A promising start to his career with the Minnesota Vikings shouldn’t make Sam Bradford their savior, or a window to their hopes of winning a Super Bowl. It was just one game, and getting too excited without anything substantial to base that enthusiasm on is always dangerous.
Obviously, we’re feeding off the fan reaction and social media replying to the Vikings starting the season 2-0. When Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season ending injury it wasn’t supposed to have a happy ending. But the Vikings have a terrific defense, and didn’t seem to have any problems transitioning to Bradford making his debut for the team in week 2, beating the Green Bay Packers 17-14.
Bradford threw two touchdown passes, throwing for 286 yards and completing 71% of his attempts. A 9.2 average, a 121.2 passer rating. Sounds like a dream. Sounds like the Vikings have the perfect replacement for Bridgewater. Maybe even one that surpasses him.
Bradford is probably a better quarterback than Bridgewater, at least at this point in their careers. But this is the Bradford that missed six games in 2011, nine games in 2013 and all of 2014. This is the Bradford the Philadelphia Eagles made pretty clear they don’t see as their future quarterback, and moved him at the first chance.
Bradford wasn’t bad last season, in what probably was his best season in the NFL, starting 14 games for the Eagles, who went 7-7 with him at quarterback. In fact, if the Eagles receivers hadn’t led the league in dropped passes, maybe Chip Kelly would still have his job, and Bradford would be viewed in a completely different light by Philadelphia fans and the front office.
It reminds me of how excited the Eagles were with Bradford during the preseason. He arrived from the Rams via trade, and after some impressive performances, the Eagles immediately regretted not offering him a contract extension while it was still possible. Bradford went into free agency and ended up signing a two-year deal, but knew very quickly that the Eagles are thinking about someone else as their franchise quarterback down the line.
Bradford is a good quarterback, who’ll probably do well for the Vikings, even if he’s gone through too many coaches and offensive coordinators in his career. But the distance between where the Vikings are and winning a Super Bowl, is well, quite far. Adrian Peterson going down isn’t going to help, and Bradford still has the burden of proof facing him, especially if he’s going to take over for Bridgewater not just in this season, but once he returns from his injury as well.