford case a bad half

  5. I knew this rang a bell! The Los Angeles Rams alternated two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks – Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin, later the Vikings’ first head coach – on a game-by-game basis during the 1951 and 1952 seasons. The Rams made the playoffs both years and won the 1951 NFL Championship. So perhaps BJ’s satirical suggestion isn’t so wild after all, especially as it is backed up by analytics (“Ooooh”).


  6. Tom Landry tried using QBs Staubach and Morton on alternating downs to bring in the play. Wasn’t Tom’s finest moment