Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater admitted today that he was “just a little too excited” early in Sunday night’s win over the Packers. And he never seemed to recover after getting off to a shaky start.
In some of his best performances this season, he got off to good starts. He was 3-for-3 for 42 yards in the opening drive in the loss to the Cardinals. And against the Bears, he completed four of his six passes for 59 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown, on another opening scoring drive.
“It just gets us rolling as a unit,” Bridgewater said of those strong starts.
Against the Packers, Bridgewater completed just one of his first five throws, and the incompletions included an overthrow when targeting running back Jerick McKinnon, who was running open down the right sideline.
“I think I was just a little too excited,” Bridgewater said of that miss.
Bridgewater was talking specifically about that one play, but he appeared to be over-amped throughout the game. No play was more out of character than his left-handed interception while getting tackled in his own territory, though the defense bailed him out by scoring on a fumble return.
“It was good that the defense was able to get the touchdown,” he said. “You have to think about the risk/reward factor in that situation. If I just take the sack, we punt the football and we’ll have Green Bay backed up.”
Asked to look back at the game as a whole, Bridgewater, who threw for just 99 yards, said he struggled because he didn’t settle for easier throws.
“Not taking completions,” Bridgewater said. “We’re at our best when we’re taking completions, taking what the defense is giving us, not trying to be too perfect on every play. Whenever we’re in rhythm, we’re completing the football, converting third downs and that’s when we’re at our best.”
Now, with their season on the line, Bridgewater and the Vikings face the Seahawks, who held Bridgewater to just 118 passing yards five weeks ago. For the fourth straight season, Seattle led the NFL in scoring defense.
“I just have to take what the defense is giving me,” said the second-year quarterback. “I can’t get too greedy. I have to be patient with this defense.”