Would Minnesota have more wins with Teddy Bridgewater or Kirk Cousins in 2021?

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Would the Minnesota Vikings be more successful in 2021 with Teddy Bridgewater as their quarterback instead of Kirk Cousins?

Midway through the first half of their preseason matchup against the Denver Broncos on Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings saw a familiar face trot out onto the field as Teddy Bridgewater entered the game.

Bridgewater, now with the Broncos, is in the middle of a battle with Drew Lock to be Denver’s starting quarterback for the upcoming 2021 season.

On the field for 17 plays against the Vikings on Saturday, the former first-round pick completed 7-of-8 pass attempts for 74 yards and one touchdown in addition to posting a 144.8 quarterback rating.

Would the Minnesota Vikings be any better in 2021 with Teddy Bridgewater under center instead of Kirk Cousins?

When comparing Bridgewater and current Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins, there’s no question that Cousins has the most talent of the two. However, one can make the argument that Bridgewater could lead the Vikings to just as many wins in 2021 as Cousins could, if not more.

But how could this be possible? With Bridgewater as their starter for 15 games last season, the Carolina Panthers only won four games. Yes, this is true, but the Panthers were also without star running back Christian McCaffrey for 13 games last year.

Think about how much more difficult Cousins’ job would be each week without having the luxury of handing the ball off to Dalvin Cook 25 times per game.

Carolina ranked 21st in rushing attempts last season, which means that a lot of the offensive production was placed on Bridgewater’s shoulders. He’s not the type of quarterback who can put a team on his back each and every week (neither is Cousins though).

In 2019, Bridgewater started five games for the New Orleans Saints while Drew Brees sat out with an injury. The Saints wound up winning all five of these matchups and during this stretch of games, they averaged 28 rushing attempts, which is right about what the Vikings averaged last season (29.3).

Bridgewater has never been the quarterback who is going to go out and throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns each week. He’s going to take care of the football, come up with plays in critical moments, and do whatever it takes to earn his team a win.

At the very least, his leadership qualities are astronomically higher than Cousins’. Bridgewater has been loved in every locker room he’s been in during his career and guys want to play with him. The same can’t be said about Cousins.

Any sort of leadership that Cousins has attempted to display during his career has come off as calculated and fraudulent at times. Where with Bridgewater, it just seems like a natural characteristic of his.

Minnesota’s current roster is perfectly set up for someone like Bridgewater to come in and help the team achieve success. He’s not going to be there to pad his stats, he understands that his job is to help the team win games, and nothing else.

Is this also true for Cousins? Based on what he’s been able to accomplish during his NFL career, the answer to that question would be no.

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So would the Vikings be able to win more games or just as many with Bridgewater instead of Cousins in 2021? The fact that this can even be argued at all should tell you all you need to know about Minnesota with Cousins under center.