Teddy Bridgewater had to run for his life vs. Denver [Video]


We knew going into Sunday’s game that Denver’s pass rush would present problems for Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings but it actually ended up being worse than we suspected.

The Denver pass rush at times completely overwhelmed the Vikings’ pass protection, sending Bridgewater running for his life.

By game’s end Bridgewater would be sacked 7 times in all, the final sack leading to a game-ending fumble.

But the real story wasn’t the times Bridgewater was taken down, it was the times he was able to escape and still make something happen or at least prevent a worse outcome.

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Bridgewater has shown great scrambling ability in the past but the display he put on Sunday was really impressive.

Arguably Bridgewater’s best scrambling play of the game was this one in the second quarter that didn’t even result in a pass completion.

On first-and-ten, Bridgewater drops back from under center and immediately has two pass rushers charging straight at him.

Vance Walker splits a double team on one side while another Denver player comes on a blitz up the middle.

Adrian Peterson actually does a decent job staying in front of the blitzing man, preventing Bridgewater from getting immediately wiped out.

With Denver players swarming around him, Bridgewater sidesteps, ducks and twists his way out of the hands of would-be tacklers, scrambling left and finally throwing the ball away with a third defender in his face.

The Broncos must have been very frustrated not to get Bridgewater down on this one. Frankly I don’t know how he got away.

A second impressive Bridgewater display of making the best of a bad situation came in the fourth quarter with the Vikings trying to drive and tie or perhaps take the lead.

Bridgewater is in the shotgun this time and actually has a second or two to get a pass off. Seeing nothing open downfield, Bridgewater holds onto the ball.

The Vikings blocking holds up as long as it can but soon three Denver players are running free straight at Bridgewater.

Displaying the kind of guts we’ve come to expect from him, Bridgewater spins away from one tackler then heaves the ball to the sidelines to avoid the sack.

Unfortunately the Vikings’ attempt at a game-winning drive would end right after this when Bridgewater was sacked and lost the ball to Denver.

But it wasn’t all scrambling just to avoid sacks for Bridgewater. He also made some completions off the scramble including this one with Stefon Diggs on the receiving end.

Bridgewater looks like he’s dead after Matt Asiata whiffs trying to block Von Miller but he stays alive long enough to get the pass off to Diggs 25 yards down the field.

The Vikings gave up seven sacks of Bridgewater but it actually could have been a lot worse.

Bridgewater did turn the ball over on the final play of the game but the fact that he threw zero interceptions and committed zero fumbles up until that point was really kind of amazing.

In some ways, Sunday’s performance by Bridgewater was his most impressive so far in the NFL. But ideally you don’t want him to have to run around quite that much.

Hopefully the Vikings can shore up their pass protection. Offensive linemen, running backs and tight ends all have to do a better job so Teddy doesn’t get killed.

Next: Stefon Diggs emerges as a player

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