Despite Teddy Bridgewater having possibly his best game since beginning his NFL career, the Minnesota Vikings are sticking to what’s worked for them most of the time this season, and that’s focusing on the ground game, which means Adrian Peterson as the vanguard of this offense.
As Mike Zimmer has said a number of times and probably more since Bridgewater threw four touchdown passes in the win against the Chicago Bears while completing 85% of his throws, the Vikings are about running the football: We want to run the football and be efficient when throwing the ball. In short: Establish the run in order to make things easy for Bridgewater, who is having an up and down second NFL season, but has thrived over the last two games.
Most impressive according to Zimmer has been Bridgewater going 16-of-18 on third down over the last two games, but thinks it’s not possible to achieve these kind of numbers without a run threat that defenses are wary of. Peterson ran the ball 18 times in the win against the Bears for only 63 yards, making it the third consecutive game for him under 70 yards of rushing. He leads the NFL with 1314 rushing yards this season on 286 carries, and often complains and calls out the coaching staff when he feels he doesn’t get enough touches.
Bridgewater is probably having a slightly better season than in his rookie year, but not by much, and with more attention to him and the 9-5 Vikings, it sometimes feels as if he’s disappointing someone. He has completed 66.3% of his throws while passing for 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has a 90.4 passer rating, slightly higher than last season. He has five games with a passer rating of 100 or more, and was almost perfect in the previous one, posting a 154.4, throwing multiple touchdown passes for only the second time this season.