First Start For Bridgewater Not At Ideal Time, But Important


While fans are really excited about the idea of Teddy Bridgewater taking over this football team, the conditions are much less than ideal for him to make his first start on Sunday.

While at Louisville, Bridgewater made a lot happen without the help of elite support around him.  Instead, he seemed to thrive on being the underdog ever since he took the reigns as the Cardinals starting quarterback after sitting out three games.  In his first college start, he posted an impressive stat line.  Here is his line in the loss against Marshall in his first start:

69% completion rate

Sep 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Vikings 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

221 passing yards

1 passing touchdown

2 interceptions

16 yards rushing

1 rushing touchdown

QB rating of 74

After that game, we saw a much more conservative version of Teddy Bridgewater. He ended his freshman year with a 14-12 touchdown to interception ratio and 2,129 passing yards.  And he never looked back, showing that he can be an efficient quarterback that learns from his mistakes.  He ended his final collegiate season throwing 31 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions while accumulating 3,970 passing yards.

Now that he’s in the NFL, Bridgewater is again taking over a team in just his 4th game with the team.  Only now, Teddy is without his starting right guard, starting tight end, and has a left side of the offensive line that has been struggling all year.  He’s also without the face of the franchise, running back Adrian Peterson.  Yet, Bridgewater looked poised last week against the New Orleans Saints in similar situations and will most likely do the same against the Falcons on Sunday.

Don’t get discouraged if Teddy Bridgewater has a first start like he did when he was at Louisville.  Or even if it is worse than the game listed above.  He has shown that he can work hard and improve his craft over time so that even a poor game can be a good learning experience for the young quarterback.  With all the things that could have gone wrong this year, throwing Bridgewater into the fire shouldn’t be one of them.  He plays with the composure and patience of a veteran on the football field, and it is easy to forget that he’s a rookie at times.

So, let Teddy be Teddy.  He could surprise a lot of folks in his first NFL start.  Just don’t get your expectations too high for the young fellow.  Let him grow and develop, even if he struggles.