Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater gave his best effort to shift the focus to the Bears when he met with the media earlier today. But reporters were able to drag him back in time just long enough to revisit for one final time the final offensive snap of last Thursday night’s 23-20 loss to Arizona.
As you might recall, the Vikings were at the Arizona 31-yard line with 13 seconds left and no timeouts. They passed on what kicker Blair Walsh said would have been a 49-yard attempt (the Vikings snap the ball eight yards on placekicks) for the chance to move the ball a little closer.
Bridgewater held the ball too long and was stripped of it on a blindside sack by Dwight Freeney. It was a slow-developing play in which receivers Jarius Wright and Stefon Diggs were crossing from the left side of the formation to the right sideline. Receiver Mike Wallace ran deep from the right side. Running back Adrian Peterson curled out of the backfield to the right flat and was open, but was behind the line of scrimmage, risking a loss of yardage or a potential live ball on a incomplete lateral.
Said Bridgewater earlier today:
“The play call, all the receivers are coming from the left side of the field. So I tried to wait. I couldn’t complete the ball in the middle of the field because we didn’t have any timeouts. I had to wait until the guys got closer to the sideline to try to throw the ball. I could have thrown it over Diggs’ head or I could have thrown it over Adrian’s head a little faster. That’s one thing I could have done. I couldn’t complete the ball in the middle of the field because the guy could have been tackled and we wouldn’t have had time to get the field goal team on the field. I could have gotten the ball over Adrian’s head a little bit faster, but it was a bang-bang play.”
Bridgewater was asked if he could have checked out of the play given the defense the Cardinals were playing.
“We practice those situations,” Bridgewater said. “It’s not a play I could have checked out of. It’s a play we’re comfortable with. I probably could have gotten the ball over Adrian’s head a little quicker. I think Arizona did a good job of covering the play. It’s a play we hit last year against the New York Jets in a similar situation. So I think those guys were prepared for that situation. They covered the play well. All I could have done was throw the ball over Adrian’s head.
“Hopefully, you can catch a guy open or run away from the man coverage or something like that. Or get a lane to get out of bounds. But the play had to develop. Arizona came out in man coverage and that kind of slowed down the timing, slowed down the release of the receivers.”