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After three weeks, two NFC teams sit undefeated.
Sam Bradford has been on both rosters this season.
The Vikings (3-0) and Eagles (3-0) each are faring pretty well since the early Saturday morning trade on Sept. 3 that sent Bradford to Minnesota in exchange for a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick.
While you can still hold the barstool argument over whether the Vikings traded away too much for Bradford, the deal has undeniably left both teams on solid ground at quarterback.
For Philadelphia, the Bradford trade cleared a path for second-overall pick Carson Wentz, who has shown the preseason talk about a potential ‘redshirt’ year was either cautious on the team’s part or, on the skeptic’s side, a way of upping Bradford’s value while awaiting the inevitable NFL quarterback injury.
Wentz has been impressive to start his career, putting together his best performance on Sunday in a 34-3 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The North Dakota State product topped 300 passing yards for the first time and did so by completing 74.2 percent of his passes (23 of 31) with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Through three starts, Wentz is leading the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense (30.7 points per game) with a 64.7 completion rate for 769 yards, five passing touchdowns and no picks.
And he’s closing in on Tom Brady’s record of 162 attempts to start a career without throwing an interception. Wentz is currently at 102 attempts.
In Minnesota, Bradford has stepped into an offense catering to his strengths. Even before Adrian Peterson suffered a lateral meniscus tear during Bradford’s first start against Green Bay, his first two carries from the new quarterback came out of the shotgun.
With space to survey the field, Bradford has been able to play mistake-free with two varying game plans from offensive coordiantor Norv Turner. Against the Packers, Bradford thrived taking shots downfield as he averaged more than nine yards per throw and found receiver Stefon Diggs for gains of 25, 44 and 46 yards.
Bradford got the ball out quicker against the Panthers. With more injuries thinning the offensive line, Bradford succeeded with shallower route concepts and didn’t attempt a pass 20 yards beyond the line. As a whole, the Vikings’ one-sided offense sputtered as 11 of the team’s 13 first downs needed to be picked up by Bradford. They converted just 3 of 12 third down attempts.
But Bradford, and his budding rapport with both tight end Kyle Rudolph and Diggs, have been a few of the offense’s bright spots through three weeks. A willingness to stand in the pocket and take a hit while throwing also hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammates and coaches. His mistake-free play has also been critical for a Vikings team that now leads the league with a plus-8 turnover differential. Only two offenses, the Eagles and Vikings, have gone three weeks without a turnover.
Like Wentz, Bradford has been without an interception with his new team. He has completed 40 of 59 passes for 457 yards and three touchdowns in two games.
Not a bad start.