If the Vikings Were Looking for the Next Christian Ponder…

Purple fans couldn’t be more ecstatic right now. They’ve put together two decent seasons, finally won the coveted NFC North Title after a brutal four year drought, and have a young quarterback that has been compared to Joe Montana.  

 

It’s gotta be all up from there, right?

Teddy Bridgwater’s original success was based on the fact that in his rookie year he took a team that had won 5 games the year before and helped them win 7 games. 

What people aren’t mentioning, is that the year before that, Minnesota had a 9 win season and a playoff appearance, and the year before that they won 3 games.

This is, and always has been a very talented but highly inconsistent team, and all of that can be traced back to their failure to draft a good quarterback.   

 

Fans of Bridgewater like to blame his floundering ways on a lack of decent receivers, but a closer look shows that even that couldn’t be further from the truth.

  • Kyle Rudolph has been waiting to break out as one of the top red zone threats in the league for half a decade.
  • Greg Jennings was brought in because of his ability to stretch the field and his success as a top receiver on a championship team.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson is a player who has shown promise as an electrifying playmaker and was a standout college receiver who the Vikings were willing to mortgage half their draft on.
  • Mike Wallace has gone over 900 yards and 10 touchdowns for two separate teams, before coming to Minnesota.
  • Charles Johnson possesses some of the best measurables and potential of any receiver in the league.  
  • Stefon Diggs became the first receiver in history to go for at least 85 yards in his first 4 games.

 

    The list goes on, but none of these extremely talented receivers has been able to make either of the Vikings last two first round quarterbacks look anything other than terrible.

    Fans and commentators will retort with the fact that you don’t have to look good when you can just hand the ball off to the best running back in the league. 

     

    However, there are plenty of running backs who have succeeded at making  their quarterback better and not even a future hall of famer like Adrian Peterson can do that for Teddy.

    You don’t have to watch Minnesota’s gameplan closely at all to see that they want to pass, but even with eight guys in the box eager to stop Peterson, they have failed miserably. 

    In 2015, the next “Joe Cool” had one game that you could possibly consider great if you stretch the truth a little bit. (On December 20th, Bridgewater threw for 4 touchdowns against the Bears, but was only good for 231 yards.)

    He had one other game in which he threw multiple touchdowns (2 against the Lions) and two other 1 TD performances where he saved himself with decent yardage. 

    Other than that he was garbage. 

     

     He had 7 games (including the playoff game) where he failed to throw a touchdown, 9 games where he threw at least as many interceptions as TDs and only 2 games in which he tallied over 300 yards.

    On November 16, when the Rams decided to bench Nick Foles, his stat line read 1,678 yards, 7 TDs and 6 interceptions. 

    At that same point in the season, Teddy Bridgwater was being celebrated for his performance even though his stat line read a very similar, 1,810 yards, 7 TDs and 6 interceptions.

    So what was the difference?

    The Viking’s front office would like you to think it’s because they were winning. The rest of us know it’s because they didn’t have any other options.

    Teddy Bridgewater couldn’t have screamed any louder that he isn’t the reason the Vikings are winning when he dropped a meager 99 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception, in the biggest game of his career against the Packers in the season finale.  

     

    The next week, Blair Walsh took the blame for Bridgewater’s failure to punch the ball into the end zone, even one time, in his first playoff game against Seattle.  

    The youngster is proving early and often, that he is not cut out for the “big game” or as almost everyone else can see, the league itself. 

     

    You can try to stretch the facts anyway you want to, but it only takes one glance at each quarterback’s 2nd year stats (Ponder 2,935 yards and 18 TDs, Bridgewater 3,231 and 14 TDs) to see that…  

     

     If the Vikings were looking for the next Christian Ponder, they have failed miserably even at that.

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