Vikings fans, get excited! Teddy Bridgewater is set to start his first NFL game this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Vikings have confirmed that former starting QB Matt Cassel is out for the season after breaking several bones in his foot in last sunday's loss against New Orleans. They have placed Cassel and guard Brandon Fusco on season ending injured reserve.
In Bridgewater's regular season debut - he joined the game in New Orleans when Cassel went down - he played well, bearing in mind he was up against a potential Superbowl team in the Saints, albeit at 0-2. Teddy completed 12/20 passes for 150 yards and rushed for 27 yards.
Teddy will be ready
Bridgewater has a lot to offer the Vikings. He is intelligent and a good precise passer of the football. He also has the ability to run with the ball, as he demonstrated in the Superdome.
With Cassel out of the picture, and Adrian Peterson looking as though his career in Minnesota is all but over, it's Teddy's team now, and he's ready for the challenge:
"Moving forward, I think I am definitely going to be ready. I just need to get more practice reps throughout the week. As a backup, it's all about getting mental reps during the week. But now we have seven days to prepare for Atlanta, so we have time to develop that chemistry with the guys and be able to be a better quarterback."
Its a good situation for Bridgewater. He has the chance to play with less pressure on his shoulders than if he was thrown in week one. He's had more time to get used to the systems, players and his offence and if he messes up he has no realistic back-up peering over his shoulders. We all know what happened in the Christian Ponder era.
Falcons expecting a challenge
Ahead of the game against Atlanta this weekend, Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has said he doesn't expect an easy ride for his players with the rookie Bridgewater under centre. After all, the falcons lost to two rookies in Mike Glennon and Geno Smith last season:
"Well I'll say this: We never take a rookie lightly," Nolan said. "After all the years I've been in .... last year, Geno Smith, his numbers weren't great, but he did enough to win the game......There have been other quarterbacks over the years. Every now and then, the young guy will rise up in an occasion like that and do a great job. So, we'll take [Bridgewater] serious. By all means, there will be no relaxing on the fact that he's a rookie."
At the end of the day losing Cassel isn't a big blow. It gives the Vikings a chance to give their fans something to get pumped up about.
It's the loss of Brandon Fusco that should have fans slightly concerned. Fusco has been Mr Reliable for the Vikings up front in recent years and was awarded a bumper five-year $25 million contract in the off season.
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