In 2016, the Vikings suffered a couple of substantial losses, including an injury to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. In light of Bridgewater’s injury, the Vikings made a controversial move and called up former Rams and Eagles’ QB Sam Bradford.
Bradford was embroiled in a high-profile contract battle throughout the 2016 offseason so the phone call from the Vikings was almost certainly a relief. The outlook for Bradford on the new team in such short order wasn’t positive. But he belayed those concerns quickly.
The Vikings started the season 5-0. They were able to rack up two wins after losing star running back Adrian Peterson, then they dropped week 7 to the Eagles. The Vikings had apparently met their defensive match and lost the game 21-10. They went on to lose 3 more games before picking up a win against the Cardinals. Ultimately, the Vikes finished 8-8 on the season, a mark they’re hoping to improve upon in 2017.
So the question remains: was the decision to pick up Sam Bradford a wise move? And moreover, who will be under center when the season kicks off in September? The easy answer is yes, and Bradford will stay at the helm. Pun intended.
When Bradford started the season, the Vikings fans were worried. After all was said and done, he finished with a QBR of 99.3, good enough for 6th in the league. The best Bridgewater finished was 88.7. A huge difference. Bradford also finished first in the league in completion percentage at 71.6. With his 20 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, he far surpasses Bridgewater, whose best year saw him throw 14 touchdowns to his 9 interceptions. Simply put, Bradford had the best year of his career and it eclipsed Bridgewater by far.
Looking at history, Bradford has consistently improved steadily in many areas, barring his lackluster year in Philadelphia. The brass tax is that Minnesota would be foolish to start a running quarterback with lesser stats over one who proved himself last year without the aasistance of Bridgewater’s #1 target.
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